After two years of planning, a new $4 million homeless shelter project is underway for Fond du Lac County.
St. Vincent de Paul and Solutions Center, the two primary agencies that serve those experiencing homelessness, came together to address unmet needs related to homelessness both equitably and effectively.
Agnesian HealthCare, a member of SSM Health, has pledged $100,000 in community benefit funds over the next three years to support.
“Homelessness affects us all,” according to Dawn Vandenberg, regional director of Mission Integration. “It has a ripple effect throughout the community. It impacts the availability of health care resources, crime and safety, the workforce, and the use of tax dollars. Homelessness impacts the present as well as the future. It benefits all of us to stop the cycle of homelessness, one person and one family at a time.” Fond du Lac’s homeless shelter has capacity for five families at a time. The demand for services continues to trend upwards with an average of 150 people experiencing homelessness a month.
The new shelter—as part of the St. Katharine Drexel Shelter Program—is being constructed on property currently owned by St. Vincent de Paul and is being designed to accommodate up to 100 clients and provide a warm, safe place for families with children, and single men and women that are facing homelessness, while respecting privacy and needs of all clients through use of separate wings for each population. The project is estimated to be completed in fall of 2021.