Waupaca County now has a fully operational 24/7 homeless shelter. The Mission of Hope House of Wisconsin opened last week in New London.

“We are the first and the only 24/7 resource homeless shelter in Waupaca County,” said Lori Prahl, one of the organization’s co-founders. “There is a need, and right now those needs are being served by other communities… so they’re having to leave their home and go to other communities to seek shelter.”

In addition to providing a place to sleep, a place to eat, and recreational areas, the Mission of Hope House also hosts educational programs open to all community members, with guidance on life skills like personal finance, cooking, and job searching.

“The classes that we do offer, they’re offered as a preventative measure to folks in the community, not just the clients that are staying here,” Prahl said. “Everything we do here is training, mentorship, and coaching.”

To succeed in its initative, the Mission of Hope House needs your help. They’re looking for volunteers in a variety of areas, as well as donations.

“Volunteers, we could use just with the light office work,” Prahl said. “We have a garden program, the teaching of cooking skills, the budgeting, how to prepare meals. We’re (also) looking for volunteers over at our Bridge Thrift Store, which is across the road, which helps us become self-sustainable… Being open 24/7, our other need is really financial.”

The organization’s founders think it will have major positive impact on the community.

“It’s providing the folks, really a hand up,” Prahl said. “Giving them a place to stay on a temporary basis, while they can be linked to the resources where they can get their own apartments, and provide the skills and education they need to go on with their journey.”

If you’d like to volunteer at or donate to the Mission of Hope House, there’s information on how you can do so here.