OSHKOSH, Wis. (WFRV) – Even though Christmas is over a month away, it came early for two homeless men as they found a new apartment thanks to the Oshkosh Police Department, Day-by-Day Warming Shelter and the Police Lights of Christmas.
According to the Oshkosh Police Department (OPD), multiple residents contacted them early in the summer about concerns regarding homeless individuals who were sleeping under bridges and camping near the river. When officers asked several people under the bridges about property that was stored there, the answer they got surprised them.
The man the OPD spoke with reportedly pointed out some bags of property and said he was watching it while two of his friends were at work. The man also said when he works, the other individuals watch his property.
The OPD says that everyone they interacted with was very cooperative.
After speaking with the individuals under the bridge, the OPD wanted to find out what some of the barriers are that prevents people with jobs from finding a place to rent. The department also wanted to see what they could do to help.
With some help from the Day-by-Day Warming Shelter, they discovered that the large amount of money that is due (the security deposit and first month’s rent) when first signing a rental agreement is a challenge. The OPD thought of another community program that could help clear the hurdle of the amount of money that is due upfront.
That community program was the Police Lights of Christmas, which is a program that provides donated funds to officers to help those in need. However, these funds are received in Dec., and the department reached out to see if they could use some of the funds now.
They wanted to use the funds to get two homeless men an apartment. Both the Day-by-day Warming Shelter as well as the Police Lights of Christmas were on board.
After it was determined that both men were still employed full-time, the Day-by-Day Warming Shelter helped find the men an apartment that would fit their needs.
The OPD says it was the highlight of their day, watching the keys to the apartment get handed over to the two men who no longer are homeless.
The full post about the journey from homelessness to apartment renters can be found here. The Facebook post currently has over 1,100 reactions and more than 200 shares.
There is a new facility in Oshkosh that will give homeless individuals a new long-term place to stay.