Lammers, West CAP team up for homeless families

Lucy Lammer, left, of Lammers Food Fest and Robyn Thibado of West Cap stand with bags of household to help homeless families.

Lammers Food Fest is partnering with West CAP to help Dunn County families that are experiencing homelessness. Through the holiday season, Lammers Food Fest will be collecting donations of house-hold and personal goods that will be distributed to families in West CAP's transitional housing programs. Donations of $10, $15 or $20 will provide families with packages of goods including toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, shampoo, toilet paper, household cleaners and other items.

Over $125 in donations was collected the first week. Donate by purchasing a bag of needed items or donate single items in the orange bin at Lammer's Food Fest. Lammer's Food Fest has been a part of the community since 1860 and continues to partner with non-profits and donate goods and services.

According to the most recent report from the State of Wisconsin Division of Housing, homelessness is increasing in Wisconsin and has increased every year since 2008. Across the state, 23,236 people spent at least one night in homeless shelters in 2012. Forty-five percent of those served were in families with 6,293 of those served being children.

Since 1991, West CAP has alleviated or prevented homelessness for hundreds of families in Dunn County. West CAP housing assistance programs provide one-time rent or utility assistance, transitional housing with supportive services, and foreclosure prevention. Families entering the transitional housing programs must be literally homeless and many referrals to the programs come from the Stepping Stones shelter. Once families are housed they work with a case manager to overcome barriers to stable housing and self sufficiency. Depending on the program, households are provided rent subsidy from 3 months to two years. Twenty-six Dunn County households have been participants in the transitional housing pro-grams in the past two years.

West CAP is a 501c3 non-profit organization serving Barron, Chippewa, Dunn, Pepin, Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties. To learn more about West CAP or ways to help, visit www.westcap.org or call 800-606-9227.

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