CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) – The colder months are here again, but not everyone has someplace warm to stay. The L.E. Phillips Career Development Centers Outreach Office in Chippewa Falls has a fundraiser called 100 Nights of Shelter for those impacted by homelessness in Chippewa County.
“What we’re trying to do is come up with enough money to provide a hundred nights of shelter to individuals,” Jennifer Barrett, Director Homeless Services said, “Which the average cost rate of a hotel stay is anywhere from $60 to $80 a night in our area.”
This is the third year the fundraiser is being held.
“100 nights could mean five days for 20 people or two weeks for a family or depending on what the needs are,” Barrett said. “We hope we surpass the 100 nights, but we’re hoping to get at least 100.”
Barrett says the number of people being impacted by homelessness is growing in Chippewa County.
“The pandemic hit us pretty hard,” Barrett said. “We’ve probably doubled our numbers since the Pandemic started and we’ve seen a pretty steady uptick.”
Barrett says Chippewa County doesn’t have a homeless shelter. Since there is nowhere for people, money donated to 100 Nights of Shelter would go toward motel vouchers for those who need a warm place to lay their heads.
“Being able to provide an option even if it’s just a night of a warm bed and a hot shower and a tv to watch,” Barrett said. “It’s just a sense of normalcy for people who may be sleeping in their vehicles or are unfortunately out in the elements right now.”
The motel vouchers are accepted at the Indianhead Motel, Bloomer Inn and Suites, and the Badger Motel.
“The hotels that we do work with are a blessing,” Barrett said. “Not only do they work well with us, but they work well with the population that we serve too.”
Chippewa Falls Police Officer Ryan Boie says this kind of fundraiser is great because it highlights collaboration.
“Homelessness can affect people in different ways,” Boie said. “Some more than others and the ones that need it the most, you know, we have people and we have businesses like these hotels that are willing and able to do that.”
To extend a helping hand to those in need.
100 Nights of Shelter runs through the winter, possibly through April. Donations can be made online or by check. To receive a motel voucher, you must live in Chippewa County and be in need. For more information, click here.