Mayo Clinic Health System is strengthening the communities it serves by giving back to those in need. Chippewa County’s only homeless shelter shut down in 2014 due to lack of funding. Because homelessness is a significant issue in Chippewa Falls, Mayo Clinic Health System has donated $8,500 to Hope Village to build a tiny home. Mayo staff will help build the home.
“Housing is a major contributor to overall health and stability in life,” says Sara Carstens, director of Community Engagement and Wellness for Mayo Clinic Health System. “The Tiny Homes program is an innovative idea that has garnered significant community support in Chippewa Falls. Not only does it provide an immediate solution for those whose housing is not secure, it also provides supportive relationships and targeted support that can prevent a negative situation from turning into a longer-term, downward spiral in vulnerable populations.”
Hope Village will be a small community of tiny homes near downtown Chippewa Falls. Currently, there are eight tiny homes that are hosted by local churches. People can stay at this temporary housing from four to eight months. The village provides mentors and life coaches to help guests get back on their feet by providing a secured living plan. The village also helps them find an income that is sufficient for a permanent house; get reconnected with services for physical, mental or spiritual health; and find permanent housing.
The tiny houses can hold up to three people, but Hope Village is constructing a unit that can hold up to six people. The goal is to add four homes for a total of 12 tiny houses in Chippewa Falls.