The Hope Village Board of Directors approved a contract with Crescendo Fundraising
Professionals, LLC, to initiate a $2.7 million capital campaign following a positive study to help fund the Hope Village vision.
To date, Hope Village has completed Phase I in the construction of 10 tiny homes and has secured funding for Phase II, the infrastructure for the 10 tiny homes and the renovation of a building located at 1825 Kennedy Rd., Chippewa Falls, Wis., to move the proposed vision forward.
“We are thrilled to begin fundraising for another phase of Hope Village,” says Mike Cohoon, the executive director of Hope Village. “The expansion of Hope Village offers a cost-effective and sustainable shelter model. Volunteers provide services from initial construction to ongoing maintenance and re-stocking of the tiny houses, and mentors ensure each individual and family has the support needed to make progress on their secure living plan goals and exit to permanent housing.”
Phase III of the project will provide:
● The construction of five duplexes that would provide 10, one-bedroom handicapped-accessible units at an affordable monthly rent.
● The construction of two multi-family buildings that would provide 6, two-bedroom units each for a total of 12 one and two-bedroom rental units for low-income families.
● A playground for the many children housed in the units and attractive landscaping to encourage community gatherings.
● A Re-Store business which will provide tiny house residents employment and will be financially sustained by incoming funds to the store.
The benefits of this project—a model of collaborative community support involving church
volunteers, mentors, government and local agencies, nonprofits, and community groups to lift
individuals and families out of poverty and into secure housing—will directly impact hundreds of lives in Chippewa Falls.
With low inventory of affordable housing in the area and the rising number of households with lower-than-average median incomes, many families and individuals find themselves in transitional living situations and needing extra support. In 2020, the L.E. Phillips Career Development Center Outreach Office in Chippewa Falls assisted nearly 100 households each month seeking housing assistance; by the summer of 2021, that number rose to more than 230.
Hope Village began its mission in 2016 in response to the closing of Starting Points, Chippewa County’s only shelter that provided short-term and long-term housing alternatives to people experiencing homelessness. Since its inception, Hope Village has provided a total of more than 7,219 nights of shelter to nearly 55 unique households comprising more than 87 individuals. This represents a cost savings of more than $577,000 that would have otherwise gone toward emergency motel vouchers. The average length of stay for a Hope Village guest is 136 days, and 65 percent of guests have exited the program to find permanent housing. Providing permanent supportive housing to the homeless community saves the taxpayer money, reducing healthcare costs by 59%, decreasing emergency department costs 61% and lowering general in-patient hospitalizations by 77% (National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2021).
The capital campaign will be managed by Crescendo Fundraising Professionals, LLC. Ellen Hongerholt, M.A., Crescendo Fundraising Professionals’ founder says the campaign strategy is based on positive results from the Chippewa Falls philanthropic community which determined $2.7M in private funding was attainable. The firm prepared its recommendations based on responses from potential major donors, regional leaders and input from an online survey.
Crescendo has completed 42 municipal and non-profit campaigns in 23 years of operation in the tri-state region. Short-term pre-campaign planning teams are in the process of recruitment.