Rhinelander Homeless Shelter Almost Complete

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It's an idea a group in Rhinelander has been building up for two years. In just a few weeks, construction will be complete and a new homeless shelter will be set to open.

The Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing is putting the finishing touches on Frederick Place, the first homeless shelter in the Rhinelander area. Volunteers are busy putting the finishing touches on the home, set to open the first week in February.

"It's good to see a lot of people helping out, every day you come in you see a new face and then you got more people coming in through the door asking what they can do to help," said Aaron Liebherr, a volunteer painter.

Unlike more urban communities, Rhinelander residents say they don't see many homeless living on their streets. Instead it's a hidden problem. With no shelter in the area, people in transition, may have no have had a place to go.

"They're probably crashed on peoples couches, they may still be living in their cars even though it's cold," said Tammy Modic, the shelter's executive director. "There are people who have had to leave Rhinelander and go to Wausau to a homeless shelter ."

The house was originally a mansion built in the 1800s. In just a few weeks it will house up to 16 people. But for now, volunteers are busy getting it ready.

"Retired doctors, clergy, a lot of different builders are donating their time," said Volunteer Coordinator Kevin Eggers. "It's a busy place, so it's good to see it all together."

The group says it still need donations to pay for expenses and some of the remaining finishes. Its also hoping people will give more than just money.

"Food, bedding, pillows, to keep us going and to have people feeling this is a place of home we are going to need volunteers here after," said Modic.

Staff say the shelter is meant to shelter those living in Oneida, Vilas, Langlade, Forest, and northern Lincoln counties.

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