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Local non-profit receives $870k state grant

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CHIPPEWA FALLS (WQOW) - With a federal eviction moratorium looming, a Chippewa Valley non-profit is looking to assist people experiencing homelessness, poverty and socioeconomic difficulties, and they just received a large grant to help them expand.

Since opening in 2016, Hope Village's vision has been to ensure everyone in Chippewa County has a safe and secure place to live.

"The mission of Hope Village is to help people in our community find permanent housing. We do that through providing transitional housing in the tiny houses that we have built. Our contracts are currently only for seven days at a time, but they can be extended. We've had guests stay with us for up to 11 months, and 134 days is the average," said Michael Cohoon, Hope Village director.

Hope Village has currently built 9 tiny homes. In March 2021, Hope Village, in partnership with Chippewa Falls, received a COVID-19 response grant worth over $870,000.

"We're so glad the city has been supportive, and just glad for their partnership," Cohoon said.

The homes range in size from 8-by-12 feet to 8-by-20 feet. According to Cohoon, the cost to build each home is between $4,200 and $10,000.

Guests are also provided two mentors and a navigator to help find a sustainable income and health resources.

"Often times, the guests we are working with have been sleeping in a tent along the river, or maybe a family of four or five live in a mini van. We find the guests are very appreciative," Cohoon said.

Hope Village's new site will be a collective of 10 homes and a community center that includes showers, restrooms, laundry facilities, and meeting spaces for residents and staff.

Preliminary site work is underway with interior renovations expected to begin in late 2021. To learn more about Hope Village, click or tap here.