A comfortable living environment can make a big difference
in people's lives.
That's why volunteers from First Free Church in Onalaska
are working to fix up La Crosse's Ophelia's House
which helps female offenders stay out of jail.
Up to ten women stay at the house at a time as an
alternative to jail, many of them transitioning into
a sober lifestyle.
News 8's Madalyn O'Neill tells us why these TLC projects
are so important.
I love it, I love it
This 1900s era house in downtown La Crosse has potential
It kind of has a lot of character but it needed a
lot of work.
Much like the house, resident Tracy Cadogan had a
lot to fix up as well.
I didn't want to be here.
I was in a bad spot in my life.
Her probation officer sent her to Ophelia's House
three months ago .
and since then, a lot has changed.
It was kind of a dreary ...
Both in the house ...
it was a dreary room ."
And in Cadogan herself.
It's pretty bright and happy now.
This is one of the bedrooms that's been redone.
Since June, about a dozen volunteers from the First
Free Church in Onalaska have been doing what they
Pastor Dave Konkol
This is our free gift to you.
to brighten up the women's lives.
Because we care about what you're doing and think
what you're doing is wonderful.
What Pastor Dave Konkol once described as a summer
project is still going strong in the fall.
We painted out here on the front porch, brought furniture,
purchased bedding to bring color coordination, fixed
up doors, painted and sanded cupboards...
The house's program supervisor says the church's help
does double duty.
Not only do they see these groups of people coming
in caring for their environment, interacting with
them in a positive way but they're left with the beautiful
results, which makes them feel uplifted and safe and
Though it's still a work in progress ...
It's in the works.
The house, and its program, has already brightened
the lives of its residents.
It's a new outlook on life.
In LaX, MO, N8
A Pastor from the church says the whole project will
likely take another month .
and after that, the church will remain in contact
with Ophelia's House.