Family Promise of Monroe County gets $2,000 grant

The money is going towards a van to transport homeless families to places they need to go

TOMAH, Wis. (WKBT) – There are 150 homeless children in the Tomah School District alone and about 600 homeless family members in Monroe County, according to officials.

Family Promise is trying to end family homelessness by giving people a place to stay.

The affiliate in Monroe County is hoping to do the same.

“It’s been a great experience to see how the community comes together,” Family Promise of Monroe County president Krishna Battista said.

A big part of the program is taking struggling families by van to and from one of 13 different host locations where they stay throughout Tomah and Sparta and what’s called the main day center.

“All the basic things happen at the day center,” Battista said.

Families can also look for jobs there.

“However, the accommodations for sleeping and food all happen at the host locations,” Battista said.

But, the program had trouble finding a suitable van.

“We did not have a lot of public transportation available,” Battista said. “And so, that was not an option for us in this area…When we were originally shopping around and looking at options to purchase a van that is older, is just not a good plan.”

So the program turned to the Tomah Health Community Foundation for help.

“We received a presentation from the great group of Family Promise talking about their needs and how their helping with breaking the homelessness cycle of some families,” Tomah Health Community Foundation president Pete Reichardt said.

Now, the program has an extra $2,000 to work with.

“This donation that the foundation has made is hugely beneficial to our families,” Battista said.

The program in Monroe County opened just last month, but they have already helped out one family.

That family was able to find work in Nevada, which is where the rest of their family lives.

Family Promise has more than 200 affiliates nationwide and eight in Wisconsin.