Move In Day & Ways To Support What's Next

Winter Quarterly Newsletter

GivingTuesday is a global day of generosity that will take place December 1, 2020.

At a time when we are all experiencing the pandemic, generosity is what brings people of all races, faiths, and political views together across the globe. Generosity gives everyone the power to make a positive change in the lives of others and is a fundamental value anyone can act on.

Our goal is $5,000 this year!  We have an incredible community of supporters and think we can do it! 
That may seem like a lofty number but if everyone can give just a little bit this goal can easily be reached or exceeded (see the last story of this newsletter to see the power of $5).

Prairie Haus is almost built, but HOOO’s vision doesn’t stop with concrete and carpeting. Our vision is to bring a spirit of inclusivity, community activities, and enrichment to the lives of every resident.

Donations to help the adults with disabilities of HOOO can be made several ways:

Donate with PayPal
Donate with a Debit or Credit Card
Mail A Check To:
Home of Our Own
W6159 Legler Valley Rd.
New Glarus, WI 53574
Through the donate button on the HOOO Facebook page or on the #GivingTuesday Facebook post this Tuesday.

Please also consider creating your own #givingtuesday2020 Facebook campaign to support HOOO!  We sure would appreciate it so much!
Thank you for your donations!
The Home Of Our Own is a non-profit 501 (c)3 organization and all donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.

For seven years we have been preparing and now we are less than a week away: 
Move In! 

(Thoughts from HOOO co-founder, Susan Wallitsch)

Prairie Haus is set to open its doors to residents this week!

Our HOOO families are busy assembling furnishings, looking for decorative touches, and packing up all of the items our loved ones need to feel at home. Best Life Residential is preparing to have all support personnel in place and ready to go. Our special needs adults are excited and a little apprehensive for this big step.  My own son, Franke, is really looking forward to meeting new people and becoming friends.  This is such a big move towards independence , and we are filled with gratitude for every single person who supported this journey to create a home. 

Prairie Haus has at least half of the units spoken for and additional prospective tenant tours are in progress (albeit virtual).  It will be home to at least 15 adults with disabilities, several families, some seniors and a handful of single individuals looking for a beautiful, affordable  new home.  Stay tuned for updates in our next newsletter!

Please enjoy following our progress on Facebook.  Due to Covid 19, the building is not open to visitors.  We hope to have a grand opening celebration when it is safe to gather, perhaps next summer. You will all be invited!
What Prairie Haus Residents & Parents Have To Say:
Patti (Parent):
First and foremost I want Mark to be happy!  I want to see him do things I never imagined he could do without me!  And I want -- when I bring him home to our house --  to hear him say, “I want to go home”! And home is Prairie Haus 💙

Amy (Future Resident as reported by Parent):
Amy is very excited to quickly get out of the car and look around when we pull up to Prairie Haus.  She says,  “Wow” when she stands at the entrance and looks around. She loves to point at everything she can see around her and likes being able to see the lights, town, and the cars from the area near her apartment.

Kurt (Future Resident as reported by Parent):
Kurt has been saying “my new home in New Glarus is not finished yet” & “my new home is called an apartment.”  Kurt is looking forward to visiting the New Glarus Fire Station!
Safety First!
Meeting with First Responders
On September 21, 2020, HOOO's Susan Wallitsch and Mary Anne Oemichen hosted a meeting to begin planning for autism first responder training. Local police officers, the local fire chief, and the head of New Glarus EMS all attended, along with representatives of Cardinal Capital Management (Prairie Haus' property management) and Best Life Residential (a residential service provider that will be available to serve Prairie Haus' residents).

The purpose of the first responder training will be to educate first responders about how to interact with individuals on the autism spectrum in community and emergency settings, in order to reduce the possibility of misunderstanding or escalation. The training will also highlight different communication styles, particularly among non-speaking people who have autism. 

We had a great initial conversation, and HOOO will host a two hour formal training in early December.  We will update readers in our next newsletter, and gratefully thank donors for making a training like this possible!
Meet Prairie Haus’ Property Manager Bill Oemichen
For the past six months, Bill Oemichen has been hard at work with the Prairie Haus lease up process in his role as Property Manager with Cardinal Capital Management. The building owner, Wisconsin Housing Preservation Corporation (WHPC), has contracted with Cardinal to play the important role of making sure the building looks good and operates smoothly.

Bill is a 20 year New Glarus resident, and took on this role following a career in consumer protection, coop development, and emergency health preparedness and response. Bill’s experience as head of Wisconsin’s consumer protection program in the mid to late 90’s included a lot of experience in the landlord tenant area, including writing the state’s landlord-tenant handbook. Bill’s role as property manager will put him on site for 20 hours per week. Bill’s office will be located on the ground floor near the large common spaces and the garden apartments.
As a parent of a 27 year old daughter with autism, Bill knows how hard changes in routine can be for many people with disabilities. As a result, he is especially aware of the need to work directly with residents, family members, and service providers, to help insure each resident’s transition to Prairie Haus is as smooth as possible. Of his new role, Bill says, “I’m excited about being part of this very important project. I look forward to applying my experience in the landlord-tenant area, as well as my experience being a parent of a young woman with autism.” In his spare time, Bill is in year one of a Ph.D program at the University of Saskatchewan, and is also part of a research team at UW-Madison, so he is a busy guy! For down time, Bill loves to plant trees and tend to his yard, play with the family dog (Bucky), and is also a history buff.
Give While You Shop
HOOO is on Amazon Smiles! With COVID, online shopping for holidays has skyrocketed. While shopping for others or for yourself, please consider establishing HOOO as your charity of choice. It’s one click and greatly benefits us without any extra effort or money from you.   Anytime you shop on Amazon, 0.05% will go straight to HOOO.

It’s easy to sign up, just click here:
Choose HOOO As Your Charity
Thank You Donors!

Thank you to all who have made this dream a reality; it takes a village!

Today we wanted to highlight Rooted Culture Salon in Verona, Wisconsin. They started a fundraiser for Home Of Our Own a few months back, with customers donating $5 and getting a $5 salon service coupon/discount in return. Their goal was to raise $500. Instead, this fundraiser raised $2,000! 

Thank you Rooted Culture Salon for your and your customers' generosity. It goes to show that $5 is plenty to make a difference!

If you or your business have fundraising ideas like this, we would love to hear about it. Our 2020 fundraisers were greatly impacted by COVID and we are relying on community support to fund Prairie Haus development and programming.

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