HOOO Happenings

Volume 2: Issue 1

In this issue:

Grand Opening

Wisconsin Housing Preservation Corporation (WHPC), hosted a Grand Opening at Prairie Haus on September 16th. This incredibly special day allowed building owner WHPC, HOOO stakeholders, builders, investors, lenders, WHEDA representatives and residents to celebrate the creation of this one of a kind community. HOOO Co-Executive Directors, Susan Wallitsch and Mary Anne Oemichen, shared HOOO’s story, focusing on the great need for affordable housing for disabled and non-disabled people alike, and on the impact Prairie Haus has on the lives of those who now enjoy their own homes. Prairie Haus is fully occupied and serves as an example of inclusive and affordable housing.

First Responder Event

The Green County Sheriff, along with New Glarus Police, Emergency Medical Services, and Fire Department participated in a community dinner at Prairie Haus on September 28th. “Ally,” Green County’s resident police dog, was a big hit with the kids. Ryan with “Ryan’s Rockin’ Ice Cream” served frozen treats from his ice cream truck. Incredibly, Ryan chose to donate his time and delicious ice cream. Creating community connections, like this event with first responders, is a big part of what HOOO does. Helping first responders personally get to know Prairie Haus residents is crucial to creating understanding and mutual respect and support.

First Sunday Coffee

Sharing a cup of coffee, tea or juice is a great way to meet your neighbors. On the first Sunday of the month, HOOO hosts coffee, baked goods and other beverages in the common area for all residents of Prairie Haus to relax and get to know one another.  We have enjoyed conversation, games and puzzles as well as coffee roasted by Prairie Haus resident, Franke Wallitsch.

Christmas Celebrations

Holidays began at Prairie Haus with a party to decorate the common areas and create personal ornaments.  Three Christmas trees created a warm and cheery atmosphere. Residents enjoyed Christmas cookies and hot chocolate as they made their own ornaments to keep.
Prairie Haus residents, sponsored by HOOO and the Mt. Horeb Rotary Club, created an Adventfenster window for the New Glarus Village wide celebration.  Local businesses decorated windows and each day of advent a new window was revealed.  The Prairie Haus window involved drawing, painting, creating 3D snowflakes and panels and installation with the assistance of many residents.  Our theme is “Peace is everyone having a home”. The window was revealed at an evening celebration on Sunday, December 12th with donuts and hot apple cider.
Musician, Katy Morkri, shared her lovely voice accompanied by her guitar and ukulele to lead singing of holiday tunes in the common area.  Residents enjoyed singing, sleigh bells, cookies and coffee.

New Amenities

We have a large screen TV and Nintendo equipment thanks to the suggestion and assistance of Prairie Haus Resident, Alex Hahn. The TV and Nintendo supplies can be borrowed from the HOOO office.

Meet Our New Board Members

HOOO is delighted to introduce our two new ex officio and and two full-time Board members:

Ryan Dull: BS in biology and awaiting medical school acceptance

Lucy Wallitsch: PhD candidate at Emory University in disability studies and American literature

Jaqueline Moen: Founder and Former Director of Common Threads Family Resource Center

Jennifer Diedrich:  identifies as disabled and lives at Prairie Haus

Jennifer is a wonderful addition to our board. She is a native of Shullsburg, WI and has spent the past decade living in New Glarus. Jennifer is delighted to be able to easily navigate her apartment and the building, in contrast to her previous living arrangement.    About Prairie Haus, Jennifer says, “I like the different kinds of people that live here.” and also “People here just get it!” Having a Prairie Haus tenant  on the Board  provides  valuable insight into the experience of living at Prairie Haus. She is also a great liaison with the other tenants, and a reliable volunteer at all of our HOOO activities. 
Look for biographies of our other new board members in future newsletters!

Giving Tuesday

HOOO is incredibly grateful to everyone who made year end contributions, whether via Facebook’s Giving Tuesday event or otherwise. Year end giving resulted in approximately $21,000 in donations! These contributions will help HOOO to create social opportunities for disabled residents and their neighbors at Prairie Haus, to provide lovely amenities such as the TV and Nintendo, and share our experiences with other groups working to establish homes for disabled adults.

500 in 5

Since well before Prairie Haus opened, groups from Wisconsin and nationwide have contacted us, asking “How do we make this happen in our community?” HOOO’s goal has expanded to include consulting with 500 fledgling groups to establish their own inclusive, affordable rental communities within the next five years. Your donations will allow us to help other groups create A Home of their Own in other parts of Wisconsin and across the United States.
Grassroots groups/individuals can schedule a complimentary 30 minute consultation here:

Buy Local: Support Independence

Love to color?  

Prairie Haus resident, Alex Hahn has created a quirky and imaginative coloring book. Coloring Books cost $10.00 each. If you would like one, get in touch with Susan Wallitsch at

Ways to Donate

5 ways to help that don’t require any money:
  1. Consider HOOO as your charitable organization for special moments (i.e. birthdays, weddings, memorials).
  2. Follow & like us on Facebook. Go above and beyond and share our content.
  3. Forward our newsletter along to others and encourage them to sign up for our next newsletter on our website.
  4. Encourage your business to participate in a financial or in-kind donation. 
  5. Set HOOO as your Amazon Smile charity & remember to shop using rather than just
Donate with a Debit or Credit Card
Mail A Check To:
Home of Our Own
W6159 Legler Valley Rd.
New Glarus, WI 53574
Donate with PayPal
Follow, Like, Donate on Facebook
HOOO is on Amazon Smile! 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 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.
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