Emergency Shelter going strong after one year

(WEAU) - "They've come a long way that's for sure," said former resident, Shawn Gable.

44-year old Shawn Gable has seen a change in the home as well as himself in the last year.

After working in Chicago for 7 years at a mortgage company, he moved to Rice Lake with friends but didn't have a job.

Although he had lost his son and parents, he saw opportunity and hope at Benjamin’s House.

“I'm very blessed that I got the help through the Benjamin’s House and their resources, because now I have a beautiful smile,” said Gable.

His smile is finally beaming after needing dentures since December.

Through the help of staff, he was able to live on his own and buy them after getting a job in maintenance.

“It's obvious that there's a big need here for what we do, prior to our shelter, there was no kind of hub for what we do,” said Deanna Ewing, Executive Director of Benjamin’s House.

Since it opened, 140 men, women and children have stayed there hoping to get help.

At Benjamin’s House people have the option of staying 1 to 90 days and Deanna says there are currently 15 residents staying in the facility.

“Everyone gets their own individual room. We have a pantry they can go through for breakfast and lunch. Then four days a week the community comes in and helps us serve food,” said Ewing.

The facility receives 70 percent of its funding from civic groups, donors and businesses in the community.

"I feel so much happier now than when I did when I first came out here,” said Gable.

On March 4th there will be an open house from 1 - 3.

"Were allowing the community to come see the home, walk through, see what were all about," said Ewing.

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