CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -- A resource center for people struggling with poverty in Chippewa County is opening full-time.
Beginning on Monday the Legacy Community Center will open its doors daily to help refer low-income families to the resources they need.
The center opened part time on 26 W. Grand Ave. in June after more than four years of planning.
With an emergency food closet, attached soup kitchen and referral services the center serves as a one-stop shop for those facing poverty to pin-point exactly where they can get the help they need.
President David Gordon explained, “We're trying to hook up people to the services they need without them going through trying to find the right place. We want to get them there the first time.”
Gordon said you may not always see poverty out in the open but that doesn't mean it isn't there.
“The fact is we have over 6,000 people in Chippewa County who live below the government poverty level and 2,000 of those are children,” said Gordon. “The government poverty level for a family of four is $23,500 a year. I don't know how they live on that. So, there is a problem here and I think we have the resources to change that here but we need to work together to change that.”
The organization said the food closet is meant to be used in emergency situations when other area food banks aren't open but it added already this year it has served more than 800 pounds of food to families.
“We have food pantries here so that's where you go to get your weekly groceries but what about Saturday when there's none open? So we're here to fill that gap that exists,” added Gordon.
The location is also attached to Agnes' Table, a soup kitchen that has already served nearly 800 free meals since it moved into its new location in July.
Meal program coordinator Ali Sullivan said, “I really like that these spaces are together. There are a lot of services that they're offering that people that have already come here and are familiar with Agnes's Table
might benefit from so I think it's a really good partnership.”
The nonprofit says it estimates will cost $240,000 a year to run the center. The funds are raised through donations and grants.
The center says it's still looking to raise around $100,000 this year.
If you’d like to donate you can send money to: 26 W. Grand Ave. P.O. Box 452