Northwoods Homeless Shelters began in 1993 as an ad-hoc committee comprised of key members in the housing development community for Polk County, Wisconsin.
In 1996, discussions relating to the identification and development of resources for homeless families and individuals occurred between this group and that of Polk County Human Services. On October 8, 1997, this organization was incorporated as the Polk County Housing Collaborative.
In the spring of 1998, a mobile home was donated to the Collaborative and a grant was received to fund the conversion of the mobile home to a duplex as well as the acquisition of a second shelter, a house in Amery, Wisconsin. PCHC housed its first family on August 25, 1998 in the donated mobile home.
The first residents at the Partnership House in Amery arrived in February of 1999. The mobile home in Balsam Lake was “retired” as a shelter in 2001. In that same year, a second floor was added to the Partnership House and in 2003 a house in Luck, Wisconsin, was donated to our organization. The Hope House, as the house in Luck was named, received residents beginning June 1, 2003. PCHC became Northwoods Homeless Shelters on January 1, 2007. We continue to operate three units of emergency shelter in Polk County and serve residents of our county, as well as those in northwest Wisconsin.
In 2010, Northwoods increased its programming to include Transitional Housing. The board purchased a foreclosed property through a sheriff’s sale. With tremendous community support, we had the house cleaned, repaired, painted, decorated, and furnished in 35 days. Our shelter program is now able to house an additional family!