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LEAVEN breaks ground on Community Resource Center

LEAVEN Fox Cities broke ground Wednesday on its new Community Resource Center, an expansion expected to bring numerous nonprofits together to offer a wider range of services to the needy at the Opportunity Way nonprofit campus in Menasha.

Executive Director Mary Parsons

Executive Director Mary Parsons thanked the donors for helping them meet their $1 million goal, McMahon for donating their architecture and design services, and the 14 community partners for their commitment to provide resources.

“We basically explained our vision to our donors and they came through for us,” LEAVEN Board Vice President Rick Stach said. The expansion was accompanied by what he described as a badly needed upgrade of the database that will monitor the initiation, follow-through and outcomes of referrals.

Fifteen charitable funds within the Community Foundation awarded grants to the project totaling $408,608, including a $50,000 grant from the Foundation’s Bright Idea Fund. Another $216,608 of the total , to pay for the database and related staffing came from the Basic Needs Giving Partnership, which is funded by the U.S. Venture Fund for Basic Needs from the annual U.S. Venture Open golf outing, with additional money from the J. J. Keller Foundation and other community partners.

Parsons said referring people in need to other agencies wasn’t working well enough, so they are bringing the services together under one roof. LEAVEN’s community partners include:

  • Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Green Bay
  • Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services
  • FISC
  • Fox Valley Technical College
  • Partnership Community Health Center
  • Homeless Connections
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul

In addition, these partners will have a part-time staff presence at the resource center:

  • Fox Valley Veterans Council
  • Legal Action of Wisconsin
  • Riverview Gardens
  • Energy Services
  • NAMI Fox Valley
  • Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin
  • The legal team from Kimberly-Clark Corp.

Parsons said the Community Resource Center will add to the housing, transportation, medical and financial assistance LEAVEN already provides, help with education, financial guidance, legal advice and rental issues.

Fr. Robert Udulutsch, the founder of LEAVEN, offered a blessing that celebrated the important help LEAVEN provides to the needy and asked for safety for all who work on construction of the project.

Construction is expected to begin in two weeks. Completion will take about six months.

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