Understanding Homelessness In Our Community
By Tammy Modic | Posted: Monday, October 22, 2012 2:00 pm
Homeless In Our Community

Ending homelessness must begin with the understanding that people who are or have been homeless are our neighbors and members of our community. Public perceptions and attitudes toward persons experiencing homelessness or in danger of becoming homeless need to change in order for positive, long-term solutions to be realized.

Most Americans rarely interact with people who are or who have been homeless. The lack of interaction between different groups of our society, combined with impersonal or inaccurate descriptions of homelessness posed by the media and public officials, contributes to a distancing of those who have housing from those who do not. As a result, homelessness is perceived as an abstract social problem.

Those who experience homelessness are seen as the sources of their own misfortunes, and the socio-economic policies and practices that give rise to homelessness are then too easily ignored. This abstraction, in turn, lessens the degree of urgency and commitment needed to work strategically and consistently toward solutions to end homelessness that are long-term, outcome-based, and not simply responses to crises.

Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing wishes to teach and challenge tomorrow's leaders as well as empower those who have experienced homelessness first-hand, that by fostering an environment of self-worth, respect, and understanding for all people, we can and will end homelessness.

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mental / physical health »

Stable housing and supportive services are critical
From the National Alliance to End Homelessness

About half of people experiencing homelessness suffer from mental health issues. At any given point in time, 45 percent of homeless people report having had indicators of mental health problems during the past year. About 25 percent of the homeless population has serious mental illness, including chronic depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.

People experiencing homelessness also have a high rate of substance use. According a 1996 survey, 46 percent of homeless respondents reported having an alcohol use problem in the past year,

and 38 percent reported a problem with drug use in the past year. Mental and physical health problems are exacerbated by living on the streets and in shelters. Health conditions that require ongoing treatment — such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, addiction, and mental illness — are difficult to treat when people are living in shelter or on the streets. Medication can require special steps, including refrigeration or special storage, that can be difficult to execute for people experiencing homelessness. Preventative care can also be difficult for this population to access due to its often prohibitive cost, so people experiencing homelessness may wait to seek medical care until a trip to the emergency room is necessary.

These mental and physical health conditions should be considered when designing effective, efficient strategies to end homelessness. Permanent supportive housing provides stable housing coupled with supportive services as needed – a cost-effective solution to homelessness for those with the most severe health, mental health, and substance use challenges.

Directors Corner »

Making A Difference
By Tammy Modic - NATH Executive Director | Posted: Wednesday, January 7th, 2015 9:00 am

As I reflect back at 2014 I am reminded that “I Make A Difference”.

I have been the leader of an incredible staff who have touched the lives of 98 different individuals who called Frederick Place home for a total of 4100 shelter nights.

As a part of the NATH Board and Community Outreach and Fundraising Committee it was a busy year filled with fundraising and speaking engagements. These events helped cover the $212,000 annual operating budget.

Here are some of the highlights

January: Eagle River Soup for Shelter and speaking at the Nativity Women’s Group

February: 3rd Anniversary Benefit

April: Expressions of Compassion and Lakeland Area Soup for Shelter

May: Elvis & Patsy Cline Tribute Concert and a 3 day rummage sale & the summer raffle ticket sales began

June: 3rd Annual Golf Scramble, Culver’s Shares, Chain Skimmer Picnic, & Brat sales in Eagle River & Minocqua, Parade in St Germain

July: Parade in Rhinelander, speaking to Upward Bound students at Nicolet College, brat sale in Rhinelander, summer raffle ticket sales at Heritage Fest, Kentuck Days and Pig in the Pines

August: Summer raffle ticket sales at Ridikulus Dae, Paul Bunyan Fest &Potato Fest, brat sales in Antigo and Tomahawk, 3 day rummage sale

September: Closets to Cash & raffle sales at Beef-A-Rama

October: Raffle winners drawn at Cranberry Fest, bake sale at Farmer’s Market & speaking engagements at Knight of Columbus & PEO

November: Soup for Shelter in Rhinelander

Other changes that occurred in 2014 saw Frederick Place get a new roof and the remodeling of the upstairs bathroom & laundry room. These changes were made possible by a generous donation given to NATH from St Mathias Thrift Shop in Minocqua.

As I look to the future and what 2015 will bring it will include many of the same fundraising events. However we will add a new event in October which will be a partnership with the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry and the Rhinelander Chamber of Commerce. Watch in the coming months for more details on this fun and exciting event.

The NATH board will see changes due to the passing of Barb Hilleque, and the moving of John Larson and Pam Pedersen. We welcome two new board members, Bob Wolf and Barb Mather.

My professional goals for 2015 include:

1) Increasing the number of speaking engagements that I and board members present

2) Seeing the number of volunteers increase including the number of youth involved

3) Continuing to make a difference

On behalf of the NATH Board of Directors, Frederick Place Staff and myself I want to thank you for your continued partnership and support. I am excited to see what 2015 will bring as I watch this amazing organization filled with wonderful people continue to grow.


Tammy Modic
- NATH Executive Director