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A group called 'The neighborhood' is helping unhoused neighbors in Manitowoc

Posted at 5:29 PM, Jun 07, 2024

MANITOWOC (NBC 26) — Adequate and safe housing remains a national problem, including right here on the Lakeshore. But one local group aims to help our neighbors here.

  • Manitowoc Warming Shelter director, Matthew Sauer has teamed up with other shelters to provide more affordable housing.
  • The current plan is for the McKinley Building to be transformed into housing.
  • Sauer said it is his goal to make Manitowoc the kindest community in Wisconsin.

(The following is a transcription of the full broadcast story)

Pastor Matthew Sauer runs the manitowoc warming shelter. He hopes to use a historic school building, McKinley Academy, to help.

"We're making a difference at being a compassionate community,” Sauer says. “In Manitowoc, a lot of folks have been students here, they taught here."

Sauer tells me Manitowoc is behind in affordable housing needing 150 more units.

"So, if this is able to put 25 or so of those units, I mean we're beginning to put a dent in that number,” Sauer said.

There's no final deal yet to buy the building.

But the Manitowoc Warming Shelter, Hope House, and The Haven run by Michael Ethridge, are teaming up to get it done.

"It was time for us to all come together and make an impact on homelessness,” Ethridge said.

The group is called 'The Neighborhood.'

Ethridge says that the units will be used, in part, for transitional housing after someone is ready to move out of a shelter.

"Housing is the key,” says Ethridge. “So, The Neighborhood is going to provide those extra units to help those in need for affordable housing."

Both Ethridge and Sauer call this a huge project both for those in need and all of Manitowoc.

"To use this to better our community!”, Sauer said. “Wouldn't it be incredible if Manitowoc was known as the kindest place in Wisconsin?"

If they're able to finalize the purchase, Sauer hopes to begin renovations by the beginning of 2025. He says in the meantime, they will be aiming to raise between $8million and $12million.