The Hannah Center Seeks Support for Wisconsin Rapids Expansion

MARSHFIELD, WI (OnFocus) The Hannah Center is looking for support from the Wisconsin Rapids and Marshfield communities as it explores the possibility of a second location.

For 25 years, the Hannah Center has helped women in crisis develop the skills and confidence to strive toward a successful future, breaking the cycle of poverty and abuse. The nonprofit operates without state or government funding, instead relying on funds donated by the community to fulfill its mission. Its service area covers Wood County and occasionally out of state.

The Hannah Center was approached last August by community leaders of Wisconsin Rapids about expanding its services.

“We determined that we would love to expand our mission, because an expansion of our mission would only further assist women and children in crisis,” said Tricia Fancher, Program Coordinator. “I hear leaders and community members in Wisconsin Rapids all the time indicating there’s a problem here and we need to do something about this. This is the Hannah Center’s opportunity to extend our hand.”

As a resident of Wisconsin Rapids herself, Fancher is aware of the problems the community faces. A homeless count conducted last July indicated a rise in the city’s homeless population. Nearly ⅔ of households in poverty in Wisconsin are headed by single women.

The nonprofit has partnered with Three Bridges Recovery, a treatment center for addiction whose mission is complementary to The Hannah Center’s, to educate others about their efforts to address these problems. Ideally, the treatment center would have office space in the new location.

“A lot of our women that we’re serving are facing addiction issues, so it would be bolstering the support system for the women that we serve as well as for the clients that Three Bridges serves,” explained Fancher.

The Hannah Center assists four long-term women and one short-term woman at any time, with “graduation” from the program typically in 8-10 months. During that time, women are taught life skills and individually assisted on their journey to recovery. Sometimes the waiting list extends to as many as 13 women, some from Wisconsin Rapids.

The second location would offer a duplication of those services. The new space would have at least seven bedrooms, four office spaces, three full bathrooms, a two-car garage, storage spaces, and a large basement or lower level for Hannah’s Caring Closet, which offers free children’s items to any family in need.

A total of $200,000 is needed for a new location and then five year’s worth of operating costs, for a total of $1 million, to give The Hannah Center a stable foundation in which to build relationships and ensure sustainability. Individuals, churches, businesses, and organizations can all get involved in this campaign.

To learn more and ask questions, an informational Roast Beef for a Reason event will be held March 30, 12-2 p.m. at the McMillan Library at 490 E. Grand Avenue in Wisconsin Rapids. Arby’s roast beef and refreshments will be served.

Donations to the campaign can be completed via the account at Valley Communities Credit Union, by mail (The Hannah Center, 212 E. 3rd Street, Marshfield WI, 54449. Memo: Wisconsin Rapids), or online at

For more information, call The Hannah Center at 715-387-6300.

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