Clothing Closet, Helping Hands and Energy Services Move Offices
Kewaunee County will soon have a one-stop shop for needy families.
The Clothing Closet, Helping Hands Caregivers LLC, and Energy Services for Kewaunee County are all moving to 416 Harrison St. in Kewaunee.
The move is necessary because the old Hillcrest School, where the three agencies are housed, is going to be razed sometime after May 1 to make room for new athletic fields for the Kewaunee School District.
The Clothing Closet provides used clothing, household goods and furniture to needy families in Kewaunee County. While the clothing store had previously given away clothes and other items for free that were donated by the community, this fall they instituted a small charge for the items to begin saving money to pay rent, said Gail Herlache, one of the volunteers. The highest priced items — coats and jeans — are one dollar.
Herlache also took it upon herself to sell some of the clothes and furniture out of her garage last year, raising $600 in just two months, which will also help pay rent in the new building.
The clothing store has about 35 families visit it each week, said Donna Monahan with the Lakeshore Community Pantry, which operates the Clothing Closet. While the food pantry is located at Holy Rosary Parish in Kewaunee, there was no room available for the Clothing Closet.
Many of the Clothing Closet’s customers are single parents with children, disabled individuals, veterans and the elderly living on social security checks, she said.
“We had one woman who had just moved here and didn’t have a crib for her baby,” Herlache said. “She was having him sleep in his car seat.”
The Clothing Closet will be joined by Helping Hands Caregivers, which assists elderly and disabled people, allowing them to stay in their homes by providing in-home nursing care, companionship, patient education and support services, according to Jim LaCourt, president.
Helping Hands serves clients throughout Northeast Wisconsin and its reach has expanded since they acquired Lakeshore Homecare Services several years ago, he said.
The company services about 400 people and employs 50 to 60 people in Kewaunee County, he said.
“We help keep people in their homes,” LaCourt said.
Energy Services of Kewaunee County will also be moving into the new space. The agency provides grants and other services to cover heating costs for low-income individuals. It also provides emergency assistance for those who are low or have run out of fuel oil or gas or are disconnected from their utility service or experiencing problems with their furnaces.
Volunteers from the Dominion Kewaunee Power Station will be helping the Clothing Closet and others with their move, Monahan said. In addition, local boy and girl scout troops will assist with packing items in preparation for the move, she said.
The new space is in an old laundromat owned by Chad Pilgrim who is providing an affordable rent to the three agencies, she said. An Eagle Scout candidate has also volunteered to help with the renovation of the space.
“I am so excited we can continue to do this,” said Monahan. “This is wonderful … being able to help other people,” she said.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press Gazette: Clothing Closet, Helping Hands and Energy Services Move Offices