Holidays can be tough for those facing hard times, who may not have family nearby or even a home to celebrate in. At Rhinelander’s homeless shelter, community members and staff are doing their best to make Christmas a festive time.
Paper snowmen grace the windows at Frederick Place, and ornaments adorn a Christmas tree in the living room. Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing Director Tammy Modic says all the decorations are donated.
“The spirit of giving has been just amazing. From the Christmas tree being decorated by residents, from an actual live tree being donated and decorated by high school students outside. The stocking’s are hung in the office…I mean there’s just lots of things happening right now. ”
Modic says lots of food donations arrive at this time of year, as do gifts for residents of all ages.
“To be able to share that joy with them is just as important. The Northland Pines girls basketball team just dropped off ice scrapers and coffee mugs, or thermal mugs.”
Other practical gifts have included thermal long underwear, and gift cards for gas.
Frederick Place can house up to 16 people, and right now it’s about halfway full. One resident, Bob says he’s been staying here for about a month. And he’s grateful to have a place to go during the holidays.
“If you’re by yourself and without a home. I was staying in my car. This is a lot – there’s people around. Warm place to stay. Someone to share the holidays with, kind of.”
Dinner is served communally every night at Frederick Place, and this year Christmas will be no exception. A local family is donating the holiday meal on the 25th.