UPDATE ON 706 SOUTH MAIN STREET:
The house was purchased to prevent FFL from turning it into a halfway house for felons. It has been fully renovated as of Sept 2013 with help from the neighborhood and local businesses.
Please visit WWW.706SOUTHMAINSTREET.COM for more information.
An Open Letter To The Board of
The Waupaca Area Community Foundation
September 30, 2013
I find it incredibly disheartening that you have announced another grant to Foundations For Living:
• Foundations For Living: Four transitional living houses in Waupaca, $5,000.
FFL no longer has 4 houses. They have 3, one of which is owned by Robin Madson and her husband through an LLC. Your grant helps them pay themselves for renting that house to FFL. The second is owned by the mayor and his partners and is on Ware St, an already at risk neighborhood made more at risk by that house being used for male felons. You help pay the mayor and his partners.
It is my understanding that St. Mark's Episcopal Church, which owns the third house rented by FFL, is in the process of evicting them for the extreme damage done by FFL's clients to the house that used to be the food pantry.
I bought 706 S Main St to prevent FFL from silently (without notifying the neighborhood as would be required by the state if they were licensed) making that purchase to house 8 male felons which would have had ZERO oversight. How wonderful that would have been: The Triathlon, Strawberry Fest, Fall-O-Rama, hundreds of little children walking to the beach...all past a facility housing 8 male felons - and their buddies - hangin' on the front porch watching it all go by. With NO ONE on the premises responsible for them.
This neighborhood would have been responsible for them - for watching that house since FFL has stated repeatedly that they just place the individuals and those placed are responsible for whatever meager requirements FFL places on them. If these individuals aren't responsible, they are asked to leave. Then where do they go? Do you know?
I have months and months of research and documentation to substantiate what I say here. I know that at least one of your board members is aware of my purchase of the house on S Main St.
How can you continue to fund an organization that is by-passing local people in dire need in favor of recommendations from the state prison and parole board? How can you fund an organization that is so far from its original mission statement of helping the homeless, the abused and children aging out of the foster system?
How can you fund an organization whose current primary mission is bringing felons to Waupaca without any real substantive plan for their entry into our community - one that is possibly not even the community from which they originated?
How can you fund an organization that does not have the experience or the manpower to sufficiently oversee these transitional facilities?
Ask St. Mark's for a tour of the house they rent to FFL. Look at the broken windows that are currently covered in plexiglass (an improvement over the blankets and other random fabrics that used to adorn the gaping holes).
Please reconsider your grant until you have actually looked at what FFL has - or has not - accomplished.
Letter to the Editor of the Waupaca County Post
February 27, 2013
In response to the front page article on Foundations For Living, Waupaca WI
in The Waupaca County Post, Feb. 6, 2013
Where is the oversight behind foundation's plan?
By Annie Hughes
Feb. 27, 2013
In seeking a donation, Foundations For Living has stated their intention of purchasing 706 S. Main St. to replace the two houses they currently run: "We would use this house as a men's transitional living housing facility...for six men receiving housing and services through Foundations for Living."
One house to be replaced, 423 Bailey St., provides "transitional shelter for men who have recently been released from prison." (County Post, Aug. 22, 2012)
According to state regulations, FFL would be required to be licensed for a facility with five beds or more (Their current houses, with three men to a house, are not required to be licensed). Section 50.03 (4) (g), Stats., states that "prior to initial licensure of a CBRF (Community-Based Residential Facility), the applicant for licensure must make a good faith effort to establish a community advisory committee."
In pursuing this location, there has been no public disclosure to the immediate neighborhood of intention.
There has been no offer of documentation of degrees in psychology or social services by house managers or of certifications in the management of such a facility.
Most importantly, there is no documentation of the recidivism rate to success ratio in the two houses they currently run.
By their own admission, "Sometimes, we can help people, sometimes we can't."
In the Feb. 6 County Post article, Robin Madson states, "We would never put anybody in the house who was a threat to the other people living there or to the community."
FFL has only been operating actual housing since late summer 2012.
How can they know the impact on a neighborhood or community after only six months?
How do they know who is a threat and who isn't?
What is their criteria?
What statistics can they offer to show there is no threat?
"Madson stressed the program provides transitional living … at least six months and for no more than two years."
How can an inherently transient facility for ex-convicts be a safe neighborhood addition in a house where oversight is by "house managers … who oversee the residents and their compliance … grandfather figures who focus less on the house rules and more on how the residents are coping with the changes occurring in their lives"?
If FFL's current housing situation is working for their charges and "the goal is that after two years, participants in the program have developed the job skills and personal habits that will allow them to succeed on their own," they should take at least that amount of time to build a foundation of confidence within the community with solid statistics on efficacy and safety before replacing those current locations with a house on the main thoroughfare 500ft from South Park which is, especially in summer, heavily traveled by unattended children on their way to the beach.
Annie is thrilled to be included in
Cedar Grove, New Jersey
A Who's Who of Performers
A collection of pages created by fourth grade Cedar Grove students about the people who made The Meadowbrook famous.
Visit this wonderful site!