Community service projects are a key component of CAP Services’ Fresh Start Program in Waupaca.
This year, the Fresh Start crew’s helped with the Miracle Tree.
The crew spent the day Wednesday, Dec. 18, helping pack Christmas presents for area families.
“Our current crew represents a cross-section of youth who have had trouble in school or with the law, and who have been challenged with poverty situations and difficulties finding jobs,” said Clif Morton, program coordinator. “Giving back to the community is one of the many ways our program helps participants better themselves, their families, and the community.”
Fresh Start averages more than one community service project every month.
Other recent projects include deconstructing a building for the Mosquito Hill Nature Center, and doing two Adopt-a-Highway sections along State Highway 54 and State Highway 22.
Fresh Start hopes to soon begin a large Eco Park project in Waupaca.
The program serves drop out and at-risk youth, ages 17 to 24, along with young people coming directly from Department of Corrections programs.
Fresh Start provides job training, educational programing, career skill development and connections to a caring community of staff and volunteers anxious to help young people achieve their future goals.
Participants typically stay in the program for up to a year while they finish educational goals, learn construction skills and position themselves for full-time employment or higher education.
Fresh Start project years typically align with the school year. This year, the program has helped transition three youth into full-time employment.
“We have been working carefully to build our crew and keep them focused on the goals they have identified,” Morton said. “We have a great group that is willing to work hard and we have a terrific site-manager, Bob Wiseman, who has excellent knowledge of both construction and young people.”
The Fresh Start crew is currently building its sixth home in the Eastgate Subdivision of Waupaca at 2260 Mayek Drive.
The homes Fresh Start builds offer opportunities for low- and moderate-income families in the area.
As part of CAP Services’ mission to “bring about a permanent increase in the ability of low-income individuals to become economically and emotionally self-sufficient,” Fresh Start homes are sold to individuals and families with incomes that normally do not offer the opportunity for home ownership.
Currently there are two Fresh Start homes for sale in the Eastgate subdivision. Fresh Start houses are listed with either the Pietsch Team at First Weber Realty or Shambeau and Thern Real Estate. For more information, contact Nancy Thiede at 715-343-7108.