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Nov. 19 wine tasting to benefit area homeless shelters

The annual wine tasting benefit to help raise money and awareness for homeless shelters in St. Croix and Polk counties will be held from 6-9 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 19, at Ready Randy’s/R&D Catering,1490 131st St., New Richmond.

Music will be provided by “The Rick’s and Gravel Road.”

Over the past 13 years, this event has been an excellent fundraiser for these two shelters that provide emergency housing for the homeless.

Serenity Home and Grace Place are working directly with a rising population of homeless in the state of Wisconsin. Over the last 10 years, the homeless population has increased by 18 percent. Grace Place and Serenity Home are on the front lines in this battle against poverty and are working every day to provide families and individuals a second chance and a hand up. People who stay in the shelters typically stay less than three months. During this time, staff and volunteers provide the tools and moral support our homeless need to reach their individual goals, including finding employment and obtaining necessary medical attention, as well as learning valuable skills helpful in maintaining long-term independence.

Grace Place Shelter is the only homeless shelter serving St. Croix County.

No matter where a family or individual finds themselves homeless — St. Croix County, Polk or Pierce county — they can go to Grace Place, which is also the only shelter in the area that takes on homeless families with children.

Often times homelessness isn’t always visible in this part of the state. Even in bigger cities of the county, such as Hudson, it can be difficult to spot a homeless person on the streets. Unlike metropolitan areas, the local homeless population is hidden.

The number of enrolled students in area districts who are homeless is astounding. The latest numbers available from 2014-15 school year show that 62 students in the Hudson School District were reported as homeless; and these are only those reported. These numbers can often be higher.

In the three counties Grace Place serves, the combined school districts total count is 342 homeless students.

This does not include little brothers or sisters or moms and dads — all of whom are part of the population of homeless living right here in our community. Also not included in this count is our individuals without children who are homeless.

Both Serenity Home and Grace Place work around-the-clock and are staffed 24 hours a day to ensure that families and individuals who need a second chance or a helping hand have that opportunity.

Grace Place Shelter can house up to 64 individuals and is often close to capacity with 20 or more children. Serenity Home shelter is for single individuals, often times with difficult mental health issues. That shelter can house up to 17 individuals at one time and often has a waiting list. With so many in need, your help is needed.

How can you help?

Become a sponsor, donate a silent auction item, attend the event and bring your friends.

If we all work together, we can make an impact on people’s lives for the better. Helping to sponsor or donating to this event is just one of those opportunities.

The wine tasting benefit is a night full of fun for those in attendance who are all coming together for a common cause, but also to have a little fun, too!

Wines sampling, appetizers, desserts, games, raffles, a silent auction, plus of course, live music, are all included in the night.

For more information, call Jackie Rivard with R&D Catering at 715-246-4446, ext. 3, or Angela with Grace Place and Serenity Home Shelters at 715-497-4438.