In 2014, after the acquisition of the former Marion House assets on Green Bay's west side, the Freedom House Board of Directors considered various options for the use of the structure which formerly housed the Marion House group home. After reviewing the summaries of discussions with the Green Bay and Howard-Suamico school districts along with survey results conducted at the Giving Tree food pantry, the Board of Directors voted to renovate the group home into a Family EnRICHment Center. The Center's purpose aligned with the 2011 Freedom House vision and the needs of the surrounding community. At present, there are little to no available services in the immediate neighborhood to connect at risk families with resources to prevent homelessness or to assist in connecting families to needed support services.
In 2015, Freedom House partnered with Berner Schobers and De Leers Construction to develop conceptual renderings and an estimated renovation budget for the center. Based on the surveys and discussions with school district staff and other community partners, programming could include budget classes, internet access, literacy classes, expanded and affordable laundry services and family programming. It is anticipated that the Center would operate on a part time basis to start and would be staffed by Freedom House's Pre Care Coordinator along with community volunteers and possibly school social workers.
Brown County lacks an adequate inventory of safe, available and affordable housing for families who earn less than fifty (50%) of the area's median income (or $34,250.00). The inability to secure affordable housing greatly inhibits a family's continued journey to self-sufficiency. To that end, Freedom House has considered what our role might be in the future to provide safe, available and affordable housing. In the meantime, Freedom House continues to work to develop relationships with landlords who are willing to work with our families seeking affordable housing as well as serving as a collaborative partner with Ecumenical Partnership for Housing in their long term supportive housing program.