Jessica Kaehny of Hope House speaks to Optimist Club
Jessica Kaehny of Hope House spoke to the Sauk Prairie Optimists on November 14. Jessica, an 11 year veteran of the Hope House staff, stated that the Hope House shelter, which most people are familiar with, is the smallest part of what they do. The shelter provides short term emergency housing, has a capacity of 21, and has separate rooms, shared bathrooms and a community kitchen and dining room. The shelter is open for abused individuals and families with children. They moved to their current location in 2010. With 15 on staff, the most important part of their work is systems work. Hope House staff work to implement victim's services, hold perpetrators accountable and raise awareness of the problem. They have a sexual assault response team and an interdisciplinary team that address’s elderly abuse. At Sauk Prairie High School and Middle School they speak to Health classes, work with the Bridges group, are involved in Project Girl, work with coaches, and more. Funding for the Hope House program comes from the Victims of Crime Act (VOCA), the Sexual Assault Service grant, the Wisconsin Department of Health, Sauk County, and fundraising. They also work closely with Sauk Prairie Healthcare and St. Vincent de Paul of Sauk City.
The Optimist Club of Sauk Prairie meets on Wednesdays at 7 a.m. (noon the first Wednesday of the month) in the River Room of the Blue Spoon. New members and visitors are always welcome!