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Nicolet College - Nicolet College, Rhinelander School District employees donate to homeless shelter

Nicolet College, Rhinelander School District employees
raise money for homeless shelter


A friendly challenge between employees at Nicolet College and the Rhinelander School District has raised more than $2,500 for NATH, a community organization seeking to purchase a homeless shelter in Rhinelander.

Even though the school district beat out the college $1,318 to $1,200 in employee donations, “the challenge was still a great success,” said Nicolet College President Elizabeth Burmaster, who tendered the challenge to Dr. Roger Erdahl, Rhinelander School District superintendent. “The goal was for each to raise $1,000. We are very happy to have exceeded that.”

The college and the school district became involved with NATH, the Northwoods Alliance for Temporary Housing, after each realized the benefits to students, said Sharon Gobert, Nicolet counselor and one of NATH’s founding members.

“The reality is there are students and families in the Northwoods who are homeless,” Gobert said. “We see them every semester. By helping provide these individuals with housing, we are hoping to increase their chances of academic success, which translates into success in life.”

Gobert added that it’s understandable to think that there is not a problem with homelessness in the Northwoods. “The signs are not as obvious as they are in big cities,” she said. “We don’t see people sleeping on park benches or in doorways. The homeless in this area are a hidden population. But it becomes apparent in the school systems when we ask someone for their address and they don’t have one.” Many sleep in vehicles or, when they can, shuffle from one friend’s house to the other, she explained.