Fresh Start

Fresh Start provides education, employment skills and career direction for young adults by involving them in the construction of a new house. When completed, the house is sold to an income-eligible family in the community.

Interested in joining? Apply online here!

During the course of the program, the young adults gain valuable skills, perform community service, and prepare for post-secondary education and/or careers. The most important goals of the project are to build self-esteem and help young adults become self-sufficient.

The Participants
The young adults who participate in the Fresh Start program are ages 16 to 25 and may have a variety of barriers to selfsufficiency. A majority of program participants have dropped out of high school or are struggling to finish high school. As stated in the program name, they’re looking for a fresh start.

The Program
Participants work together for 32 hours each week (Monday - Thursday) and over the course of one year, they will be involved in every phase of new home construction. In addition to this hands-on learning experience, part of each day is devoted to education. Participants will complete classes leading to a high school diploma, GED, or HSED. Chippewa Fresh Start also provides the resources and support needed to stay on the road to success including leadership development, substance abuse education, motivation, health and nutrition training, independent living skills, career planning and job search assistance. Members are paid a daily living allowance during their term.

The Outcome
These young adults, their families and the entire community benefit from the program. Upon successful completion of a 900 hour AmeriCorps term, each participant will receive a Pre-Apprenticeship Certificate from the Home Builders Institute (HBI), and an AmeriCorps education award. The goal is for each young adult to be fully employed or enrolled in postsecondary education when they leave the program.

To Apply
We are currently full for the 2023-2024 program year, which goes through August 31, 2024.

If you are interested in applying for the 2024-2025 program year:

Fall Semester (September 2024)
Accepting applications May 13, 2024 - August 2, 2024

Spring Sememster (January 2025)
Accepting application September 2, 2024 - November 29, 2024

The application process includes an application, two in-person interviews, and participation in a Volunteer Week.

How to Enroll

Apply online here!

Western Dairyland EOC Inc.
418 Wisconsin Street,
Eau Claire, WI 54703
phone: 715-836-7511

Funded in part by:


United Way of the
Greater Chippewa Valley

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