Fresh Start

The Western Dairyland Fresh Start Program helps build strong communities by involving at-risk young adults, ages 17 to 25, in the construction and rehabilitation of homes in western Wisconsin. When completed, the houses are sold to income-eligible families in the community.

During the course of the program, the young adults gain valuable skills, perform community service, and prepare for post-secondary education and/or careers. At first glance, they're learning how to build homes. Take a closer look and you'll see they are actually rebuilding their lives. Since 1998, hundreds of young adults have gone through the program and 87% have completed the program successfully.

Fresh Start combines classroom instruction to help the youth complete studies for their high school diplomas, GED or HSED with other educational goals including independent living skills and the actual "hands on" construction work. All program participants are AmeriCorps members, and an hourly wage is paid for construction work. The most important goal of the project is to help youth find their way toward self-sufficiency and build self-esteem through accomplishment, while staying on the path to success.

Recent News

Program Offers Youth a Fresh Start
Mondovi Herald-News, August 1, 2013

Building a Better Future
WEAU TV-13, July 10th, 2014

Program Helps Rebuild Lives
WEAU TV-13, July 30th, 2015


For the current program year, we are asking the business community of western Wisconsin to pull together to support Fresh Start through sponsorships. We hope to develop and maintain strong, on-going relationships with businesses in our service area. Learn more.

Contact Fresh Start

Fill out an application or contact our office in Eau Claire for more information.

418 Wisconsin Street
Eau Claire, WI 54703
Ph: 715-836-7511 ext. 1130


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