The Family Resource Centers are a place where families can come to have fun, learn and grow. Many different programs and activities are provided through the Family Resource Centers. All services are free and are provided in a warm friendly environment. Staff are available to answer questions or provide resources to help families with many of the issues we all face raising children.
In 1995, Renewal Unlimited became one of only 68 agencies in the United States asked to develop an Early Head Start program. Each year since then, we have provided comprehensive services at no cost to over 75 low-income pregnant women, infants, toddlers, and their families. Early Head Start sites are based in the Family Resource Centers of Adams, Columbia, Dodge, Juneau, and Sauk counties. Early Head Start’s programming is similar to Head Start’s; however, family services begin before birth.
Renewal was awarded an Early Head Start Expansion Grant in December, 2008 through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. This grant allowed us to serve an additional 70 pregnant women, infants and toddlers in the five county service area. Seven new Family Advocates were hired in February 2009. There was one Family Advocate at each of the Family Resource Centers of Adams County, Columbia County and Dodge County. Two Advocates were placed in Juneau County and additional two Advocates were placed in Sauk County. The Early Head Start Expansion Grant was funded for a period of two years. In 2011, it became a permanent part of Renewal’s Early Head Start Program.
The Housing Services program serves households with low to moderate income. Renewal provides a variety of housing programs including down payment and gap financing for individuals or families purchasing a home. Other housing programs offer rental assistance for rent and security deposits, utility assistance, foreclosure assistance, assistance in finding affordable housing, finance counseling, and assistance for those individuals or families who are homeless.
Through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, Renewal purchases foreclosed homes, rehabilitates them to safe housing standards, and then sells the homes to low- to moderate-income individuals and families.
Assistance is provided in the form of a 0% interest loan. The loan is paid back when the home buyer sells the home in the future or no longer lives in the home as their primary residence. The maximum monthly rental allowance, and the annual income limits are listed on the housing information pages of this website. Click here to view the income eligibility chart.
Head Start is a federally funded program offered to families who have a child 3-5 years of age and who meet income guidelines within the counties of Adams, Columbia, Dodge, Juneau and Sauk. We believe all families need and deserve support and respect as their child’s first teacher. We strive to meet all the developmental needs of children and families including educational, health, nutrition, social-emotional, emotional, and special needs concerns. We assist families in gaining the opportunities they need to succeed through linking families to community resources and continuous parent involvement. Services are provided through center-based programs and home visitation programs.
In 1999, Renewal Unlimited was chosen to replicate Operation Fresh Start’s nearly three decades of success in Dane County. Eligible Columbia County youth aged 17-24 who have had difficulty in a traditional academic setting will receive individualized tutoring to complete a GED or HSED – while learning general workplace skills and construction techniques as they remodel or build a single family house! Participants are paid Renewal Unlimited employees, as part of the AmeriCorps Program, are eligible for a significant grant toward further education and training. Renewal proudly has two Fresh Start crews in Portage.