In 1992, the Polk County Aging Department began a three-year planning process required by the state of Wisconsin. Part of the planning process was to meet with other county departments serving elderly and disabled people and to identify the unmet needs of this population.
The Elderly Taskforce was established as a result of this meeting. Its purpose was to find ways to fill the “gaps” that were present in the service delivery system already in place. Information regarding a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program called Interfaith Caregivers was presented to the Elderly Taskforce as a way to address some of the problems that existed. Interfaith Caregivers of Polk County, Inc. was conceived as a result.
The Elderly Taskforce then applied for a $25,000 grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This eighteen month grant was awarded in 1995 to start a volunteer caregiving program in Polk County.
- A Board of Directors was established
- Mission Statement and By-laws written
- Articles of incorporation approved for non-profit charitable status 501 (c)(3).
- First full time director, Carol Medchill was hired in December.
Adequate funding for a non-profit is always a concern. The Program Director became a part-time position at the end of the grant. The program transitioned through several directors. For a while, two church coordinators shared the responsibility on a volunteer basis.
- Board member, Shirley Johnson, was hired and worked 10 hours per week as director.
- The Office was a 200-square- foot donated space in the Uhrhammer Insurance Agency in St. Croix Falls.
- Current program director Karen Krupa was hired in June for 20 hours/week. The budget for the year was $15,000. Kay Foulke volunteered to help in the office.
- The Director’s hours were expanded to 30 hrs/week as the program received more donations and added more clients and volunteers.
- In September, we moved our office to Balsam Lake in the Polk Business Center. We rent approximately 800 square foot room.
- In October, the office moved to a larger facilities at the EMS/Ambulance Building in Milltown.