Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault and Lily’s House History

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Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault is a non-profit organization providing services for people affected by Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault since 1978.  

1978:  In 1978, Vilas County Probation and Parole officers met with representatives of Lakeland Council on Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse to discuss their concern for the growing number of domestic violence incidents.  The need for additional services for victims and their children was identified as well as the need to coordinate current services to victims.  A self-help group was formed and an educational workshop conducted.   

1979:  In January of 1979, as a result of an organizational meeting addressing domestic violence, a Tri-County Task Force was formed.  Tri-County Council on Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault, Inc. was incorporated as a non-profit organization to serve the needs of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault in Forest, Oneida, and Vilas Counties.  The agency hired two employees.  Women and children in need of shelter were housed in local homes or motels.  

1980:  Tri-County Council rented a shelter home in Rhinelander.

1985:  Through the generosity of an anonymous donor, a shelter house was purchased and occupied in December 1985.  Sexual assault services were added with the financial assistance of a Block Grant.  

1987:  Outreach offices in Crandon and Eagle River were established to provide improved access of services to residents of Forest County and Vilas County.  The shelter building in Rhinelander was remodeled, increasing sleeping quarters and office space. 

1988:  Lily Kongslein joins the Tri-County Council team as a volunteer.  

1990:  The remaining mortgage on the shelter house was satisfied.  Services continued to grow as additional grant funding became available.  

1998:  Additional grants were awarded to Tri-County Council to increase domestic violence services in Vilas and Forest Counties.  Funding was received from the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault to participate in a statewide educational campaign to prevent sexual violence.  

2000:  Improvements were made to the shelter building as the result of grant awards.  The main office was moved from the shelter location, resulting in increased space for residents.  One bedroom on the main level is designated specifically for clients with mobility problems.  The shelter now sleeps 16, plus sleeping quarters for night staff.   

2001:  Additional improvements to the shelter building were made including improved safety features, a dishwasher, a new furnace, and central air conditioning.   

2002:  A surprise donation of Abbot Laboratories stock is received in December.

2003:  Our redesigned website is launched.  A portion of the crumbling original foundation at the shelter is reconstructed. Tri-County Council received funds from Wisconsin Housing Economic Development Authority and Department of Health and Family Services for construction of an addition to the shelter building to accommodate persons with disabilities or over 60 years old.    

2004: Tri-County adds a part time position to work specifically with persons experiencing Abuse in Later Life. Shellie Holmes joins the Tri-County Council team as an Oneida County Domestic Violence/Sexual Assault Advocate.  

2006: With a WHEDA grant, all old windows at the shelter are replaced with new energy efficient, bullet proof windows; new insulation, roofing, and siding is installed. The Board approves Shellie Holmes as the new Executive Director of Tri-County Council.  

2007:  Due to increasing demand for services in the Lakeland area, Board approves pilot program and creates an outreach office in Minocqua. Advocates changed from PC’s to laptops to accommodate more travel and having access at the office in Minocqua.  

2009: TCC applied for and receives a grant from federal stimulus package funds to create a full-time position in Minocqua. The administrative (main) offices moved from their 9-year location at 900 W. Kemp St. to a suite of offices at Hwy. K and 47.  

2012:  After 24 years of volunteer Service Lily Kongslein retired at the age of 90 and the dreams of “Lily’s House” began…  

2013:  TCC partnered with Downtown Rhinelander Inc. to hold the first annual Potato Fest on Labor Day weekend, to benefit TCC and raise funds for “Lily’s House” shelter. In November, the administrative offices were moved as a beginning to transition all our Oneida County services and shelter under one roof.  

2014:  TCC began construction in the spring on remodeling the office portion of the old Marshfield Clinic building. In October, work began on the rest of the building to start the remodel for the new shelter, Lily’s House.  

2015:   A ribbon-cutting ceremony with our namesake, Lily Kongslein, was held in October.  In December, clients began moving into the new shelter.  

2016:  The old shelter at 911 Balsam Street was sold and the transition was complete in bringing all services in Oneida County under one roof at 3716 Country Drive. Angie Fanning joins the team.  

2017:  Tri-County Council joined social media and creates a Facebook page.  

2018:  Tri-County Council mourned the loss of Lily Kongslein.  

2022:   Shellie Holmes retired as the Executive Director, serving since 2006!  

2023:   Angie Fanning became the new Executive Director of Tri-County Council.

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