WAUSAU—A new nonprofit startup that aims to address substance abuse and homelessness in central Wisconsin is seeking donations to build a $2 million facility in rural north central Wisconsin.

The Gospel Transformational Living Center’s sole goal will be to provide a faith-based, long-term, life-transforming program that will address key needs within the community.

According to the Marathon County United Way Life Report for 2020, substance abuse and homelessness are the highest concerns facing our region, it said in a Gospel TLC news release. “Individuals being arrested for felony and misdemeanor drug arrests are on the rise, yet there is currently no community-wide plan to address treatment and recovery for these individuals,” it said.

This new startup’s founder Yauo Yang, who was born in a refugee camp in Thailand, came to the U.S. with his family in 1987. Since then, he has served his country during the Iraq war in 2004-2005, became an educator and now pastors his church, The Cross, in Schofield. His experience in ministering to incarcerated people and involvement with The Joseph Project, which works to get post-incarcerated people back into the workforce, revealed a real problem. 

“We noticed that these people are just slipping through the cracks and nobody is paying any attention,” he said in the release. “There is a lot of hurt and pain in people’s lives and the short-term programs that do exist only goes so far.”

The Gospel TLC hopes to either buy or find a potential donor for a facility in a rural setting within the next two years. The nearest facility of this nature is over 100 miles away in the Chippewa Valley.

Donations can be made at www.gospeltlc.org, or contact Yauo Yang at gospeltlcwausau@gmail.com.