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   About Us: History

For 25 years, Tri-County Council has been helping victims of Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault through a variety of services including shelter, legal advocacy and counseling - all free of charge to those in need.

Formed in the late-1970's, Tri-County Council has evolved over the years to continually offer the services and support that our clients deserve and need.

Take a journey back with us...


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.


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 and 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.


Tri-County Council rented a shelter home in Rhinelander.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


Additional improvements to the shelter building were made including improved safety features, a dishwasher, a new furnace, and central air conditioning. In the summer months, air conditioning is a critical issue when the security system is activated and all windows must remain closed.


Today Tri-County Council remains an integral part of our local community, providing comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence and/or sexual assault. There is no charge for services.