A resident of Tiny House talks about setting his life on the right track after imprisonment |  Sweetened

A resident of Tiny House talks about setting his life on the right track after imprisonment | Sweetened

Dale Kortesmaki is a 54-year-old resident of Chippewa Falls who lives in a small house behind the Landmark Christian Church. The church hosts a few small homes for unsecured dwellings.

I live in a small house. I have been released from prison a little over a year ago now.” “Basically, they put me in a hotel for 30 days, I am from the district and my papers are from the district and there is no home or homeless.”

Kortesmaki met Mike Cohon last year. Cohoon helps oversee the tiny house community in Hope Village.

“Mike helped me get into a small home program which has been a very big blessing. I have also worked on the program. I had four things that I wanted to personally work on… to change my life mentally, physically, spiritually and financially. This is as basic as I can get and keep done so I don’t dive into rabbit pits,” he said. “So, if you keep it that way, that’s all the whole village program pays for and helps you get.”

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Kortesmaki said he decided to put his life back on track after spending some time in prison. He said he knew he had a long way to go – trying to find work, settle down and stay sober were some of the terrifying goals at the time.

Before going to prison, he ran a very successful carpentry construction business for 16 years. He said: But he drank. And when he drank he became a different person. When he and his ex-wife divorced, he said he had a very hard time.

“I was very lost and broken,” he said. “I just need someone who believes in me and gives me a chance.”

Kortesmaki said he believed the Lord had brought him to Hope Village.

“I have a lot of violence on my record. When I drink I become a completely different person. So looking at that, it’s hard, you know, that’s the way people look at you,” he said.

“I have a record so people don’t basically rent me out. So it was a challenge.”

He said he was trying to make better choices and not repeat the mistakes of the past.

“When I met Mike Cohoon, he took the time to hear my short story and direct me to the right resources I needed to get my life back together. I had to interview Mike to explain that it’s not me, you know? That’s me going through some tough times, and I’ve been through it. I did, “He said. “However, I am ready to make a difference in my life. And I needed someone to trust and believe in me. And Michael was there and heard me speak from my heart.”

Kortesmaki said living in the Hope Village Tiny Houses was wonderful, providing him with a sense of security and stability.

“You taught me self-esteem and accountability,” he said.

“I used to think that homelessness, poverty and food insecurity happened to people who just made bad decisions or didn’t want to work, but that’s not true at all. These problems can happen to anyone, at any time. They are people who just need help for one reason or another. It shouldn’t matter why or how they ended up in their situation.”

Kortesmaki said he hopes to continue to be a good person. For him, that means serving others, volunteering, and sharing his story.

“This is an achievement, an achievement, and it has given me that opportunity. The last thing I want to do is disappoint or let him down. And I want to be able to be an inspiration to others out there who are in this scenario,” he said.

He said Hope Village provided Kurtmäki with the tools, support, information, guidance and love he needs to be successful.

“I was able to get a good paying job. I like that I can also pay my bills and help me save (money). There are so many things that have improved in my life with the help of Hope Village. I am learning to live my life fully and work through daily challenges as they arise. “.

Kortesmaki said he didn’t want to mislead people. The Small Homes Program is a business. There is a lot of personal responsibility and initiative associated with living there.

“I make it look easy because I really want it bad. But there is structure behind all the village business. There is help. There is guidance. There is a program you have to do and follow,” he said. NA. It’s just life saving.” He said.

Kortesmaki is moving out of state to live near his daughter. He plans to move out of the tiny house once he has all his papers in order to leave the country legally.

“I will forever be grateful to Hope Village. I needed someone to believe in me when I didn’t even believe in myself, and that Hope Village was a beacon of light.”

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