Susan (Sue) Rieple Graf, Executive Director
Every human being deserves acceptance, love, respect and dignity. I have personally experienced childhood trauma and poverty and many friends and family members cared for me. I believe the sum of my life experiences has prepared me for this mission.
I have lived in the Coulee Region for most of my life. I attended local schools and am a Viterbo University alumnus. My professional work experience includes banking, church office/ministry and special education. I have volunteered in my church and community in many roles. I am a Christian and try to live out my faith.
I began to volunteer with the homeless community 10 years ago and eventually made a career change to serve as Coordinator of the Franciscan Hospitality House, a daytime drop-in center for homeless and other marginalized individuals. The Center closed in March, 2020, just prior to Covid. Members of the homeless community were left outside and were hungry and needed help. I began to care for them daily, building positive relationships, providing supplies to meet immediate needs, serving with compassion and without judgement. WINN, inc. was formed to continue this mission into the future.
WINN, inc. gives hope to people who are struggling, helps them meet basic needs and connects them with housing, jobs and other needed resources. WINN, inc. depends on financial support to continue to provide for our unsheltered and marginalized neighbors.
Check us out in the Coulee Region Women's Magazine, WEAU 13 news, and the La Crosse Tribune!
WINN, Inc. Board of Directors
The board of directors for WINN is a group of individuals from varying walks of life. We have all had our boots on the ground serving the homeless community. We seek to positively impact our community and its most vulnerable members.
I worked at a local pharmacy that served a diverse community in downtown LaCrosse for nearly 30 years. During this time I was able to get to know many of our marginalized and homeless neighbors. Their story is a shared human story of hope, hardship, loss and a desire for connection and belonging. I am involved with WINN to serve others whose life and story is my story too.
I have lived in the la Crosse area my whole life. As a student at UW La Crosse (2009) I discovered I was living in a privileged white bubble. I am a Christian who strongly believes that God wants me to serve the community, particularly the most vulnerable members. God has opened the door for me to be part of WINN and I have been following His lead ever since. I am so excited to be a part of this amazing Mobile Ministry.
I came to La Crosse in 2011 to get clean and sober and unfortunately that did not happen until June, 2016. I was part of the local homeless community for 5 years and felt the love and support of these amazing people. I am now a small business owner and being part of WINN allows me to give back what was so freely given to me.
In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina, I volunteered in the south for almost a year, living in a tent, sleeping in my car or vacant buildings. This experience exposed me to the homeless lifestyle and I feel strongly connected on a personal level to those that live on the street. I have worked with youth ministry, inmates transitioning back into society and those with substance abuse addiction. Helping those who struggle is why I am involved in WINN. I am a small business owner in downtown La Crosse.