Dane County prepared to help homeless this winter

Salvation Army, Porchlight offer shelter to people in need
Dane County prepared to help homeless this winter

With bitter cold temperatures forecast to strike this week, Dane County officials said the county is prepared to make sure the homeless currently living on the streets will have a safe and warm place to stay this winter.

Dane County’s Homeless Service Manager Casey Becker said women and families can seek shelter at The Salvation Army while men can reach out to Porchlight if they do not have a place to stay. To get those in need to shelter and services, including showers at the Catholic Multicultural Center and case managers at the library, the county has partnered with the city and Porchlight to provide transportation.

“And there’s always van service available to make sure people can get from downtown where those shelter services are centrally located out to Hospitality House during the day if they need another place to be during the day,” Becker said.

The county’s far-reaching goal is to purchase, renovate and transform the Hospitality House into a single homeless shelter and service location, Becker said.

“So that if people have a job search, they can come in, meet with a person who can connect them to employment or help connect them to housing. At the same time they can do their laundry. Or they can store their possessions or valuables in one place,” Becker said.

While the county would like to have that up and running by July of 2015, a town of Madison lawsuit has created uncertainty about the project’s future.