Madison shelters will not turn homeless away for overnight stays during heat wave

Madison shelters will not turn homeless away for overnight stays during heat wave
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Madison area homeless shelters have issued a weather exception due to extreme temperatures. From Tuesday until Monday, homeless shelters will not turn anyone away, in some cases even if they’ve already reached their limit on stays at the facility.

“Both Porchlight and The Salvation Army normally limit the number of stays at their facilities to 90 days per calendar year,” Joel Girard, the lead guest service specialist, said. “But even if someone has exceeded that number of days they can still get a bed.”

On Monday, Girard said the number of people asking for a bed exceeded the number of spots available, so local nonprofit Friends of the State Street Family quickly raised the funds to place 11 families in area hotels.

The Salvation Army says it will provide overflow spots for single females but is unable to accommodate additional families due to lack of space and overheating.

Madison homeless shelters will not turn anyone away for the next week due to extreme heat. @DaneCountyEM recommends people check on neighbors (especially the ones that keep to themselves) during the heatwave. “You don’t have to like them, you do have to make sure they’re safe.”

— Keely Arthur (@news3keely) July 16, 2019

The Beacon is handing out additional water and partnered with Goodman Community Center to allow homeless families free visits to the Goodman Pool.

Girard said there is a chance emergency shelters will open later this week, much like they do in the winter to meet the need. The Beacon hosted Wisconsin Access last week to talk to clients about staying safe in the heat.

Dane County Emergency Management is asking everyone to stay in a cool area during peak sun hours, drink two to four cups of water per hour and cool off by taking cold showers. County Officials recommend visiting public places that are air-conditioned, like the library or mall.

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