Porchlight providing warm stay for local homeless population amid frigid temps

MADISON, Wis. — For Kevin Butler, shelter is an opportunity to survive.

“It means a tremendous amount, and I’d like to compliment the city of Madison and anyone else behind the east side men’s shelter,” Butler said.

With bitterly cold temperatures expected overnight, Porchlight’s east side men’s shelter provides that roof.

“This shelter has provided a support to a couple of hundred guys that need it,” Butler said.

On a normal night, the shelter hosts around 120 people, Feras Feras, Porchlight’s assistant manager, said. On a cold weather night, that number usually grows to 160 people due to exceptions made for troublesome behavior.

“Basically we relaxed the rules so people that wouldn’t be allowed in due to troublesome behavior, we place them in the recovery room and have a specialist monitoring them,” Feras said.

While it is not ideal to relax rules, Feras believes it is needed to keep as many people as possible safe.

“Sometimes it’s life or death. Really what we are trying to do is support them to the best possibility that they can be as an individual and every single human being should be trying to do that for themselves, “he said.

To learn more about Porchlight’s services, click here.