‘We have to do better’: City of Madison contracts Catalyst for Change to connect with homeless population

MADISON, Wis.– No work day looks the same for John Adams and Michael Moody.

“We’re out here checking, making sure no one is out here, and if they are, they know they can go into shelter tonight,” Moody said during a Facebook live post.

The co-founders of Catalyst for Change Inc. dedicate each evening to connecting and building relationships with Madison’s homeless population.

“We pick an area to start with and we’ll connect with each individual in that area,” Adams said. “We’ll, in a sense, go to people’s tents, go to their little shacks or whatever they may have.”

The duo has a long list of experience doing this, most recently at The Beacon. Now contracted by the city, Catalyst for Change Inc. aims to be a point of contact between those in need and the city’s many service providers.

“We bring the services to them at the ground level because we understand the transportation and a lack of trust issues that many people face,” Adams said.

COVID-19 consolidated homelessness and made it more visible, but Adams fears it will only get worse.

“When the moratorium on evictions, things like that end, that’s when you’ll really see an influx,” Adams said.

Their work takes time.

“We sometimes feel like broken angels,” Moody said,

It’s not always easy.

“It is a challenging situation. How do you keep things going and keep people warm and survive out here and, at the same time, keep them safe,” Moody said in a Facebook live post.

It can’t be solved alone.

“These are our sons, our daughters, our mothers, our aunts, our uncles,” Adams said. “We have to do better as a community.”