The Salvation Army Emergency Shelters are Meeting the Need in Dane County

Feb 12, 2019

Shelter is never the solution to chronic homelessness, but it provides a safe place, a warm bed, and a hot meal for those in need.                                                                                                                                                                

DANE COUNTY, WI – February 12, 2019

The Salvation Army operates Dane County’s only Emergency Family Shelter and Emergency Women’s Shelter in one building on East Washington Ave. Purchased in 1977 after St. Patrick’s Catholic school for boys closed, The Salvation Army immediately set to work incorporating shelter spaces in the gymnasium and on the second floor. Four decades later, the aging building exhibits visible signs of consistently serving over-capacity and general wear and tear.

Yet the impact of this building and its operations- including seven housing programs, two emergency shelters, and two community meals each day- is not measured by the physical marks along its walls, but in the success stories that come out of it. In 2018, the women’s shelter served 473 clients; 28 percent of those leaving shelter were placed in positive housing arrangements. From October to December 2018, 70 percent of families seeking shelter were successfully diverted into stable living arrangements, and 33 of these families were permanently housed.

These successes do not come easily. Limited resources and a building ill-suited for intensive services provide meager support for the symbolic battles faced daily. Chronic homelessness exists due to myriad factors including, but not limited to: prior evictions, lost documentation, substance abuse, and medical or mental health conditions. At The Salvation Army, 15 case managers and three housing and services directors meet clients where they are at, coming alongside them in any way they can help. Staff are there for individuals and families through the success stories and the set-backs, a champion in their corner no matter the adversity ahead.

While the building is in dire need of overhaul remodeling, the programs and services therein are vital this community. Clients of the Army are kept safe, warm, and fed. The shelters, while not a solution to homelessness, meet the immense need in Dane County and will continue to do so until such a need no longer exists. The Salvation Army is here for the long haul, working to build stability and self-sufficiency, and provide a hand up in times of need.

The Salvation Army of Dane County invites those with questions or concerns to call for a guided tour of the building.

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About The Salvation Army:

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination since 1865. Nearly 33 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (Human Locally, 87 cents of every dollar raised is used to support programs and services in Dane County.

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