Catholic Charities, Bethel Lutheran join forces to aid homeless Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- Bethel Lutheran Church and Catholic Charities Madison have announced a new partnership to support the homeless through a joint operation of the Winter Day Resource Center, expanding services from two days to five, at 312 Wisconsin Ave., in downtown Madison.

The Church Council at Bethel Lutheran Church, with the Board of Directors at Catholic Charities, voted in favor of operating the Winter Day Resource Center as partners, which will allow expansion from the current Tuesday and Thursday, to Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Nov. 1 through March 31, 2017.

The center expects to serve more than 70 people every weekday during the winter months.

“We are called to make a difference,” Bethel Lutheran Church Senior Pastor Scot Sorensen said. “And by taking what we’ve learned over the past years of offering these services, by partnering with Catholic Charities, we will be able to do so much more together this winter,” he added.

The goals for this partnership include providing support for those suffering from poverty, offering refuge from the winter elements, providing referrals to appropriate services as needed by each individual, and building trusting relationships.

“It is our mission to serve the poor and vulnerable. We look forward to working shoulder to shoulder with everyone at Bethel, while helping the community with this important effort,“ Catholic Charities Madison President and CEO Jackson Fonder said.

How it will work

The operating partnership has an agreement by Catholic Charities to hire and supervise staff, along with an on-site social worker and security.

Bethel Lutheran Church will provide support services, similar to the outreach provided since 2009, focused on food, hygiene supplies, and other direct assistance items.

An advisory board is being established and will provide general oversight of the partnership in the joint operation of the Winter Day Resource Center.

This partnership supports the mission of Catholic Charities to be a ministry of charity and social justice dedicated to providing help to those in need and hope to those in despair through compassionate, caring service.

Catholic Charities

Catholic Charities Madison serves 20,000 individuals and families in an 11-county area of Southcentral Wisconsin and has been offering programs related to transitions of aging, living with a disability, mental health counseling, marital or family problems, post adoption resources, and help with alcohol or drug abuse since 1946.

The mission of charity is accomplished with the help of nearly 400 employees and more than 1000 volunteers. Catholic Charities serves and employs people regardless of sexual orientation, religious, ethnic, racial, or social background. More information can be found at

Bethel Lutheran

Bethel Lutheran is a vibrant urban congregation of the ELCA. Founded in 1855, the campus is located blocks from the Wisconsin Capitol in Madison. Worship services are held in three languages and broadcast locally.

Through Bethel Horizons, a camp and retreat center near Governor Dodge State Park, thousands experience growth in their faith. Bethel feeds the hungry and welcomes the stranger through dozens of ministries and outreach opportunities locally and globally. More information can be found at

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