Warming Center for Homeless seeks volunteers Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Mary C. Uhler, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016 -- 12:00 AM

MADISON -- Catholic Charities Madison is partnering with Bethel Lutheran Church to operate the Warming Center for the Homeless in downtown Madison this winter.

The center is open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Catholic Charities has committed to working at the center on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, said Derrick L. Smith, director of strategic planning and special projects for Catholic Charities. Bethel Lutheran is covering Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Need volunteers

“We need people to volunteer to work, preferably in four-hour shifts from 8 a.m to 12 noon and 12 noon to 4 p.m.,” said Smith.

He explained that the volunteers might do such things as read to people, distribute food, and direct people to other services. “We would like people who are caring, compassionate, and enthusiastic. Sometimes the homeless people just want someone to talk with and listen to them.”

No heavy lifting is involved.

He suggested that retirees and students 18 years or older might be ideal volunteer candidates.

Those interested in volunteering at the warming center must be willing to fill out a volunteer application, be interviewed, undergo a background check, and go through training.

Try it out

Smith suggests that potential volunteers might want to “come and try it out.” He said they could spend one or two hours at the Warming Center to discover whether they’re interested in being a volunteer.

Catholic Charities’ involvement with the Warming Center will be good experience for when they run the Homeless Day Resource Center, which is scheduled to open in the fall of 2017 in downtown Madison.

This center will be open 365 days a year, including holidays. It will provide a variety of services and referrals to homeless persons.

The winter warming center is located at 312 Wisconsin Ave., Madison, WI 53703, phone 608-257-3577.

For more information, contact Derrick Smith at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or at 608-826-8113.

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