Name chosen for homeless day resource center Print E-mail
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, May. 11, 2017 -- 12:00 AM
the beacon
Partners in the homeless day resource center project gather to announce its name as “The Beacon” during a press conference on May 2 in Madison. Pictured from left are: Dane County Executive Joe Parisi, Catholic Charities of Madison President and CEO Jackson Fonder, President and CEO of United Way of Dane County Renee Moe, president of J.H. Findorff & Son Inc. Dave Beck-Engel, and Madison Deputy Mayor Katie Crawley. (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

MADISON -- “The homeless day resource center will be known as . . . The Beacon.”

The words of Catholic Charities of Madison President and CEO Jackson Fonder marked the next step in the project to open said resource center near downtown Madison.

The name was announced at a May 2 press conference at the United Way of Dane County in Madison.

The announcement came after more than 400 people submitted naming ideas online and more than 400 people voted on the name finalists, which were: The Beacon, The Net, The Opportunity Place, and The Turning Point Center.

At the press conference, Fonder said “The Beacon” was submitted first by former Catholic Charities board member Diane Ballweg. Other people also submitted the name as an idea later in the process.

Working together

Joining Fonder at the press conference was Renee Moe, CEO of United Way of Madison.

Moe celebrated the resource center project as the “power of many working for all,” acknowledging the collaboration among Catholic Charities, United Way, Dane County, the city of Madison, and other local organizations.

“When we’re looking to end family homelessness and end homelessness across our community, we all know it takes many partners coming together,” added Moe. “Lining up these resources in a strategic, efficient, and effective way will be really important . . . [and it] allows a clear front door to link all these services together.”

Dane County Executive Joe Parisi called The Beacon “an example of what can happen when people come together with the object of making a difference in people’s lives and helping our neighbors who have fallen on hard times.”

Parisi praised the collaboration among all of the organizations, calling it “a broad partnership with a shared goal” and added that “people can get better, people can get back on their feet, people deserve a second chance.”

About The Beacon

When Fonder revealed “The Beacon” as the name of the new homeless day resource center, reflecting on the meaning of the word “beacon,” he said, “This a beautiful and hopeful image. It is the light of hope and it represents a guide.”

“A beacon does not force you to change course. You must change your own course, but it does show you the way . . . The Beacon means you’re not alone . . . someone else cared enough to create a signal so you could be safe.”

The Beacon is scheduled to open in October at 615 E. Washington Ave. in Madison.

It will offer a variety of services, such as case management, housing assistance, laundry, showers, and short-term storage.

When opened, it is expected to serve more than 100 people a day at the start. That is the number of homeless currently being served by a collaboration of Catholic Charities and Bethel Lutheran Church in Madison at its day resource center.

The goal of The Beacon, said Fonder is to “get people out of homelessness.”

For more on The Beacon, go to

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