Hope does shine at The Beacon Print
Written by Mary C. Uhler   
Thursday, Oct. 04, 2018 -- 12:00 AM

The Beacon is the homeless day resource center located in downtown Madison at 6:15 E. Washington Ave. It is operated by Catholic Charities Madison in cooperation with the City of Madison, Dane County, and many other organizations.

Doing an outstanding job

After getting reports on what’s been happening at The Beacon, I am very impressed! The Beacon has been doing an outstanding job of helping families, children, and individuals who are experiencing homelessness.

The Beacon serves over 175 people each day during its hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week, 365 days a year. The Beacon provides guests with a wide range of services in a safe, warm, and welcoming environment.

What was so sad to hear was that 28 percent of the homeless in our community are children. I can’t imagine a child having no place to eat, study, play, or even sleep.

Helping families find housing is just one of the services provided at The Beacon. From January 1 to July 31 of 2018, a total of 108 guests at The Beacon found housing.

Another 192 guests obtained a job. In order to help people find a job, The Beacon provides showers and clean clothes so they can be presentable when going for a job interview or to work. The Beacon also helps those seeking a job by providing them with the use of a computer, phone, and access to a mail center to make communication with employers possible.

About showers? In the first six months of the year, people took 7,025 showers at The Beacon, an average of 34 per day. There were also 5,293 loads of laundry done at the center, an average of 25 per day.

The Beacon offers a light breakfast, coffee, and a noon meal every day. As we all know, being too hungry is no way to live!

In addition, The Beacon provides services that address the causes of homelessness with referrals to community services such as mental health counseling, alcohol and drug addiction counseling, and case management.

How you can help

Catholic Charities and The Beacon are doing an excellent job, but they need help. We can become part of the solution to end homelessness in our community.

Here’s how you can help:

• Volunteer. You can work in such areas as being a guest advocate, a computer lab assistant, a team leader, or a center greeter. Volunteers must be age 18 and are required to complete a background check.

• Give. Invest your dollars in The Beacon. It costs $12.50 to help one person per day at The Beacon. Do the math. You can help one person, or 10, or 100. Whatever you can afford. This week’s Catholic Herald includes a donation envelope. Or you can go to The Beacon’s website at www.thebeaconhelps.org to donate. You can also send a check payable to Catholic Charities, Attn. The Beacon, 702 S. High Point Rd., Ste. 201, Madison, WI 53719, or call 608-826-8096.

Hope does indeed shine brightly at The Beacon! We can keep that light shining with our continued support of this Corporal Work of Mercy.