The Homeless Services Consortium, City of Madison, and Dane County are coordinating efforts with Public Health Madison & Dane County to develop protocols, best practices and next steps for serving people experiencing homelessness during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know that people experiencing homelessness are more vulnerable to infectious diseases and want to provide the most up to date information possible. This guide is intended for homeless services providers to find resources and information on cancellations and closures in one place. It will be updated as new information comes available. Please go to Public Health Madison & Dane County for the most recent information on what is happening in our community.

Local Resources

Dane Country COVID-19 Food Resources

This document outlines food resources available in Dane County. This guide contains information on food pantries and meal programs with recent COVID-19 precautions.

Educational Information

Social Distancing Poster

Outreach Card

Department of Health Services: Tips for Group Settings

Clinic Contact List

Mask Information

Local Guidance

City of Madison COVID-19 Resources

Public Health Madison & Dane County

Self Care during COVID-19

Guidance for Housing Providers

COVID-19 Screener for Housing Providers 

Shelter Guidance

COVID-19 Screener for Shelters

Summary of National Resources

Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD):

Infectious Disease Prevention & Response

Using CoC Program Funds for Infectious Disease Preparedness and Response

Centers for Disease Control (CDC):

Interim Guidance for Homeless Shelters

Interim Guidance for Serving People Experiencing Unsheltered Homelessness

United States Interagency Council on Homelessness:

Webinar – Infections Disease Preparedness for Homelessness Services and their Partners

Resource Page

OrgCode Consulting: Pandemic Planning and Services that Support People Who are Homeless

CSH: What Supportive Housing Providers Need to Know

Harm Reduction Coalition: COVID-19 Guidance for People Who Use Drugs and Harm Reduction Programs

HSC Partner Agency Announcements

HSC Meeting Cancellations

  • Housing Stabilization Case Manager Meetings (Cancelled until further notice)
  • Committee to End Youth Homelessness (Canceled until further notice)
  • Youth Action Board (Canceled until further notice)

Porchlight – Safe Haven

Safe Haven is a day shelter for adults with mental illness on Madison’s east side.  Shelter guests have access to two meals per day, showers, laundry, bus tickets, mail, and phone services. Safe Haven also provides housing-focused case management and crisis stabilization services funded through Medicaid.  The staff specializes in building rapport with vulnerable individuals who may not otherwise engage in mainstream services.

In addition to the daytime drop-in shelter, Safe Haven has 14 single room occupancy units of permanent housing with case management.  These rooms are filled by individuals with mental illness who have used Safe Haven day services.  Residents continue to have access to day services and may be connected to Porchlight’s Crisis Stabilization program in order to address acute crises and to promote recovery and housing stability.

We are located at 4006 Nakoosa Trail, and our phone number is 608-241-9447 x10.

  • Are you still open? Yes
  • What are your hours? 8:30am – 6:00pm every day of the week, excluding holidays.
  • Do you provide overnight shelter? No. We have 14 units of permanent housing on site, all of which are occupied. Guests who are registered with Safe Haven and have appropriate verification of mental health disability on file with us may be added to our housing waitlist. We currently estimate that it may take a year or longer to be offered a unit at Safe Haven off this waitlist.
  • What are you doing in response to COVID-19? Over the past week we have made numerous changes to procedures to try to limit the spread of COVID-19 among the homeless population and in the community in general. These include:
    • All guests are asked to wash their hands immediately upon entering
    • All guests are asked screening questions about their health upon entering; ill guests are assisted with contacting their clinic or the UW COVID-19 hotline and are required to wear a mask
    • Staff are sanitizing high-touch surfaces hourly, or more often as indicated
    • Lunch is being served in to-go containers and the lunch service has been split into two shifts, 11:30am-12pm and 12:30pm-1pm
    • Seating has been rearranged in order to promote social distancing
    • Staff are working with other agencies to best serve potentially ill people as well as those who are especially vulnerable to serious illness due to age and/or chronic illness
  • Is Safe Haven currently able to follow best practices with regards to social distancing? While we are doing what we can to promote social distancing among our guests, residents, and staff, we have a small space and enough daily guests that social distancing is a real challenge. New or returning guests should expect to be an environment with limited opportunity for social distancing if they come to Safe Haven for services.
  • Where can I find more information about Safe Haven in general? Please visit Porchlight’s website: https://porchlightinc.org/safe-haven/
  • Where can I find more information about Safe Haven’s response to COVID-19, especially as things continue to change? Porchlight is frequently updating its website with information about its COVID-19 response across programs. For specific questions, please contact me (Safe Haven manager Liz Duffie) at lduffie@porchlightinc.org with questions.

WisCARES

WisCARES is still open! Here is a short update in case you have clients with needs we can fulfill. Questions? You can email us at wiscares@gmail.com or call (608) 561-7387.

  • We’ve reduced our hours somewhat– Monday 11:00 AM-4:00 PM and Tuesday through Friday 9:00 AM-4:00 PM
  • We’re still taking patients for urgent needs (sick animals or necessary wellness only). Please encourage clients to call before coming in so we can triage over the phone.
  • We’re hoping to keep everyone in pet food, meds, and supplies as much as we can! Are your clients unable to come out to us? Please have them contact us, or contact us on their behalf. We’re happy to drop off supplies to encourage folks to stay healthy and reduce the curve.
  • While we do not currently have staff to handle in-house boarding, our foster program is still up and running. Please have clients who need it contact us to do intake.

Friends of the State Street Family

For the safety of our volunteers and friends, we have modified our street outreach and are now limiting to hospitality tables with resources and supplies and limited outreach utilizing vehicles, healthy social distancing and personal hygiene practices in compliance with CDC best practices. Although we are no longer providing our street outreach in the traditional way, we are dedicated to getting resources to collaborative agencies and friends in the most expedient way possible

Off the Square Club

Closed at this time. Will re-evaluate in a week. 

Dane County Department of Human Services

The department is offering all essential services online or by phone. The Aging and Disability Resource Center and Job Center are now open. In order to maintain social distancing, these sites are limiting the number of visitors in the buildings. All other offices are closed to the public until further notice. Please view future updates at: https://danecountyhumanservices.org/ Dane County Department of Human Services continues to monitor the community response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) global pandemic and is adjusting our approach to delivery of services in Dane County as new information and updated public health guidance is made available.

Dane County Job Center

We’re continuing to support customers remotely in an effort to maintain social distancing. We’re still available to help with career coaching, resource referrals and services information and to help you transition to where you need to be post-coronavirus.

If you or someone you know is in need of assistance, contact a WorkSmart Network staff nearest you.

  • Customers can continue faxing documents for processing. Documents can be faxed to the Centralized Document Processing Unit (CDPU) at (855) 293-1822 (with a document tracking sheet).
  • Applicants/Members are strongly encouraged to use the MyACCESS app to upload documents when possible.
  • Documents can also be mailed to: Centralized Document Processing Unit (CDPU), P.O. Box 5234 Janesville, WI 53547-5234

Domestic Abuse Intervention Services

The DAIS business offices will be closed to the public. Scheduled appointments should report to the 24/7 security entrance. DAIS will not be able to provide any walk-in services for the foreseeable future. Those needing services should contact our 24-hour Help Line at (608) 251-4445. Please note that call volumes may be higher during this time. We appreciate your patience.

Because we wish to respond proactively to the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, and to do our part in controlling the virus’ spread, we are adjusting or suspending several aspects of our typical programs and practices until further notice. DAIS leadership staff will revisit these measures daily and assess the need for maintaining or modifying them based on any new information or directives we receive from public health officials at the local, state, and federal levels.

EATA

Staff will be working remotely but will be accessible by phone and e-mail. For individuals that are involved in a layoff, email dsaba@worksmart.org or rcephas@worksmart.org. For more information about all of our programs and services, they refer to the website: www.eata.org. For individuals interested in enrolling in programs, they can leave a message for:

  • LIFT Dane: (608) 242-4563
  • Children First: (608) 242-4550
  • FSET Re-Entry: (608) 242-7431
  • Windows to Work: (608) 242-4546
  • WorkSmart: (608) 288-2459
  • General Information: (608) 242-7402

Child Protective Services

Concerns about Child Abuse and Neglect should continue to be reported to our Child Abuse Reporting Line: (608) 261-5437. Child Protective Services staff will respond to these calls 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Here’s the link directly to the reporting area on the website: danecountyhumanservices.org/ProtectiveServices/Child/reporting_child_abuse_and_neglect.aspx.

Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) of Dane County

The lobby of the ADRC is now open for members of the public looking for information or applying for publicly-funded long-term care services. Information and applications continue to be taken over the phone at 608-240-7400 or Toll-Free at 855-417-6892 or by email to:  ADRC@countyofdane.com

Visitors to the ADRC are strongly encouraged to wear a mask or face covering. A mask will be provided if needed. Visitors can expect to speak with a staff member by phone from a private room. As we maintain social distancing practices, visitors may be asked to wait outside the ADRC or in their vehicle until it is their turn to enter. 

Dane County Adult Protective Services

Walk-In appointments are not available at this time. Helpline: (608) 261-9933

Dane County Transportation Call Center

Contact: (608) 242-6489, TransportationCallCenter@countyofdane.com

Comprehensive Community Services (CCS)

Intake Line (two-day response): (608) 242-6415

Briarpatch

Due to COVID-19, Briarpatch has implemented the following protocols:

  • All youth and family members receiving services at Briarpatch are asked to wear a face mask. Persons who choose not to wear a face mask will be asked to leave the Briarpatch building.
  • Youth and family members receiving services at the Briarpatch building will be asked to have their temperature taken with a no touch thermometer. Persons with a fever, or persons who choose not to have their temperature taken, will be asked to leave the Briarpatch building.
  • Youth and family members are asked to bring their own face mask when coming to Briarpatch for services.
  • The Briarpatch Youth Shelter is open with social distancing protocols in place.

Please call 608.245.2550 or 608.251.1126 with any questions.

Community Development Authority

In light of the current COVID-19 concerns, the Community Development Authority (CDA) will be closed to the public effective 8am Wednesday morning, 3/18/2020. At this time, staff will still be working in the office or remotely. More information can be found on the CDA website:  https://www.cityofmadison.com/dpced/housing/covid-19-response/3387/ What this means to our applicants, clients and agency partners:

  • All CDA offices and community spaces are closed to the public. Section 8 walk-in hours have been cancelled.   
  • Staff will still be answering phone calls and emails but please be patient as response time may be a little longer than usual due to the influx of calls and emails but we will respond as quickly as we can.
  • Applicants will still continue to contact our central office at 608-266-4675 and press 0 to speak to the receptionist or via the housing@cityofmadison.com email.
  • Section 8 clients will still continue to reach out directly to their assigned caseworker via phone or email.
  • Public Housing and Multi-Family residents will still continue to contact their site office via phone or email.
  • Paperwork with due dates will need to be mailed or placed in the drop-box outside of our central office in the Madison Municipal Building (building hours at 8am-4:30pm). If extensions are needed to allow for extra time for mailing, please contact us. (paperwork with due dates at site offices need to be mailed, there is no drop box available).
  • We are looking at available options to continue to offer Section 8 briefings but are still unsure at this time what that will look like. Stay tuned for more information on that.
  • Section 8 housing assistance payments to landlords will still be processed.
  • CDA maintenance staff will only be responding to emergency maintenance calls and may call a resident to troubleshoot work order requests via phone. CDA staff are disinfecting common areas and all high touch surfaces such as door handles, elevator buttons, and mailboxes daily.
  • Section 8 inspectors will only be conducting move in and emergency inspections.
  • CDA residents and Section 8 voucher holders should contact their property manager or Section 8 caseworker via phone or email as soon as possible if they are experiencing a decrease in income that may affect their ability to pay rent.

Bethel’s Homeless Ministry

Bethel will continue to provide a hot lunch for our homeless guests each Tuesday and Thursday but will suspend our other services and resources until further notice.  Our church is  closed to worship services but staff will remain to handle telephone calls, etc.  Our food pantry is operating, but has altered how the food is dispensed.  Please call the church to register for the pantry and with any pertinent questions such as the times of service (608)257-3577. Our lunches will be served in the parking lot where we will encourage our guests to pick up take-out meals.    Our regular hours of operation were 8:30-4:30 Tuesdays/Thursdays however, we will only be available for the noon meal and for subsequent mail dispensation. For those who receive their U.S. mail from Bethel, we will provide mail in the same manner as we have always done.

Madison Area Urban Ministry

Update for Monday 3/16/2020. MUM’s reentry programs out of S. Park St. are open and operating. All current participants are being contacted by phone, text and email to schedule their appointments virtually. We are shifting funds normally spent on bus tickets to help with phone minutes so participants can stay in touch with us and any other organizations they need to communicate with. Our prison in-reach is happening via mail as DOC and jail visits are cancelled. People are still being released from prison and jail and most are homeless which is why we believe it is important to have our doors open. We have put in place social distancing protocols and an initial screening tool to assess for illness and a plan for anyone presenting symptoms similar to those of Covid. Our Mentoring Connections staff are working from home and in-person volunteer trainings are on hold, new volunteers can begin their training with our on-line process and training videos. Family and Reading Connections trips are cancelled until DOC lifts the visitation bans. Healing House is operating with enhanced safety protocols. Just Bakery is now providing remote learning for students and our storefront is closed but we will take orders for food delivery through the website. Students are still learning, but they are learning from home and the additional peer support and trauma services they receive are also happening via phone, email and text. Case management is happening via skype. Circles of Support will continue to provide services with program staff checking in with participants and conference call Circle meetings happening.

Our Partners for Change Luncheon scheduled for April 30th has been canceled. The monthly Reentry Service Fairs for March and April have been canceled.

Catholic Multicultural Center

The CMC is taking necessary precautions to diminish the impact of Coronavirus on our community while continuing to provide services to our brothers and sisters in need. Now more than ever people in our community need our assistance to access basic resources. All regularly occurring CMC programs and meetings except those listed below are postponed until further notice. The CMC building is also closed to the public.

  • Daily Free Meal
    • Weekdays: 4:00-5:00pm
    • Weekends: 11:00am -12:00pm
    • The meal is distributed to-go from the CMC parking lot.
  • Food Pantry
    • Tuesday 2:00-3:30pm
    • Thursday 10:30-12:00pm
    • Food pantry sign-up and distribution will happen in the CMC parking lot. You will be asked to provide your name, how many people live in your household, and your full address including zip code. Personal essentials items will be distributed the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month during food pantry time.
  • Food Pantry Delivery
    • Wednesday & Friday afternoons
    • Households with vulnerable members and who cannot access our food pantry Tuesday & Thursday due to the Covid-19 crisis can request delivery for Wednesday or Friday. Persons should sign up 24 hours in advance each time they’d like a delivery.
    • To request food pantry delivery: Call 608-616-0769 OR Fill out this form
  • Immigration Legal Services

Staff will continue to serve all current clients by appointment only. For new clients, we are accepting appointments for consultations, which will be conducted via phone or internet. For more information or to make an appointment call 608-441-0114.

  • Employment Search Assistance
    • Tuesday 10:00 to 1:00pm
    • Thursdays 1:00 to 3:00pm
    • For assistance call Lilliam at 608-441-3257
    • CMC staff are offering help with finding and applying for available jobs, assistance applying for unemployment benefits, and other employment related matters. For help in English please call Julia at 608-556-5924. For help in Spanish please call Lilliam at 608-441-3257.
  • All classes (ESL, Citizenship, Spanish language, computer, etc.) are cancelled.
  • Shower and laundry services for homeless are suspended.
  • All drop-in employment search services are suspended.
  • Computer lab will be closed.
  • All CMC support groups (FUNNE, cancer support, etc.) are suspended.
  • NA and AA meetings will be allowed to meet with restrictions. All other facility use group meetings are cancelled or suspended.
  • Immigration Services: Staff will continue to serve all current clients by appointment only. For new clients, we are accepting appointments for consultations, which will be conducted via phone or internet. For more information or to make an appointment call 608-441-0114.

The Beacon

We have decided, for the safety of everyone, to strongly suggest that partner agency hours/access at The Beacon be suspended until further notice. Though we understand that your services are needed and we appreciate all that you do, your coming to The Beacon exposes you to a large group of people in a close contact environment. We do not want to add to your risk of being exposed to the coronavirus. We also must think about the population that we serve. They are vulnerable and need The Beacon to remain open through the coronavirus pandemic. We want to limit the exposure that both our guests and staff have to outside sources in hopes that everyone can remain healthy and our doors can remain open. 

Coordinated Entry

Coordinated Entry (CE) screening and assessments, including VI-SPDAT assessments, will be conducted over the phone. For the safety of those we serve, Coordinated Entry Homeless Services staff will not be meeting with participants at The Beacon at this time.

To leave a message for Coordinated Entry Homeless Services staff, call

(608) 826-8019 or complete the CE Contact Form.

CE staff will be monitoring messages and returning phone calls within 24 business hours. CE hours are Monday–Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To download the Coordinated Entry Homeless Services COVID-19 Flyer, please click here.

Hope’s Home Ministries

  • Wednesday Community Breakfast, Connections to Care (on-site outreach) & Come As You Are Worship: cancelled until further notice.
  • Food Pantry: Closed the week of March 16th; working on alternate plans, call 608-251-4407 for up-to-date information 

Urban League of Greater Madison

  • All large gatherings including the Teen Summer Job Fair, My Brother’s Keeper Gaming & Coding Day, Economic Development & Diversity Summit, and weekly employment services information sessions have been cancelled or postponed.
  • I have directed many of our staff to begin telecommuting beginning on Monday. Our Management Team will be developing a more detailed plan on Monday to support our clients and our community. In the meantime, all of ULGM’s ON-PREMISES programming at 2222 S. Park Street and 1233 McKenna Blvd. will be postponed until further notice. Our staff are working on plans to help our clients navigate community resources using remote systems. 
  • With today’s closure of schools, our school-based programming is also suspended until school resumes. We will be assessing ways that our team can support schools and students remotely.
  • If you are a Schools of Hope volunteer, please note that schools are closed until at least April 6. We will keep in touch as we get closer and more information is available about the return to school
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