The Next Homeless Emergency – All Week? (Updated – 1)

Posted January 18th, 2014 @ 12:29 PM by

Bad weather coming up next week (or weeks?), no plans. -30 windchill predicted on Tuesday and no one works over the weekend to coordinate plans. cold

So, I sent an email . . . like the last one, since it appears they haven’t addressed these issues yet.

Thank you for the Friday at 3:30 press release and information about Monday. http://www.countyofdane.com/press/details.aspx?id=3316 Several members of the media did not receive it, what was the distribution list that was used?

I know many are off work for a three day weekend, so I will start asking now, what is happening with what looks like more extreme weather coming Tues, Wed, Thurs. (see attached) Tuesday when we are all back in our offices (unless its too cold, many agencies close when the schools do) will be too late.

Will bans be lifted? Drop-in stay open til 9:00 til library is open? Outreach efforts? Communications to law enforcement (including Cap Po so we don’t get more frostbite with people sleeping on the grates) and volunteers about rules about getting in to shelter? Transportation between shelters? Expected closures of existing services?

Why don’t we have some sort of policies and plans in place that would help us deal with these situations? February 11 when the Homeless Issues Committee meets again is a little late – especially since they have been trying to get a plan since last summer. Where is the draft?

Sorry to be a pain, I’m not trying to be, but the lack of answers causes a lot of stress and anxiety in the homeless community as well as with providers (mostly volunteers) who pick up the pieces. Well, and for many elected officials who want to help make something better happen – but aren’t sure how since they are not responsible for follow through after they put money in the budget and try to provide what is needed.

Respectfully seeking answers.

Heidi Wegleitner response to a slightly shorter list:

There was a meeting yesterday– the one that Tim was at, so hopefully something was figured out. We need to figure out under what circumstances the shelter will lift bans (including permanent– I know temporary bans are lifted when it is 20 or below at men’s shelter). If so, by what time will that decision be made, and how will it be communicated. Also, we need to know what the capacity limitations are at the women and family shelter by a certain time, i.e. will people be turned away, and then what the contingency options are for those families. Will they get motel vouchers? If so, will all of them? How many are available? Or, does another space — at a church or something, need to be made available.

I think those are the basic issues that need to be figured out for next week and in the plan. If I am forgetting something, Brenda or others, please advise.

I amended my email also to the shorter list:

Good list, the weather advisory is a little different than the weather forecast. This is from the Emergency Management Facebook and twitter accounts. Perhaps worse than I thought, sooner and longer bad weather.

THIS HAZARDOUS WEATHER OUTLOOK IS FOR PORTIONS OF EAST CENTRAL WISCONSIN…SOUTH CENTRAL WISCONSIN AND SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN. .DAY ONE…TODAY AND TONIGHT SNOW WILL SPREAD INTO SOUTH CENTRAL AND PORTIONS OF SOUTHEAST WISCONSIN THIS MORNING. THE SNOW WILL BE BRIEFLY MODERATE TO HEAVY IN THE DODGEVILLE… DARLINGTON AND MONROE AREAS WHERE 2 TO 4 INCH ACCUMULATIONS ARE EXPECTED. A WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY HAS BEEN POSTED FOR THESE AREAS FOR TODAY. THE HEAVIEST SNOW IS EXPECTED BETWEEN 9 AM CST AND 1 PM CST. THE SNOW WILL TAPER OFF DURING THE EARLY TO MID-AFTERNOON. .DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN…SUNDAY THROUGH FRIDAY COLDER AIR IS EXPECTED TO SETTLE INTO THE AREA EARLY NEXT WEEK. WIND CHILLS ARE EXPECTED TO FALL TO 15 TO 25 BELOW ZERO MONDAY NIGHT AND AGAIN WEDNESDAY NIGHT…WITH 15 TO 20 BELOW ZERO TUESDAY NIGHT. .SPOTTER INFORMATION STATEMENT… SPOTTER ACTIVATION WILL NOT BE NEEDED…HOWEVER SNOWFALL REPORTS ARE APPRECIATED.

Karen Andro response to larger group:

January 18, 2014

Greetings,

On New Year’s Eve, First United Methodist Church opened our doors to provide shelter and food for the homeless during the day. On New Year’s Day, The Fountain of Life opened their doors and on Monday, January 20 (MLK Day) Grace Episcopal Church is opening their doors for daytime shelter.

Bethel Lutheran Church serves as a weekday Day Shelter for the homeless and has holiday closures virtually identical to FUMC downtown. I am sending a Call for Help to bring the faith community together.

Cap Times article by Pat Schneider

http://host.madison.com/news/local/writers/pat_schneider/churches-step-up-to-serve-madison-homeless-over-frigid-new/article_88b2e88c-7266-11e3-a6e1-0019bb2963f4.html

The next holiday closure is Monday, April 21 (Easter Monday) leaving homeless folks without a designated Day Shelter.

Please let me know if you are interested in opening your doors and/or joining a team to help answer this call on behalf of our homeless brothers and sisters. I am looking for help in the form of churches able to provide space or to help provide needed volunteers, food and leadership in coordinating this endeavor.

We can help answer this call with our resources and outreach ministries. Let us consider being a safe and supportive place for our homeless brethren to be on a holiday, often a very difficult time for homeless folks in stark contrast to what many sheltered folks experience during the holidays.

Please share this email freely with fellow faith leaders and advocates.

Blessings,

Karen Andro
Director of Outreach Ministries
First United Methodist Church
203 Wisconsin Avenue
Madison, WI  53703-2105
608.256.4646 ext. 16 (office)
608.206.1964 (cell)
www.fumc.org

Also, an additional question from me:

Will the capitol really be welcoming? Who do we contact if there are issues, who was your contact there? From this morning (ignore the call for action – see how people feel they were treated)

Mary Jo Walters – OCCUPY THE CHAIRS- bring your own! (BETHAL is closed today, tomorrow)- my friend went to the capitol, this morning at 8 am after leaving the men’s shelter. He went to sit in a chair on the first floor and was within five minutes, surrounded by three cap police and almost tazzed! He was told by Mitch and Brooks, to behave himself and sit downstairs like everyone else does, what makes you special. He is banned from the Capitol for the day—- OCCUPY THE CHAIRS

I don’t really want to ignore the call to action, but I don’t think the group I sent the email to was the intended audience.

So, I sent the email 3.5 hours ago . . . I can’t really expect a response from work emails over the weekend realistically, but Tuesday is too late and calling work numbers that won’t be answered won’t be effective. Now what? Stay tuned from updates.

************************************************
Preston from the men’s shelter just texted me to let me know: Shelter will remain open until 9am, not just Monday, but Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday as well. And ALL bans (including permanent) will be temporarily lifted starting Monday at 5 and ending Friday morning.


Categories: | Dane | Madison | Media

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