Repeating Past Mistakes (Media, this is the real story)

Posted February 11th, 2014 @ 8:30 AM by

Follow the money! Madison/Dane County has a daytime resource center for individuals experiencing homelessness that we pay nearly half a million dollars for (and have for years) and its not working, partially due to the location – so the county is talking about buying that building and trying to make it successful for a permanent comprehensive day center with new operators – in a still bad location. What’s that saying about insanity . . . Hopefully different operators will be able to provide more and better services, but the location is still going to be a barrier. And will that nearly half a million dollars come with the building?

We already have a day center?
Yeah. We do. And we pay for it. So someone please ask what we are paying for and why its not working.

Here is what Porchlight says the do:

Porchlight Programs – Hospitality House

Hospitality House is Porchlight’s daytime resource center for homeless and low-income people in Dane County. Services at Hospitality House include employment and housing counseling, assistance in obtaining identifications, personal hygiene essentials and work clothes and telephone and mail services. Hospitality House is also the site for the DIGS program (Porchlight’s emergency eviciton prevention and utilities assistance funds). Hospitality House serves over 7,000 men, women and children a year.

Hospitality House Hours:
April-October: the Hospitality House is open from 8:30am-4:30pm, Monday-Friday.
November-March: the Hospitality House is open from 8:30am-4:30pm seven days a week. These hours begin on Saturday, November 2nd.

Hospitality House is located at 1490 Martin Street. A shuttle bus runs Monday-Friday mornings to Hospitality House from the Salvation Army and the Drop-In Shelter, leaving Salvation Army at 8:00am.

A remodel of the building would be necessary to serve 100+ people a day – as that couldn’t be done now. Plus, they’d need to add showers, laundry, kitchen facilities, etc. And someone needs to ask how everyone will get there? The 12-15 passenger van won’t be adequate. Unless it makes 10 trips in the morning and 10 in the afternoon, but that seems silly.

Porchlights 2012 Annual report link is broken
2011 says the file is corrupted
2010 says the following money is currently going into Hospitality House:
United Way $127,017
City of Madison $217,793
Dane County $7,273
State of Wisconsin $30,473
Other government $46,260
Other grants $7,720
Contributions $31,941
Other $900

If they no longer run the Hospitality House – the alleged Day Center – where will that $469,377, nearly half a million dollars go? I can’t tell what is in all that budget, but just half of it would go a long, long way to running the day center. I should note, some of it is for the DIGS program – so that should be removed. Here’s what I can figure out from the 2011 financial statementsand where they show the $428,512 being spent on Hospitality House.

City $217,793
On page 22 it looks like $24,391 from the city is for DIGS (rent assistance, gas cards, etc).
On page 23 there is an additional $50K for DIGS eviction prevention. It also says $22K of the money is for the Hospitality House.
So of the $217,493 of the city money $22K appears to be Hospitality House, $72K for DIGS but I can’t tell where the other $123,493 went to. I’m sure there is an explanation, I’m just not familiar enough with their budget. I’m guessing $80K is Transit for Jobs (bus tickets) for DIGS? So just $43K is unaccounted for in my calculations.

County $7,273
Dane County’s $7K goes for weekends at Hospitality House.

United Way $127,017
United Way seems to be the biggest contributor at $81,562. $45,455 from United Way is for DIGS.

I can’t quite figure out where the other money goes. The answers might be in there but I don’t know how they categorize their funding.

Worst case scenario there is $22K from the city, $7K from the county and $81K from United Way that would seem to be freed up for the new permanent, comprehensive day services. $100,000.

Hmmmm . . . why hasn’t this been part of the conversation?

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