Shelters in Madison

Families, Mothers & Children

The Road Home (608)294-7998 x303

Interfaith Hospitality Network (IHN) Shelter: a series of congregations who take turns offering shelter at their churches on rotating weekly basis. Belinda Richardson, ext. 303

YWCA & Salvation Army (608)256-2321.

YWCA Housing:
“The YWCA provides emergency shelter for up to 90 days to homeless families with children. One floor of our downtown housing location features private shelter rooms and a shared kitchen. A YWCA social worker supports each family to help them find housing and to prevent future episodes of homelessness. The Salvation Army handles intake for the shelter system throughout Dane County.”

Salvation Army:

Emergency Shelter: 630 E. Washington Ave.:
“Call 608.250.2251 between 11:00 am and 12:00 pm for shelter this evening; calls are returned to interested families between 12:00 pm and 1:00 pm to confirm or deny a space in shelter for the evening.”

FAMILY SHELTER 630 East Washington Avenue
Waitlist: 608.250.2298 General: 608.256.2321

There is always a wait list for Family Shelter. Please call 608.250.2298 every day to remain on the list.

The good:

Showers, meals provided. And shelter.

The bad:

Waiting list is long. I have heard people who have used the services that harassment and abuse by staff occurs. Depends who is on duty.

Domestic Abuse Intervention Services (DAIS)

24 Hr Help Line: 608-251-4445 or 1-800-747-4045

“DAIS runs the only domestic violence shelter in Dane County. The DAIS Emergency Shelter program offers housing, food, clothing, support and resources for survivors of domestic violence and their children. Female survivors are served at our on-site shelter and male survivors are served through our hotel voucher program.  Shelter/hotel residents receive legal assistance, support and counseling, referrals to other community resources, and access to medical and social services. Residents receive individual case management and assist one another through resident support groups. Special programming is available for children whose parents use the shelter program.”

The good:

The bad:

Waiting list is long, not enough resources.

Off the Square Club

4 North Hancock Street
Madison, WI 53703

Serving those with mental disabilities, serves as a day shelter and place for meals and activities.

The good:

Everyone I have heard attend has had positive things to say about the club — people are friendly, format is effective and rewarding environment.

The bad:

Might be folks preying on those with SSDI for drugs nearby.

Bethel Lutheran Homeless Services

312 Wisconsin Avenue
Madison, WI 53703-2108

Serving those with mental disabilities, serves as a day shelter and place for meals and activities.

The good:

Really excellent services on many levels — from ministry, to a book club, to clothing and support, led by Mark Wilson who everybody appreciates for his relentless kind heart and getting things done.

The bad:



Youth & Children, Runaways


24 Hr Helpline: (608) 251-1126,  Toll-Free: (800) 798-1126

“One of YSOSW’s core services, the Briarpatch Program helps youth when they need it most. Trained volunteers and staff help youth and their families deal with homelessness, drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence, custody difficulties, education troubles, and other complicated issues of adolescence. Confidential counseling is available 24 hours a day though the agency’s Help-Line (608) 251-6211. Teens and their families can also get drop-in, in-person counseling at the YSOSW office Monday through Friday, 9am to 9pm, hours effective December 24, 2005. All services are provided at no cost to clients.”

The good:

Fantastic staff with great support.

The bad:

Not enough resources or money.

Shelters for Men


Intake for all three shelters is at Grace Episcopal Church, at 116 West Washington Avenue.

Shelter Hours:

  • November-March: 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. These hours go into effect on Sunday, November 3rd.
  • April-October: 7:30 pm to 7:30 am. Intake is from 7:30 to 10:30 pm.
  • Anyone needing to enter the shelter after 10:30 pm will need to receive prior approval by calling shelter staff at 255-2960.

The good:

It’s shelter and the primary shelter in Madison.

The bad:

Many users find the space unsafe and unsanitary, that the staff play favorites and are abusive. There is little recourse and no third party method to handle complaints.

Additional Resources

Tami & Friends of the State Street Family’s PDF on Housinge Resources:

Housing searches based on needs & Budget: