Saving storage for the homeless in Madison - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Saving storage for the homeless in Madison

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MADISON (WKOW) - Community members are called into action to help the homeless find storage for their belongings. 

Birth certificates, military documents, and childhood photos are some items that a person may store in a safe place at home.  But what if you don't have a home? That's a problem many Madison homeless are facing.

According to Brenda Konkel, executive director of Tenant Resource Center, it's difficult for a homeless person to carry around winter boots during the summer months.  "There was a need for storage for people who are homeless.  There is no place where they can store their things so they have to carry everything on their own with them in a backpack," she says. 

After hitting snags in the application for funding, the lease expired for one of the few spaces in the city where the homeless could keep their belongings. "It's not a simple thing to do to get that city funding," says Konkel. 

With no alternative storage space, the items were tossed in the dumpster until volunteer groups stepped in to help. "I'm just blown away by the volunteers who showed up and jumped in a dumpster and pulled this stuff out," Konkel states in awe. 

One of the other leaders mobilizing volunteers is Karen Andro, director of outreach ministries for First United Methodist Church.  She was called into action when she saw that the dumpster was filled with personal documents and memorabilia. "In an effort to get  things back to the people...You know, this whole situation was to rescue items from the dumpster," Andro explains. 

However, not all the bins were tossed in the dumpster.  "We saved those bins so there are over 75 bins that we saved from being dumped," says Andro.

The First United Methodist Church, Tenant Resource Center and the Madison-Area Urban Ministry pulled their resources to get a 6-month storage lease at a secure undisclosed location. 

To protect the identities of the owners of the items, Andro explains, "We're moving those items into a safe and private confidential storage." 

If you would like to volunteer or help these organizations in their efforts to find permanent storage solutions, you can contact Karen Andro at (608) 338-0320 or at kandro@fumc.org. 

   

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