Sheltering Dane County's homeless - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

Sheltering Dane County's homeless


MADISON (WKOW) -- The Salvation Army is working to provide shelter, and workers are doing whatever they can to keep people out of the cold.

For homeless across Dane County, it's a meal, a warm bed, and sign somebody cares.

On a frigid winter night, Annette Dorenzo is the first person to come out of the cold. Grabbing clean linens and scouting a spot on the Salvation Army's gym floor, she gets ready for a good night's sleep.

"Some people don't have anywhere to go," she said. "Through the Salvation Army, you can come here. It's a nice warm bed. You can get in touch with the ladies here. Everybody's got a different story to tell."

Annette is lucky she arrived early. There's only room for 30 people at the women's shelter. The family shelter can house up to 60 people.

"We also have an emergency overflow shelter for homeless families, where we don't have room for them upstairs in our normal rooms," said Ruth Ann Schoer, Salvation Army developmental director. "We put them on mattresses on the floors in the hallways, because obviously the can not sleep in their cars."

When all beds are occupied, volunteers say they do everything they can to find an alternative.

"Let's figure out if we have bus tickets we can help you with, let's figure out what phone calls we can make to try and find a safe place," said Sarah Gillmore, Salvation Army service coordinator.

Guests like Tyrone Spotsville say they're grateful for a place to sleep, place to eat, and place to call home, even for one night.

"This is my home, so I do have a home," he said. "For my daughter to take something positive -- once we do come up -- she'll know, 'hey, I know how this feels.' Right from the heart, she'll say 'let me help if I can help.'"

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