Bethel Homeless Support Services strives to build meaningful relationships with homeless and at-risk individuals while fostering a safe, supportive, and accepting community that honors the dignity and self-respect of every person.
After a few months of negotiations between the Bethel Church Council and the Catholic Charities of Madison Board of Directors, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed on Tuesday, August 16, to provide a homeless day resource center for the months of November thru March. This unique partnership will pair the strength of Bethel’s 2-day a week volunteer led Homeless Support Services with the staffing capabilities of Catholic Charities.
Homeless Support Services are overseen by Bethel’s Homeless Ministry Board
Our program revolves around one simple principle: respect. We take the time to develop close relationships with our homeless neighbors so that we are better able to provide support and to assist at risk individuals in finding the necessary services and resources to improve their lives.
The Spiritual Support Group meets each Tuesday at 10:30am in the Pentecost room. A large group gathers to share their stories in a unique support system and time of fellowship. The group closes their time with a prayer for all and then everyone enjoys lunch together. On the first Tuesday of the month, we celebrate the month’s birthdays with cake!
Every year, we enjoy a three day outing to Bethel Horizons. We have enjoyed crafting pottery at Art Ventures, hiking around the property, scaling the ropes course, stargazing, wonderful meals, and a service of communion! It is a wonderful time to get out of the city and enjoy nature and some time with God and one another.
It all started with Eric. On a bitter, winter night in 2009, Eric Manley, one of Madison’s homeless, laid down on the steps of Bethel Lutheran Church and died. Following Eric’s tragic death, close friend, Mark Wilson, and Bethel staff member, Pastor Laura Sutherland, came together to provide a funeral for Eric and to make a positive change in Madison’s homeless community. What began in 2009 as a once-a-week homeless support group, evolved into a full service homeless support service center. We are open every Tuesday and Thursday 8am-4pm.
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