Daylight Savings Time took effect on Sunday, meaning it’s almost winter time. As temperatures continue to drop, various organizations step up to help Madison’s homeless population.

If you’ve walked past Library Mall this semester, you may have noticed many homeless in the area.

UW student Meritt Schoenecker began the non-profit Hearty Hands to help those individuals survive the harsh winter weather.

“The shelters typically are open from x time to x time, so during the day they’re typically out freezing their butts off.”

For this reason, Hearty Hands distributes hand warmers twice a week and will partner with Friends of Madison to get care packages out every night to the homeless.

“Come winter, Hearty Hands is wanting to make sure that everybody is warm and comfortable as they’re facing kind of the worst of it.”

While different groups try their best to help the homeless population, some face unique challenges due to the cold.

Porchlight, a non-profit shelter adjacent to Grainger Hall, faces a difficult problem in the winter with individuals who have previously been removed from the shelter for causing trouble.

“When it’s under 20 degrees, those individuals are allowed to come into the shelter no matter what. So, we have a lot of individuals that will come in and kind of affect the safety of how the shelter is run at night.”

It will take plenty of hard work from shelters like Porchlight and other non-profits alike to help the homeless survive through an expectedly brutal winter.


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