Porchlight

Men’s Emergency Shelter

Update: The measure to purchase the proposed site on Zeier Road for a permanent purpose-built men’s shelter did not pass Madison’s City Council.
See the following articles for details:


UPDATE: Effective 12/16/20, the Porchlight Men’s Emergency Shelter is temporarily
relocated to the former Fleet Services building at 200 N First St.
Shelter hours are 5:00pm – 8:00am.  The shelter number is (608) 416-1446.
*During the pandemic, the 90-day limit will not be enforced.

All guests presenting at shelter will be screened for symptoms of COVID-19.
Intake hours are 5:00pm – 8:30pm.  Please note that because health screens are offered
only during intake, guests who arrive late will not be admitted at this time.
Hospitals may only refer guests after intake hours if they contact shelter staff and complete the
Shelter Referral for Medical Providers confirming that the guest has been screened for COVID-19 symptoms that day.

The City of Madison is providing direct transportation from The Beacon day shelter
(615 E Washington Ave) to First Street Shelter at 4:45pm each day, and from
First Street Shelter back to The Beacon at 7:30am each day.
Click here for Polices & Procedures updated for First Street Shelter.

Please click here for other updates regarding Porchlight’s Response to COVID-19.


The Porchlight Drop-In Shelter provides emergency overnight shelter to male-identified individuals over the age of 18.  Guests receive two meals per day, personal hygiene supplies, access to showers and bathrooms, and case management services.  Shelter hours are 5:00pm – 8:00am, every day.

The shelter is currently located at the Fleet Services Building at 200 N First St.  Year-round intake hours are 5:00pm – 8:30pm.  Requests to enter shelter after intake has ended are subject to the Late Entry Policy.  Eligible guests must receive prior approval for late entry by calling shelter staff at (608) 416-1446 before 8:00pm on the day of late entry.

All guests are expected to adhere to shelter guidelines, which are posted and available in hard copy.  Failure to adhere to guidelines may result in suspension of shelter services.  Guests who present at shelter intoxicated may access shelter, but may not bring alcohol or drugs into shelter.

Each eligible guest is afforded 90 nights of shelter during each operating year (November 1 – October 31).  This 90-day limit is not being enforced during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Inclement “weather nights” will go into effect when temperatures drop to 20 degrees or lower (with wind chill) or in other cases of severe weather, such as extreme heat.  On weather nights, guests may access shelter even if they are suspended from accessing services, or have reached their 90-day limit.  *Please note that weather nights do count toward the 90-day limit, but guests who have reached the limit may still access shelter on weather nights.  Weather nights will be posted on the Homeless Services Consortium of Dane County website.

Porchlight’s emergency shelter assists over 1,000 men experiencing homelessness each year with the support of 70 volunteer organizations and 1,200 individual volunteers.  Thank you to all who donate their time and effort to helping those in need!

Links & Resources