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.


Porchlight provides emergency overnight shelter to male-identified individuals over the age of 18 at its Drop-In Shelter and two overflow shelters.  Guests receive two meals per day, personal hygiene supplies, access to showers and laundry facilities, and case management services.

Shelter hours are 5:30pm – 7:15am, every day.

Intake for all three shelters is at Grace Episcopal Church, located at 116 West Washington Avenue.

Year-round intake hours are 5:30pm – 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) 255-2960 before 8:00pm on the day of late entry.

Each eligible guest is afforded 90 nights of shelter during each operating year (November 1 – October 31).  Due to high demand for services at Grace (Shelter 1), guests are asked to rotate to the overflow shelter(s) on alternating nights.  Guests with medical authorizations may be exempt from this policy.

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 under the influence of alcohol or drugs may be denied access to shelter that night.

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 intoxicated, 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