The Road Home

Who We Are

At The Road Home, we believe every child deserves a home. And we believe that by working together we can make sure every child in our community has one.

Our Mission
The Road Home Dane County provides opportunities for homeless children and their families to achieve self-determined goals and affordable, stable housing.

Our Vision
Every child deserves a home.

Our Values

  • Respect and dignity for all
  • Empowerment of those we serve
  • Social Justice
  • Inclusiveness
  • Results-oriented services

Our History
After two years of work by a core group of religious leaders and shelter providers, The Road Home Dane County (then known as Interfaith Hospitality Network of the Madison Area) opened our doors on April 26th, 1999 as an overflow shelter for families who could not be served by the existing shelters. Since that time, we have expanded to providing programs and services that assist families in moving to stable housing as well as in overcoming barriers and gaining skills needed to maintain stable housing successfully. We saw, and research confirms, that while emergency shelter is often necessary, the solution to homelessness is housing. That’s why in March of 2018, we phased out our shelter program in order to concentrate on housing. (Learn more here.) A 501(c)(3) organization, we currently operate eight housing programs and serve nearly 180 families with children in Dane County each year.

Why We’re Needed
Homelessness is often called “the invisible problem.” But while you may not see it every day, it’s here—in our community. Over 1400 children in the Madison school district were identified as homeless last year. And on one night in January, nearly 600 people in our community didn’t have a place to sleep. On any given day there are approximately 200 families without stable housing who are looking for it. Research shows that the cost of homelessness is high—putting families and children at risk for greater physical, emotional, and academic problems.

How We Help
At The Road Home, we seek long-term solutions to homelessness by helping families find and maintain stable, affordable housing. We offer a range of programs for families who have experienced homelessness. We work with these families as well as others who are referred to us with the types and levels of supportive services and stable housing programs that best fits their needs and helps them be successful. We follow the Housing First approach, an approach that, as the National Alliance to End Homelessness explains, “prioritizes providing people experiencing homelessness with permanent housing as quickly as possible – and then providing voluntary supportive services as needed.” This philosophy has proven to be effective and has been put into place across the country. And we’ve seen it work right here in our community. Over 90% of our families who could reach one year in stable housing do so—a significant benchmark for families who have experienced homelessness. Learn more about our impact here.

The Road Home is part of a community-wide coordinated network in Dane County. We work together with other nonprofit and government agencies as well as volunteers, businesses and individual donors to provide solutions that work. You can become part of this effort. To learn how to join with us to end family homelessness, read more in our Ways to Give and Volunteer with Us sections.

We have earned the Platinum GuideStar seal of transparency. GuideStar is a 501 (c) (3) that gathers and disseminates information about every IRS-registered nonprofit organization. Participating organizations earn levels of recognition based on their commitment to transparency in answering a series of questions.