On November 9, over 400 people gathered at the Alliant Energy Center for The Road Home’s 13th Annual Homes for Families Breakfast. The breakfast is our most important fundraiser of the year. Money raised here helps us provide services and programs that make a difference for families experiencing homelessness in our community. This year’s event was a huge success and raised a significant amount of money (exact amounts are still being calculated).
Danielle, a client of The Road Home, shared her story at the breakfast. Danielle was living in Indiana and pregnant with her fourth child when she learned her baby had serious kidney problems. The town she lived in didn’t have the resources needed to care for him, so Danielle decided to come to Madison where her baby could get the care he needed. Danielle and her kids ended up at the Salvation Army for three months and then at The Road Home’s shelter for three months. “I wanted to give up, but my determination wouldn’t let me,” Danielle said. She clearly remembers the day she got the phone call that there was housing available for their family. Danielle said she was “absolutely overwhelmed with joy.”
Danielle has now maintained stable housing for almost two years through the Housing & Hope program. Her children are healthy and thriving in school and other activities. Danielle is working as a Neighborhood Navigator where she helps others with housing, food security, child care and safety. “Every time I open my door, I am grateful,” Danielle said. Danielle appreciates the dedication of her case managers, Georgie and Qiana, as well as other staff from The Road Home, volunteers and donors who helped open this door for her.
Kristin Rucinski, Executive Director of The Road Home, talked about how The Road Home opens doors for families—both by providing opportunities and by helping families literally open the door of a new apartment. Kristin said, “So far this year, 84% of families have exited our shelter successfully into permanent housing. And once families get stable housing, they rarely return to homelessness. Last year, 91% of families remained in housing through our different housing programs.” Kristin also explained that the latest statistics are encouraging—showing a downward trend in homelessness. Yet, currently there are 138 families in our community in need of more stable housing. Kristin encouraged everyone to “do whatever you can to open more doors for families experiencing homelessness.”
Breakfast attendees also heard from Dacarri, last year’s breakfast speaker. She provided an update on her family. She and her son are still living in their two-bedroom apartment and making progress toward their goals. And Linda Schaak, President of The Road Home’s Board of Director’s, shared her story of becoming involved with The Road Home and encouraged others to become involved also.
Thank you to our guests, table hosts and sponsors who made this event a success and ensured that we can continue making a difference for families in our community experiencing homelessness.