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Help for Hard Times

Our librarians are often asked to find community resources related to food assistance, health assistance, housing assistance, and shelter. While United Way's 2-1-1 is the most comprehensive resource available, the following quick links are helpful for basic needs assistance.

Food Assistance

The Madison and Dane County Food Resource Guide is available in English and Spanish and contains information about local food pantries and free meal sites, as well as nutrition program information, including FoodShare (food stamp) information.

Free and Lower Cost Medical Care

The best source of information for free and lower cost clinic options is the Public Health of Madison & Dane County website.

Housing Assistance and Shelter

The Beacon is a comprehensive day resource center for people who are experiencing homelessness in Dane County. Basic needs assistance includes showers, laundry, mail services, restrooms, and lunch.

Please see the Dane County Homeless Resource Guide for a full list of resources available in English and Spanish.

Emergency shelter information can be found on the Homeless Services Consortium of Dane County website. If you are experiencing homelessness, information about getting on a housing priority list can be found on the Coordinated Entry section of the Homeless Services Consortium website.

Housing Navigation is available, in person, at the Beacon in office 201. You can find schedule and appointment information and housing vacancy lists on the Homeless Services Consortium website.

The Tenant Resource Center provides additional housing information, including subsidized and public housing lists.  

Homeless Resource Guide