Dane County and Madison St. Vincent assistance programs.

The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul provides assistance in Dane County. The volunteers coordinate financial help for utilities or housing, have a low cost pharmacy for the low income, free food or clothes, and even shelters/transitional housing such as Seton House and the Port. The goal is to stabilize as well as give long term help.

More details on SVDP programs in Dane County are below. Each resource is limited. Most of the funding for financial aid, or such as prescription drug vouchers, are the result of the sale of items at the thrift store.

Financial help as well as free items including food

St. Vincent de Paul in Dane County is a source of both direct financial help (in a crisis) as well as information on assistance programs, and they even have some of their own grant based services. The staff may refer clients to local food banks, public housing units, clinics for medical care, and thrift stores, among other places. Some funds may be used for heating oil, rent, water bills, electric and more. There is also a pharmacy for low cost or free prescription medications for those without health insurance (or limited coverage). They also can arrange counseling and job training if needed.

There may be applications for state of Wisconsin/federal aid, such as SNAP food stamps or low income-energy assistance in Wisconsin, including LIHEAP. Many families are trying to get ahead by either gaining new skills or working more hours, but they can't afford day care. In these cases, childcare subsidies can be applied too. In particular, this helps single mothers. There are even free daycare programs in Wisconsin.

There is also assistance for veterans, information on long-term care services, and budgeting workshops. For those from Dane County Wisconsin that need it, SVDP can also be a source of referrals to drug and alcohol treatment programs. Other resources can also be arranged.





Healthy fresh and also non-perishable food is available from the Madison Saint Vincent de Paul free food pantry. It is a client choice center meaning that families in need can select the items they need for their home. This has a couple major benefits, including (1) it cuts down on waste as the client should only select what they need/will eat/prepare and (2) it also allows the client to retain more dignity as they are not just handed what in effect may be a “random” box of groceries.

Before using the pantry, be sure to bring a grocery bag. The shopper can then take what they need from the pantry cupboards and place the goods into their bags just like at a regular supermarket. There will also be clear guidelines around the nutritional value of each item as well.

Society of Saint Vincent de Paul in Madison can supply referrals to the local free Furniture as well as Clothing Bank . This site serves as a “redistribution center”, in that it offers free stuff to low income qualified families, both clothes, furniture, household goods, winter attire and more. How it works is the furniture bank will accept donations of good quality, new or used furniture. They also accept donations of household items, car seats, items for new parents, and more. The contributions come from individuals and businesses in Dane County.

Then, a family needs to apply to the site. Furniture will then be passed on to qualified lower income individuals and families for their home or apartment. Or some people can even shop there for discounted used furniture and clothing. The ability to buy items at the furniture bank is generally for those that do not qualify for free supplies. Walk-ins are welcome, as well as phone based applications. Find other local free furniture banks near you.





Housing and rent help from Society of Saint Vincent in Dane County

Transitional Housing along with ongoing support as part of Seton House as well as a shelter type service known as the Port. This is in addition to financial help for rent or security deposits above. SVDP can help the client gain independence are combined so that the individual can gain independence. The person who enrolls into this service can be given a place to live in Dane County for a short period of time and they will also be given a personalized life plan to move to self-sufficiency. It generally only holds dozens of people.

Saint Vincent de Paul needs to ensure that clients are working towards their financial and life goals. So the professional team at the non-profit cover health care needs, job training and  education, and help clients find employment.

The housing specialists will also seek a place for the person to live. Everyone needs a stable home that is affordable and safe, and this transitional housing and support program may allow that to happen.

Applying for help

There are many resources, referrals, free items, and emergency financial help given out. The main address of Society of St. Vincent de Paul in Dane County is 2033 Fish Hatchery Rd
Madison, WI 53725. Call 608-278-2929.

By Jon McNamara

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