The Beacon has new shuttle for guests Print
Around the Diocese
Written by Kevin Wondrash, Catholic Herald Staff   
Thursday, May. 10, 2018 -- 12:00 AM
beacon shuttle
At a recent recognition event, donors, along with staff members of Catholic Charities Madison, stand by The Beacon’s new 14-passenger shuttle, which is used to transport guests between the homeless day resource center and overnight shelters. (Catholic Herald photo/Kevin Wondrash)

MADISON — “To have this in service for our homeless men, women, and children to be picked up at shelters in the morning and dropped off in the afternoon is unbelievable,” said Catholic Charities Madison CEO and President Jackson Fonder during a recent event thanking donors for their help in supporting the purchase of a 14-passenger shuttle for The Beacon.

The Beacon is the comprehensive day resource center in Madison for people experiencing homelessness in Dane County, which is operated, in part, by Catholic Charities Madison, along with Dane County, the City of Madison, and United Way of Dane County.

The 2017 Ford Transport replaces an older shuttle that Fonder described as being “on its last leg,” and he told the donors, “you guys came to the rescue”.

The more than $60,000 raised for the transport came from a lead donation from Caritas Foundation, a major donation from the Oscar Rennebohm Foundation, and additional support from the Eric D. and Steven D. Hovde Foundation, the Fiore Companies, MGE Foundation, Steve Brown Apartments, and Urban Land Interests.

Helping the homeless

“Transportation is one of the largest issues than inhibits our folks from getting help,” said Fonder.

He added when people experiencing homelessness can’t get adequate transportation, they “give up,” and the new shuttle “prevents them from giving up.”

The Beacon shuttle transports about 100 people per day from their overnight shelters in the morning to The Beacon, and then back to those shelters in the evening when the center closes for the day.

In the future, The Beacon will be evaluating other uses for the shuttle based on guest needs.


“You’re going to see this thing out in the community a lot more,” said Fonder. “It’s beautiful and we have to show it off . . . any reason that we can transport our guests is a good thing.”

The generous donations not only covered the cost of the shuttle, but also other related expenses such as gas, maintenance, and insurance costs.

The vehicle has storage room for personal luggage, back up camera, tinted privacy windows, individual seats, and safety features and equipment.

For more information on The Beacon, go to

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