Madison-area Urban Ministry’s new Healing House, the first medical recuperative facility in Wisconsin for homeless families, will be hosting Healing House Fundraiser and Silent Auction will be held Thursday, Oct. 3, 5-8 p.m. at HotelRED in downtown Madison.
“We do one fundraiser specifically for Healing House a year. This is our third year. HotelRED has been a great partner so they provide a space and are the sponsor of the event along with some other folks,” Linda Ketcham, executive director of MUM, tells Madison365.
“There will be live music, a short presentation about healing house and how things are going now that we’re open,” she adds. “It’s a chance to thank people who have been supporting the project and to maybe help people who don’t know about it learn more. It’s just a great chance to raise some funds to support Healing House.”
Ketcham says that currently Healing House, a large five-bedroom house located on 303 Lathrop Street near UW-Madison campus, is funded entirely through private contributions. And that’s what makes fundraisers like Thursday’s Open House/Silent Auction so vital.
“We are not receiving City, County, or United Way funds,” she says. “It’s all MUM fundraising. It’s a very important event for that reason. We still hope somewhere down the road that the hospitals will recognize the value to themselves given that we have patients there from all three hospitals.”
The Healing House Fundraiser and Silent Auction is about raising funds, but its also about raising awareness about what they are doing. The Healing House, a 24/7 recuperative facility, provides housing (up to 28 days) when a member of a homeless family needs short-term care to prepare for hospitalization, is truly a unique and innovative concept that is the first of its kind.
“There are 65 or more similar medical respites around the country, but all of them are focused on single adults … so they don’t serve kids or families,” Ketcham says. “So this really is the first time in the United States that we’re aware of that it’s been done for families specifically.”
The Healing House will primarily serve homeless mothers and their newborns. It will also help homeless children who can’t receive a surgical procedure because they don’t have a stable place to recover. The very first family moved into Healing House on July 9 and since then MUM as been working to build its capacity to host more people in need.
“We want people to understand the scope of family homelessness in our community and how that ripples out,” Ketcham says. “For example, we have a family at Healing House right now – a mom and two kids – and the two children need surgery. We have a number of newborns, a number of moms who have cesarian sections so both mom and baby really were kind of the patient.
“We possibly have a family moving in next week where the mom has stage-4 cancer and is trying to do chemo. That’s not conducive to living in your car,” she adds. “We hope to help people understand that there really is a need out there.”
It’s been a bit of a learning curve for MUM.
“But we’re excited that one of the recuperative shelters in the United States – Samaritan House in North Carolina – have been really helpful to us when we were getting going,” Ketchams says. “They started very similarly to us 10-12 years ago with 8 beds and they’ve now expanded. They shared a lot of materials and information with us.
“We are really happy now that they’ve contacted us and asked us to share with them what we’re learning because now they are looking at possibly creating a facility for families as they see a need in their community. It’s nice to be able to give back to them because they’ve been so helpful to us over the last several years in terms of sharing information and materials.”
Ketcham is hoping that people from the community make it out to HotelRED on Thursday for the third annual Healing House Fundraiser and Silent Auction where there will be a variety of auction items including gift cards to local restaurants, trips to the coasts, and more.
If you can’t make the event, you can still bid on the Healing House Silent Auction items online by going to the Healing House Facebook page,” Ketcham says. “It’s going to be a fun event. We’re hoping for a good turnout.”
Healing House Fundraiser and Silent Auction will be held Thursday, Oct. 3, 5-8 p.m. at HotelRED. Ticket price is $50, which includes entry, complimentary hors devours, and auction access. A cash bar is available on site. For more information, contact Shawna@emum.org.