Homelessness and Alcoholism in Madison

Monday, 4 February 2013 | A Public Affair

On Monday February 4th, Brenda Konkel subbing for John Quinlan spoke with a panel of guests about issues surrounding homelessness and alcoholism in Madison. Brenda interviewed Craig Spaulding, Meg Rothstein, Bruce Wallbaum, Nate Abrahams, Ed Kuharski and two members of Madison’s homeless community, “Zombie” and Ronnie.

homelessnessAccording to the group Porchlight Inc. which attempts to find solutions to for the homeless population in Madison, “In Madison in 2008 the homeless population rose to its highest level since 2000 with the largest increase in families with children. Though this number has decreased, in 2011 more than 2000 people were turned away from shelters because of lack of space.

Top Causes of Homelessness in Our Community:


Households with incomes below the poverty level account for the vast majority of people entering homelessness. Over 18% of people in our community live in poverty.

Violence or the Threat of Violence

38% of families and 24% of single women in Madison report that violence or the threat of violence in the reason for their homelessness.

Mental Health

Many homeless people report issues with mental illness. In Madison 38% of families, 49% of single women and 27% of single men report having issues with mental health.

Other Causes

The causes of homelessness are complex. In addition to poverty, violence and mental health other factors include illness, physical disability, divorce or even an honorable discharge. For many multiple factors combine to force an individual or family into crisis.”

Read more about Porchlight Inc.:



Listen to the entire interview:

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