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Help Needed with Meals at Healing House

Social Justice Spotlight

Imagine you are homeless, being treated for cancer, are a mother with small children, and have just been released from the hospital after surgery. You may be given hotel vouchers for three to five days, so you have a place to recuperate, but you have no meals, no childcare, no way to get medication follow-up or medical attention, and no way to get to follow-up appointments.

The Healing House, a program of Madison-Area Urban Ministry (MUM), is the response to this problem. This eight-bed facility, which recently opened at 303 Lathrop Street in Madison, provides 24/7 recuperative care by medically trained staff and volunteers for up to 28 days. It is the first medical respite program of its kind in Wisconsin and provides care to families who are homeless and have an immediate family member in need of ongoing medical care during recovery. The Healing House will provide clients with three meals a day, childcare assistance, and case management to end the cycle of homelessness. It is a cost-effective alternative for hospitals and the community, promoting wellness for homeless families in Dane County. Nationwide, there are 63 medical respite programs, a proven model of care.

As an interfaith organization, MUM is responding to the call across faith traditions to care for the sick. In Judaism, bikur cholim (Hebrew for “visiting the sick”) includes a wide range of activities that include providing comfort and support for people who are ill. Bikur cholim is a mitzvah, a moral and spiritual obligation.

The Healing House is partnering with The Road Home for case management and volunteer assistance. Temple Beth El has partnered with both MUM and The Road Home in the past, and therefore it seemed natural for us to continue that partnership by volunteering with the Healing House. Volunteers are being asked to assist with dinner by cooking and dropping off meals and by serving and cleaning up after dinner at the house. Volunteers will also shop for grocery items for breakfast and lunch. Sign up to help with this mitzvah at https://www.signupgenius.com/go/30E0E48A8AC22A4FF2-healing.

August 23, 2019 22 Av 5779