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All of Us Are One

It’s Not Over Yet!

My name is Ronnie Barbett, and I’m volunteering with many others at the Daytime Warming Center directed by Sarah Gillmore and Z! Haukeness, assisted by Nathaniel Abrams, in a partnership sponsored by Porchlight, Inc., and the Dane County powers-that-be (no disrespect intended…I know that there are so many of you and I want to include all of you). Sarah Gillmore stood up with her impressive job credentials, presented her proposal for this Center to the powers at Porchlight, Inc., and got permission to do what she hoped would make everything alright. She wanted to run the Daytime Warming Center as she saw fit. Then she waited.

This Center slated to be either at the Wright Street location, some other location that I forgot, or here at the 827 East Washington location. I was at these meetings that made this happen. The Rainbow Project, our next door neighbor on East Washington was also there. A representative from the Tenney-Lapham neighborhood was there too. It didn’t matter as both negative fueled organizations didn’t want to realize that people are people and when it’s cold, with little option of where to go, the priority is people first. The Homeless Issues Committee can explain the results better than I can.

It was late November and the Thanksgiving holiday was happening. Thanks to all for following Sarah’s project to make this happen. When the Center opened, we spent the first three weeks settling in. The crew volunteering and those donating here have, I admit, changed a little bit. We’ve lost some really good people along the way that gave everything they had. But they did not come in the door promising to change the world. Those team players that left us do come back on and off even if it’s just to get a progress report. They can’t believe what they see. The look on Sarah and Z!’s faces are one of the serious longevity as if they had done this before. Me, I’m exhausted. Terry Kramer, the kitchen manager from day one, who assisted Teresa (who set it all up) now has some grey hair showing…you know, the kind you didn’t notice at first. Sarah has a way to keep you in the race.

To those that have come and gone, thank you. And to those replacements and additions that are helping us wind this thing up at the end of March, STAND BY, I have a feeling that Sarah Gillmore is not done yet, or maybe she is. It’s time to get your proposal in to the powers-that-be for a permanent resource center. Just between you and me, and I told Sarah this too, I hope the city gives us, the homeless, a huge complex building with a day/night shelter with with a resource center inside. Wish me luck!! It’s not over yet..TRUST ME!!

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About Operation Welcome Home

OWH is a group of homeless people in Madison, WI and their allies organizing around the root causes of homelessness- racism, poverty, and criminalization. We are fighting for housing, jobs, and an end to the criminalization of poverty.

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