In an effort to consolidate their services, Middleton Outreach Ministry has purchased the property at 3502 Parmenter St. in Middleton. The purchase includes both a main building, which will be used for its new operations, along with a warehouse that will house the Food Pantry and Clothing Closet.
MOM’s current office in downtown Middleton is in a deteriorating, aging building. The Food Pantry and Clothing Closet operate at a separate building in the Middleton Business Park about 3 miles away.
“One of the first things that those living in poverty lose, in addition to maybe a home or a job, is dignity. For many, asking for help is something they never thought they would have to do. The shame and loss of pride in being self-sufficient is seen clearly on the faces of those who visit,” said Kathy Hansen, Executive Director of MOM. “We want to restore that dignity and offer a trusting, understanding environment. While our new home will not be elaborate or extravagant, we want to have a place where people can feel comfortable.”
Working conditions in the current building are poor and space is inadequate. Volunteers frequently gather at other facilities to conduct meetings. There is no storage for seasonal events or programs
“For people who are seeking help, having to meet with a case manager at one location and get the food they need at another is more than a hassle, it’s sometimes an issue of transportation and time,” said Laurie Horton, MOM Case Manager. “I often commiserate with clients that say asking for help is like a full time job. Having everything in one location will reduce stress for clients as well as make what we have to offer more accessible for those with limited transportation.”
The city of Middleton also approved a new bus stop near the new facility this past Tuesday, which will provide greater ease of access for those who can currently only use the Food Pantry when they can find a ride.
Middleton Outreach Ministry has also seen an increase in use of services. MOM, which works to prevent homelessness and end hunger in the West Madison and Middleton areas, is serving record numbers of people and regularly distributing over 60,000 pounds of food per month. This is a dramatic increase over years past. The need for eviction prevention funds and utility assistance are also on the rise, with allocations being fully distributed before each month’s end.
“Being open six days per week, having adequate space is a real challenge for the type of traffic the MOM Food Pantry sees every day,” said Cheri Farha, Distribution Center Manager. “To more effectively and efficiently serve those in need, MOM needs a new space which will accommodate the growth we’ve seen and that which is sure to come.”
MOM will move to the new office and Distribution Center following standard renovations that need to be completed. The move is tentatively planned for late fall 2012. A Capital Campaign project will be launched within a year to pay for the new facility.