The Road Home Interfaith Hospitality Network

The Road Home of Dane County’s traveling homeless shelter houses 4-5 families with children in a different religious institution’s building each week. This unique program is one of the few options in town that allow a family to stay together while seeking housing (usually fathers and older sons are not allowed in shelters that take women and children) in a more homelike and spacious setting attuned to the needs of children.

First Unitarian Society is a “helper” congregation for Christ Presbyterian Church on the near east side when they host the shelter. Four weeks per year we need volunteers to help with:

  • Setting up bedrooms for the week and taking down at the end of the week
  • Preparing and/or serving dinners and Saturday morning breakfast (you eat, too!)
  • Playing with children after dinner until bedtime
  • Sleeping at the shelter (in your own private, locked room) as an Overnight Host in case of emergencies
  • Coordination tasks (we are currently especially in need of meal coordinators

getting started

It’s important that anyone volunteering with this sensitive population have the training they need. Luckily it’s a quick and easy process.

  • Email us and we will put you on our email list. We can also answer any questions you have.
  • Attend a Homes for Families tour (informational session). We host these periodically at FUS, or you can attend one at The Road Home’s offices at 128 E. Olin Ave., Suite 202, Madison. They last about one hour and are informational, not a fundraiser. The video at the top of this page is also a good introduction if you can’t attend a tour right away.
  • Read this training packet and the Road Home FUS Volunteer Guide.
  • Fill out this review sheet and this volunteer application and mail these to The Road Home’s offices at 128 E. Olin Ave., Suite 202 Madison, WI 53713.
  • Watch for an email from one of the FUS coordinators about a month before each Road Home week, inviting you to sign up for volunteer shifts. The list of Road Home weeks for 2016 is found at the bottom of this page.


Q: Do I need to complete all the training steps above before I can volunteer?
A: Not necessarily- setup/takedown shifts and preparing/delivering food are fine to do before training. For other shifts, talk to our FUS Road Home coordinators.

Q: Can my kids volunteer, too?
A: Yes! We’ve had parents volunteer with their kids and we’ve had CRE students volunteer with their teachers. Evening activities and serving meals are particularly good options. If your child is old enough to understand the Homes for Families tour and the training packet, we encourage you to have them train along with you.

Q: Is this a good group volunteer activity?
A: Yes! Small groups of 2-5 people are in many ways ideal to run evening activities, prepare and serve a meal, or assist with setup and takedown. Just sign up together or you can always email

Q: How do I contact the FUS Road Home coordinators?
A: Email

Q: How do I get reimbursed for food costs if I prepare meals?
A: 1) Purchase groceries and keep your receipts. 2) Send a copy or clear photo of the receipt to the Social Justice Coordinator either via mail (900 University Bay Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53705-2298). 3) Include a note stating which meal you prepared for the Road Home, with date.  4) Your check will be mailed to you once all is complete.

Q: Does The Road Home take donations of toiletries, etc?
A: Yes, here are the details on what they accept and where to deliver your donation