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Beaver Dam homeless shelter weathers extreme cold

February 12, 2019

Despite the continued extreme cold, Beaver Dam’s homeless shelter is still under capacity.

Letty Castillo, the coordinator for New Beginnings Homeless Shelter, said that the recent cold didn’t affect the shelter as much as she thought it would.

“I’m not sure the reason, but I would assume we would have had more calls,” she said. “In a way it’s good, but hopefully they have a place to stay.”

New Beginnings, associated with the Central Wisconsin Community Action Council. offers two shelters in Beaver Dam, one at 845 Madison St. for men and one at 407 Beaver St. for women and families. The nonprofit organization is the only of its kind in the area providing such services for people who are experiencing homelessness.

Clients receive an initial 30-day limit and must be seeking employment and housing during that time.

The second homeless shelter opened in 2014 following the death of a homeless man who was found in a pond, with the wind chill dipping into the minus 20s the night of his death, spurring the creation of a shelter just for men.

An issue came up last week in the Beaver Dam police blotter where a man traveled from Fond du Lac to New Beginnings to receive help, but had to be turned away due to his wheelchair. The house does have a ramp but is not equipped inside for such a client. Castillo said that New Beginnings, which refers services as well, was still able to get the man help somewhere else.

“That’s one of the biggest things, to accommodate individuals who are handicapped,” she said.

Every year, New Beginnings helps hundreds of people a year and could always use help from the community itself. A musical event over the summer at Swan City Park raised money for the shelters.

“We’re always looking for donations to support both houses,” she said.

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