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Link-Dane Launch in Madison

Kelly Salance

According to the latest Homelessness Report, there were 3,370 people reported to have spent at least one night at the shelter program in Dane County, Wisconsin in 2013.  The survey also indicated the growing number of homeless families in the area. While there are a multitude of organizations addressing homelessness and the complex issues surrounding it, there is still a challenge of those in need accessing these organizations’ services.

On Monday, in response to this challenge, our Madison team, in partnership with United Way of Dane County, launched, to help low-income residents and people experiencing homelessness locate basic resources. Link-Dane is a mobile website that provides the most up-to-date information locating nearby basic services such as food, shelter and medical care.

While local residents can currently access this list of resources via United Way of Dane County’s 2-1-1 Call Center, Link-Dane is a new innovative digital avenue that allows users to get to the assistance they need quickly, from the convenience of their mobile device. For the homeless, having the ability to connect to relevant and nearby resources from a mobile is critical.  The tool connects users to resources such as: food pantries, community clinics, shelter, technology access and many other services.

Link-Dane is Dane County’s version of Link-SF, the app that a team of Zendesk employees built in 2014 for people who are homeless in San Francisco. There are other instances of this resource in Queens, New York, Edmonton, and Copenhagen, Denmark.  To learn more, visit and help spread the word!