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Up Off The Floor: Delivering Beds to Triangle Residents

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UnityPoint Health - Meriter is committed to finding unique and innovative ways to make Dane County a happier and healthier place to live!

UnityPoint Health – Meriter, in downtown Madison, is directly across the street from The Triangle, a public housing complex for low-income adults, many of whom are medically fragile and were recently homeless.    

Staff at Meriter noticed Triangle residents were frequently visiting the Emergency Department for issues that, while important, were not emergent, things like sore backs, shoulders, knees and hips. We reached out to Laura Wichert, CDA Service Coordinator at The Triangle, and came up with a simple solution: beds. 

“A significant number of our residents were sleeping on the floor or air mattresses. Many of our residents already have compromised health, so this exacerbates it,” said Wichert. “We’re really hoping to help our residents get a good night’s sleep.” 

“As the community health system, our job to look for innovative ways to help the community we serve. If something as simple as a new bed and a good night’s sleep is going to help someone’s health and well-being, we will work with our neighbors to make that happen.” 

Steinhafels graciously helped with pricing. 

“We’re a family-owned business and we like to help the community,” said Joe Heins, manager at Steinhafels. “When people are sleeping on the floor with no mattresses or on an air mattress for a year and a half, two years, it’s really hard to see.”  

Thanks to this new partnership, it’s not something residents will have to endure much longer. This month Steinhafels delivered the first batch of new beds to Triangle residents, including Guy Heine, a 62-year-old veteran who has been sleeping on a leaky air mattress and Gary McAdow, also a veteran, who said it was “going to take months to wrap [his] head around the fact [he] has a bed.”  

“We are really, really grateful for the generosity of our neighbors at UnityPoint Health – Meriter and to Steinhafels for giving us an excellent deal to purchase the beds,” said Wichert. “The residents are so thrilled, excited and grateful. It’s a really happy day here.” 

Meriter also provided new pillows and sheet sets. Meriter and Steinhafel’s have also committed to coming back each month to deliver beds to even more residents.

A Heartwarming Video: 

Wisconsin State Journal: Up Off The Floor: Partnership Delivers New Beds to Residents in City Housing