All efforts are made to return calls made to our voice-to-text outreach line within 24 hours. Please leave your name and contact information so we are able to return your call. If you don’t have a phone, we are able to return calls to the Beacon or you can connect Wednesday mornings at First United Methodist with our Breakfast Club in the Octagon.
Friends of the State Street Family relies on the generous financial and in-kind gifts from our amazing donors. For this reason we will try our best to fulfill reasonable special requests, but fulfillment is not guaranteed.
Jeff “Big Daddy” Turk| President
I have been part of the FSSF organization since 2018. As a lifelong Madisonian, I have spent most of my life in and around the Isthmus area, attending UW Madison, running a business on State Street and being part of a variety of arts organizations. I viewed our homeless friends as a nuisance, and had very little compassion for their struggle. My conversion came when I was performing with a classical music group and a homeless woman stopped and listened. She began to cry and when we finished thanked me profusely, explaining it was a piece of music her and her mother used to listen to. And at that moment, I saw the humanity I chose to ignore for many years. And it was due to that connection that I committed to being a better person and doing the right thing.
My non-profit and board experience led me to a communications role in FSSF, which eventually led to my current position of board President. And I am extremely fortunate to be part of this group of compassionate, dedicated and tenacious individuals who want to make life a little better for those less fortunate than us. And I have made a lot of new friends over the past few years, which has enriched my life in ways it wouldn’t have been had I never turned the corner. I continue to be active in the Madison arts scene and enjoy everything our community has to offer, year round.
Beth “Princess” Maglio | V.P. / Outreach Supervisor
I first learned about the work of Friends of the State Street Family when our founder, Tami Fleming, visited my classroom as a guest speaker. I was intrigued and thought I would volunteer a few times over the summer. Six years later, participating in outreach with this organization has become one of the more meaningful experiences of my life. It gives me a sense of purpose and allows me to learn more about the strength of the human spirit. I currently serve as the vice president but maintain my strong connection to outreach. The values of Friends like building community, strengthening relationships, and most importantly treating people with dignity have helped me to build empathy and inspired me to continue to advocate for the people we serve.
Jere Wallden | Treasurer
Inspired by my daughter who is involved in all aspects of Friends of the State Street Family, I wanted to find a way to support this group of very dedicated individuals who “walked the talk” of their mission. Being retired and only in Wisconsin six months a year, I wondered if there was a role for me. When in town, I joined the Wednesday morning Breakfast Club where friends could come to the FSSF table for emergency supplies, toiletries, clothing, and a listening ear. I was hooked! I decided I wanted to share the skills I acquired as a faculty member in Business Administration and Director of a non-profit state-wide agency. I joined the Board of Directors in the role of Secretary, moved to the At-Large position working on grant writing and software implementation, and now will move to the position of Treasurer. My love of technology has allowed me to stay involved even though I divide my time between Wisconsin and Florida. When I’m not in Wisconsin, I miss my friends at Dairy Drive on Saturday mornings but know I will return in the spring.
Iris Hutchings | Secretary
I am a relative newcomer to Friends, having been on the board since 2021. I heard about all the work the group had been doing to address the immediate needs of the unhoused population in the area, and wanted to help out. I started by hosting an event to raise funds, and after that gave me the chance to meet the team and get even more information, I jumped at the chance to join the board when an opening became available.
Because homelessness is such a varied and complex situation, it can become overwhelming, and the thing I liked about the Friends’ actions was that it was way to help someone immediately. The work the team coordinates and advocates for helps address some of those immediate needs, while keeping in mind that there are further reaching and longer lasting efforts that need to happen along with other organizations in the area.
In addition to helping out on the Board, I spend time making music in the area singing with local bands and playing disc golf as much as possible.
Brad "Boy Scout" Schlag | Project Manager
I started volunteering with Friends in 2018. I enjoyed going up and down State Street distributing the basics for survival to those struggling and being able to hear their stories and get the chance to connect them with the resources to get through the day and eventually off the street. When Covid hit we had to alter how we found and connected with our Friends and I was excited to figure out new and creative ways to get them resources and supplies while eliminating waste and single use plastics through our “Friends Stations” and other projects. Truly getting to meet people where they are is a rate gift and an incredible way to understand life beyond societal “norms” and find your humanity.
Jasper “Boss Man” Davis| Distribution Manager
Jasper has volunteered with the homeless for the past four years. He’s been part of our family for 2 1/2 years. He is a retired UW-Madison employee and has a master’s degree in counseling. He enjoys baseball and movies. He is currently working at Safe Haven as a counselor.