Veteran-run cafe, peer support group to move to new apartment complex for veterans

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) – A local branch of a veteran-run cafe is moving to the heart of downtown Madison.

Rob Waite, a veteran and chief operating officer of Dryhootch Madison, said moving to the first floor of a new veterans apartment complex will allow the nonprofit organization to reach more veterans in the area. Madison who need a meaningful conversation over a cup of coffee.

“It’s a central location, it’s perfect for what we’re trying to accomplish,” Waite said.

This “spot” is in Valor on Washington. The 59-unit apartment complex will open in October and will house veterans and their families, as well as veteran support services like Dryhootch.

“It’s going to give a lot of families a safe place to connect with other veterans,” Wait said. “All of the peer groups and peer support that we’re going to have and provide to families is invaluable.”

For Waite, peer support is personal. He says that in the 1970s and 80s, and even after his deployment to Somalia, Bosnia and Haiti in the Marine Corps, services for struggling veterans were scarce. He has only worked with Dryhootch for two years but is feeling the benefits.

“Dryhootch was able to give me a strong foundation and foundation to move forward and solve a lot of issues that I hadn’t worked on before,” Waite said.

He hopes the new location will do the same for others.

“Come in, sit down, have a cup of coffee,” Waite said. “We don’t need to talk specifically about what’s going on. We can talk about anything that helps to relax and feel a little more comfortable.

The new Dryhootch site also opens in early October.

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Virginia S. Braud