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County, city discuss possible day shelter for homeless

Deal on east side building could be made in next couple of weeks, officials say

MADISON, Wis. - Dane County could make a deal on a new permanent day shelter for the homeless in the next couple of weeks.

Officials said the push for finding a place for the homeless is because there are so many people still trying to get on their feet after the recession.

The ideal location would be in the immediate downtown area so the homeless can have quick access to services to help them get jobs and get back on their feet. But as the real estate market bounces back, properties that fit the county's needs and fit into the $600,000 budget have been scarce.

As a result, their focus has turned to properties some distance from the city center, like the MARC East building on Lien Road.

"Part of the answer is that the homeless are everywhere in Dane County and everywhere in the city of Madison. But there are many services that are centralized in the central part of Madison, and a building like MARC would require a substantial transportation plan," Hendrick said.

Hendrick said he couldn't talk specifics about any real estate deals, but MARC East is under consideration because MARC is building a new location off of American Family Parkway.

Hendrick said a deal could be made within the next couple of weeks but transportation will have to be considered.

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