City, county leaders announce new location for permanent men’s shelter in Madison

MADISON, Wis. — The City of Madison and Dane County say they have found a new permanent location for a men’s shelter for those experiencing homelessness.

Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and County Executive Joe Parisi made the announcement in a joint press release Thursday morning.

The new facility will be located at 2002 Zeier Road on the city’s east side, next to East Towne Mall.

Previously, the city and county tried to acquire land nearby at 4111 East Towne Blvd. before the property owner withdrew from the tentative agreement one day after the deal was announced last October.

Shelter services have been offered out of temporary facilities since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, including the city’s old Fleet Services building on North First Street. The city and county have worked to find accomodations for people to reduce the spread and exposure to the virus throughout the pandemic while they continued to look for a permanent shelter location.

The city and the county included $3 million each in their budgets to acquire the land needed for a permanent shelter and cover any needed renovations. The property on Zeier Road will cost $2.6 million to buy, according to the joint press release.

“It’s important for us to have more space and it’s important that it be purpose-built so that we’re not sacrificing functionality by just going along building in a haphazard manner,” said Mayor Rhodes-Conway during a press briefing Thursday.

The mayor says the city also wants to make the area more than just a shelter, offering an array of services for those who don’t have a place to call home, and the city says members of the public will have input on the type of other services the facility will provide.

The acquisition still needs to be approved by the city’s Common Council at their meeting Tuesday night.