Dane County plans to open homeless shelter

Interim shelter will open Nov. 1
Dane County plans to open homeless shelter

The Dane County Board is getting behind a proposal to provide a day shelter for the homeless.

On a voice vote Thursday night, the board voted to spend $25,200 to open an interim homeless shelter at a county-owned building on Wright Street in Madison. The shelter will be open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. starting Nov. 1 through April 30. The county is partnering Porchlight Inc. to provide the shelter.

The interim homeless shelter is meant to help the homeless while the City County Homeless Issues Committee conducts an analysis of homeless issues and studies gaps in services.

The board also intends to spend money in the county’s next budget on a permanent day center for the homeless, if money is also contributed from another source, like the city of Madison or a nonprofit agency.

County documents call for the day center to be centrally located, convenient to transit, and providing showers, restrooms, personal storage space, mailboxes, and computers and phones to connect to employment opportunities.

Recommendations on sharing costs for the day center are due to the Dane County Health and Human Needs Committee by Nov. 1.

The resolution states the county board believes homelessness is a problem the city and county must work together to address.