Madison Common Council unanimously approves men’s homeless shelter site

MADISON, Wis. — Madison’s Common Council during a nearly 10-hour meeting Tuesday night unanimously approved plans to build a new men’s homeless shelter on the city’s east side.

Located at 1902 Bartillon Drive, the shelter would be built from scratch and include access to nearby Bus Rapid Transit stations upon completion, access to food outlets, and potentially a new city library.

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Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway and Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced plans for the site in early March, bringing an apparent end to the city’s exhaustive search for a permanent men’s homeless shelter, which city leaders have been efforting since the pandemic forced local shelters out of church basements and other spaces.



In the months after small shelters shuttered their doors across the city, city leaders tried to find new options for a permanent shelter, but two separate plans to transform existing buildings into a suitable shelter ultimately failed.

Design work for the new shelter on Bartillon Drive is expected to take most of 2022, with tentative plans to begin construction in early 2023. Together, the city and county have budgeted $9 million for the project, $3 million of which will come from Dane County’s budget.

The city’s current homeless shelter is operating out of the city’s former Fleet Services Building, which is set to be transformed into a public market by the fall of 2023.