Soglin’s homeless crackdown sparks campout protest

Soglin’s homeless crackdown sparks campout protest

In protest of Madison Mayor Paul Soglin’s executive action designating the area outside the City-County Building as the only place homeless people can sleep other than a shelter, homeless supporters camped out alongside the homeless Thursday night.

“I was coming from the library, returning a book. And then I saw them. And it caught my interest,” homeless supporter King Brown said.

Brown said he planned on standing by the homeless Thursday night to stand up for their rights.

“Before you see someone laying on the ground, and go the other way, and cross the street. You don’t know that person’s story. So just please try to give,” Brown said.

Former Alderwoman Brenda Konkel led the charge that the mayor’s executive action misses the point that the real issue is homeless Madisonians using up a limited number of days they are allowed to stay at the shelter.

“There is no shelter for people to go to. I think that’s a common misconception in the community that they can just go to the shelter. And that just isn’t true,” Konkel said.

Konkel hopes the symbolism of seeing those who are not homeless sleeping alongside the homeless means city and county leaders will start working together to solve the issue.

Soglin has previously called his executive action a matter of public safety.