Facility to Address Basic Needs
July 24, 2012
Supervisor John Hendrick, Dane County Board of Supervisors(446-4842)
Members of the Dane County Board Supervisors today introduced a resolution to create a permanent day center to address the needs of many people to access basic services, such as showers, restrooms, property storage spaces, laundry, mailboxes, and computers and phones to connect with employment opportunities and social services.
The resolution proposes that the county build the facility, funded in the 2013 county’s capital budget, and work with other local governments and not-for-profit agencies to operate the facility.
“Most people who are homeless have jobs, but they do not have resources to meet their basic needs to keep their jobs and raise themselves out of homelessness,” said Supervisor John Hendrick, the primary sponsor of the resolution. “This includes individuals and families that live in their car, sleep at a friend’s home, or use the shelters at night but do not have a space to use during the day,” he added.
Madison Urban Ministry issued a report on July 9, 2012, recommending the County Board take immediate action to address the gaps in services for the homeless in Dane County. While the report assessed several site locations for permanent housing facilities, it sparked discussion of a need for a daytime facility with storage space, restrooms, and showers.
“We are at a critical time in Dane County—the job market remains sluggish, the rental housing market is extremely tight, and funding for safety net programs continues to be cut. As a result, citizens of Dane County are left without access to basic services to help them survive, find a job, and support themselves,” said Supervisor Heidi Wegleitner, a strong advocate for homeless and housing rights. “A day center is an important part of a broader plan to address significant gaps in our system."
The resolution stresses that an ideal day center would be centrally located and accessible by public transportation. It also calls on the City of Madison, and the newly created City-County Homeless Issues Committee, to work with Dane County to address these essential needs.
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