Dane County Board to vote on Day Resource Center


Posted, Tuesday May 13, 2014 --- 6:30 p.m.

For years, Dane County has been trying to provide a Day Resource Center to the homeless.

It may be just days away, before that happens.

The funding is available. If approved, the money to build and run the center will come out of the county budget.

The problem that lingers is the location.

"It's been difficult finding a site. We've been working on it for two and a half years," said Lynn Green the Dane County Human Services Director

"It's a very quiet, neighborhood, just a nice place to be, nice place to raise your kids," said Roger Slane. He's lived in the neighborhood near Martin Street off Fish Hatchery his whole life.

The neighborhood is so tucked away, our camera crew only saw a few cars pass by over an hour.

Porchlight Hospitality House is also on the street. On Thursday, the Dane County board will decide whether the location will be used to build a Day Resource Center.

"This wall comes down, there's new HVAC, new plumbing, there's new walls."

Today Porchlight gave a tour of their facilities, explaining the renovation that would take place if the Resource Center is approved.

It would cover a range of things never offered before. From taking a shower and doing laundry to assistance with housing and jobs.

"The main goal of a resource center will be to get the help they need to break the barriers that are causing homelessness," said Green.

The big problem has been the location.

"The concerns are people who might be disruptive, loitering," said Green.

The proposed site is on the west side of Fish Hatchery, near the Arboretum.

"If it was on the other side of the road of the road there, where St Vinny's is; in that area ... it'd be a beautiful place for it," said Slane.

He walks his dog through the neighborhood for three miles each day, and thinks the Resource Center just wouldn't fit nestled in with residential houses. He believes seeing it in a commercial setting would be better.

"I think there needs to be a homeless shelter, but I don't think this is the place for it," said Slane.

He has the same consensus as David Peters.

"I'm in favor of a location, yes, but the only thing I object to is it's in a very poor location," said Peters, who has lived in Madison three years and been homeless on and off.

Despite his opposition to the location, he still believes the services are needed.

"I would still be glad to see it because I know many people could benefit from it," said Peters.

"I don't think there's any controversy about the need and wanting to go forward on it. I think people are almost unanimously in the camp of that," said Green.

Dane County Human Services assures the group running the day center will monitor the building closer than before -- assuring no ruckus or safety concerns for the neighborhood.


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