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Community groups make signs ahead of Reindahl Park eviction

Published: Dec. 5, 2021 at 10:10 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - About a dozen people came out to make signs in Reindahl park on Sunday before an eviction notice from the City of Madison goes into effect.

The eviction would force those currently experiencing homelessness who are living at Reindahl park to move out.

Community groups and activists are against the order to clear out. They said the goal of gathering to make the signs is to give the people living their a voice.

“Giving them an eviction means they don’t have a choice,” said Pearl Foster, a head of the group Community Action Against Reindahl Eviction.

“A lot of them also didn’t have a choice in where they wanted to go; the city keeps telling them they did have a choice in going to Dairy Drive or the new hotel program, that is not a choice for many,” Foster added.

Last month the city of Madison put up 30 individual “Pallet” homes on Dairy Drive. It also planned to fill 35 rooms at the Madison Plaza Hotel with those at Reindahl park getting priority over other homeless populations.

Foster said this was not an option for all and that the Dairy Drive shelters and hotel rooms secured by the city are too far from the support systems and jobs they should have access to.

“Dairy Drive, it’s very isolating. It’s out of town, people that work here, people that have been here all summer have gotten jobs in this neighborhood and so they can’t commute.”

Garrett Arthur Olson is staying at Reindahl park. He said the eviction has been hard for the community.

“A lot of these people are married still out here and still have jobs and they’re trying to maintain that, and they just need that common decency.” Olson said.

Foster hopes that her group and the signs will sway the common council even after the eviction goes into effect.

“I would like to hope that the city would listen, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.”

The Madison Common Council is set to meet again on Tuesday, one day after the eviction goes into effect.

NBC 15 checked the agenda for the Tuesday meeting and there is no discussion for Reindahl Park scheduled. Our newsroom also reached out to the Common Council and have not received a response.

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