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Madison organizations work to rehouse people living in Reindahl Park

The eviction deadline for the people living in Reindahl Park ends Monday. People who have lived in the park for well over a year now need alternative housing.
Published: Dec. 6, 2021 at 7:43 PM CST
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The eviction deadline for the people living in Reindahl Park ends Monday. People who have lived in the park for well over a year now need alternative housing.

For some, that will mean relocating to the single-person shelters constructed on Dairy Drive. Others will move to the Madison Plaza Hotel, on East Washington Avenue, just a six-minute walk from the park.

The group Focus Counseling works with Dane County to rehouse people coming from the park in 35 rooms set aside for the project. It is familiar territory for the organization, which has worked with the county and hotels across Madison for the past 20 months to find housing for people struggling with homelessness.

Focus Counseling already houses between 130 and 145 people at the hotel and worked with the county and Catalyst for Change Monday to help move people from Reindahl into 35 additional rooms.

“Our hope is that everyone who’s at the park will be able to have a place to go,” said Focus Counseling CEO Calvin Brace. “To be able to have a sheltered place to go and be out of the cold.”

But the organization doesn’t stop at housing. Focus Counseling helps residence at the hotel find jobs, benefits, and permanent housing. The goal is to help people staying at the hotel beyond just offering a room.

Over the past 20 months, 98 households have been placed in permanent housing. Brace believes in the program’s success going forward for those coming out of the park.

“This is a program dripping with opportunity for people to become permanently housed,” said Brace.

He added that the hotel is also staffed 24/7 with people from Focus who can offer assistance to those staying at Madison Plaza Hotel.

Brace said 26 rooms and 29 people moved into the hotel from the park Monday.

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