Temporary men’s homeless shelter set to open on Madison’s East Side

First look inside temporary men's homeless shelter opening at Zeier Road
Published: Oct. 12, 2022 at 9:54 AM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) -The city-owned facility located on Zeier Road will serve as a new temporary location for single men facing homelessness starting Thursday.

This move marks the third temporary shelter the city of Madison will be transitioning to since the pandemic began. Starting in March 2020, a temporary men’s shelter was set up at the Warner Park Community Recreation Center and then moved to the city’s former Fleet Services building on First Street.

The facility located at 2002 Zeier Road is 31,500 square feet, formerly a commercial sporting goods store. The new space spent the summer under construction with an opening date set for mid-October.

“It’s taken a lot of steps to get here, it’s planning steps, it’s zoning steps, it’s building inspection steps, fire department steps, its engineering and construction steps,” explained Stephen King, facility services coordinator with the City Engineering Division. “It’s kind of all hand on deck across the city have come together on each one of these projects to push the ball over the finish line so we’re ready to go for the people that need it.”

The new space will be able to provide up to 200 men overnight accommodations, this as Porchlight is currently seeing between 150-170 men nightly at North First Street.

City officials say the Zeier street location has improved hygiene facilities as well as rooms for quarantine, isolation and recovery.

“This building was designed for people in mind, and that means restrooms and HVAC and lighting, all the things we interact with as people in a building are better off here than they were over there,” King said.

Porchlight, the city’s partner in the new shelter is reporting over 1,000 unique individuals having come through the shelter at North First Street in 2022.

The Zeier Road shelter will serve as a temporary location until 2025 when the City of Madison expects to open a permanent shelter on Bartillon Drive. This shelter will be a joint project between the city and county.

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