Madison City Council has approved a plan to rent 35 hotel rooms to provide accommodation for people camping in Reindahl Park.
The City of Madison plans to rent rooms at the Madison Plaza Hotel until June of next year, said Jim O’Keefe, director of community development for Madison. Meanwhile, the city will provide advice to residents of the chambers and work to find them permanent accommodation, O’Keefe said.
“It’s really a two-step process,” O’Keefe said. “To help them get out of Reindahl Park – which is not a healthy, not legal, unsafe place for them … And once they’re in a hotel and they stabilize a bit to help them to work on whatever they need to secure permanent housing.
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There are about 70 people camping at Reindahl Park, according to CNB 15. The encampment is not suitable for people who live there long term, with few stable sources of food and a dangerous environment, O’Keefe said.
Finding shelter for the homeless before winter is crucial, District 8 Ald. Juliana Bennett said.
“We can’t have people living on the streets in Wisconsin,” Bennet said. “It’s just not human at this point.”
Focus Counseling will provide 24/7 assistance services to hotel residents. The services will help residents resolve any issues that lead them to experience homelessness in the first place, so that they can eventually find a permanent and stable home, O’Keefe said.
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This plan is funded by $ 1.5 million in relief money from the US Rescue Plan. But O’Keefe said the hotel was part of the city’s plan to house residents of Reindahl Park. The City will then attempt to move the rest of the people living in Reindahl Park to a sanctioned campground with thirty small shelters.