Update on homelessness in Madison

First, an update on the day shelter on E. Washington (from a letter written by the director, Sarah Gillmore, to neighbors (h/t Brenda Konkel):

Greetings Neighbors,

As Week 7 begins, I want to share information and request that if anyone has comments, observations, questions, and/or compliments, to please share them back.

We have been averaging around 125 people/day.

Over this period of time, with this volume of people, we have contacted MPD for assistance 5 times:

First call (mid-December) was to report that a new-to-us guest hit another guest. Our justice team got the “hitter” out of our building within seconds, and contacted MPD to make report.

The other four calls to MPD were for assistance in helping four separate guests obtain medical help.

Our volunteer team continues to do patrols of the neighborhood; we have added litter pick-up to this task, as well.

We have needs for volunteers to conduct workshops in: child programs, adult art/crafts, adult computer literacy, and tax preparation.

Thanks for working together with us. There are about 12 more weeks left with us as your neighbors

I won’t compare those statistics with the average number of calls to 911 from the Drop-In Shelter…

At our most recent First Monday meal, I was struck by how guests actively responded to problems. Guests are beginning to take responsibility for making sure others behave appropriately.

News has finally broken about the efforts of Occupy Madison to purchase a building on Madison’s north side that may ultimately provide single room occupancy for homeless people. The article from Madison.com is here. Isthmus coverage here.

I’m sure this will be a contentious issue as well but for all the NIMBY’s out there, a recent study suggests that homeless facilities may increase neighboring property values

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