Madison City Council Approves Far East Side Hotel Homeless Shelter

Aiming to shelter the homeless at the Reindal Park campsite and live elsewhere before winter arrives, Madison City Council on Tuesday approved leases of up to 35 rooms at a Far East hotel for those experiencing homelessness.

The City will be renting rooms at the Madison Plaza Hotel and contracting with Focus Counseling to provide additional services and provide security and nutrition to those staying at the hotel. The city has authorized up to $ 1.5 million in federal COVID-19 dollars to pay for rooms and services through the end of June.

The proposal passed without discussion as part of the agreed council agenda on Tuesday, which was a relatively quick meeting after three long days of budget discussions last week.

Since September, Dane County has rented 100 rooms at the Madison Plaza Hotel at 3841 E. Washington Ave. for homeless adults at high risk of severe COVID-19 illness and partners with Focus Counseling. The city will lease the remaining 35 rooms in the hotel.

The hotel owner, Chilewood, LLC, owes about $ 1.7 million in tax evasion and unpaid room taxes, and plans to convert the property into affordable housing are currently on hold.

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