He wants to bus the homeless out our of Madison. Seriously. Demonstration today at noon. 1402 S. Park St. at the former Truman Olson Army Reserve next to Copp’s.
WHAT IS WRONG WITH SOGLIN
Usually, he’s a really smart guy and I appreciate his policy discussions on issues. I’ve been largely ignoring his knee-jerk, angry, visceral reaction he has whenever we talk about homeless issues. I endorsed him, knowing we would get nowhere on affordable housing and homeless issues. I knew we would fight about issues and disagree, but decided his stance on the other issues was worth it. What I didn’t expect is for him to just slam the door and not be able to talk to him about issues. I didn’t expect him to dig in his heels and be so irrational about it.
His letter to Joe Parisi is actually rational and he does have some good points. Here’s his letter.
September 28, 2012
Dane County Executive Joe Parisi
City-County Building, Room 421
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard
Madison, WI 53703
Dear County Executive Parisi:
Late last Wednesday, after the media had been notified, my staff received your press release announcing the location of your proposed day shelter. This was the first notification that any city staff had that you were considering a specific site. We checked with our entire Management Team and determined that the only contact that our staff had on this issue prior to the site selection were general questions about zoning.
In response, Sally Miley attempted to contact your Chief of Staff for more information. She was not able to arrange a meeting until Wednesday morning of this week. During that meeting he informed her that the county has other possible sites to consider, yet late yesterday she learned that no alternate sites have been evaluated.
From a city perspective, this process is unacceptable. It appears that the City of Madison is the chosen municipality for locating a day shelter, yet our professional staff were not consulted and asked to assist in vetting potential sites. In the case of your Wright property, this should have included Zoning, Madison Police Department, and CDA housing staff at a minimum as well as my office, city council members Palm and Rhodes-Conway, and East Madison Neighborhood Center Director Tom Moen.
I have made it clear that the City of Madison does not have the resources or the responsibility to take care of Dane County’s and Wisconsin’s homeless population. Even if we do not have to cover operating costs for a day shelter, the city will have to deal with the impact on neighbors and the costs associated with that impact. We cannot adequately plan for a situation like this without advance consultation. When private developers locate a new use within the city, they come in with their plans well ahead of time so that staff can review and make recommendations, and elected officials and neighbors have time to provide input. We would like to think that you would do the same.
The city is always willing to work in a cooperative fashion with the county on this and many other issues, but a working relationship of that kind cannot develop if information is not shared in both directions. I ask that you look at the other sites that you have considered for the day shelter and that city staff be consulted as to their suitability. We have grave concerns about locating it on Wright Street. City staff are analyzing it based on the limited information that has been provided and it is not a given that we will be able to support its selection.
I am available to meet and discuss this issue further at any time.
Paul R. Soglin
He makes some good points. The county process sucked. They waited til the last minute, they hand-picked a provider without asking for proposals and didn’t even try to get input on siting the warming center – which is 5 miles from the capital!
What was odd was his comments in the paper. He seriously said this:
“The response from the mayor’s office was for the county to evaluate bussing homeless people outside of Madison to other communities,” she said.
I know its a quote from the county executive’s spokesperson about what he said, but I’ve heard him say similar things to me, so I believe he said it. I’m wondering how long he is going to bury his head in the sand and continue to believe that we don’t have homeless people who come from Madison. With this economy and the lowest vacancy rates in the last 15 years, housing is increasingly unaffordable and unobtainable. Homeless people are Madison people, people who have lived here all their lives in some cases, and people who came here for all the same reasons many of us have in other cases.
Additionally, this comment drives me nuts.
“Even if we do not have to cover operating costs for a day shelter, the city will have to deal with the impact on neighbors and the costs associated with that impact,” he said.
He refuses to see that if the city invested some operating expenses, and the place was run with appropriate resources and decent staff, that the issues he is referring to would be mitigated. If he invested in social services we wouldn’t have to use so many police services.
Anyways, more on this later. And more on the county sucky process later too. There’s an awful back story going on with slimy Porchlight that eventually will come out – and the worst part is eventually I will likely come out in full support of the Warming Center being run by Porchlight if all goes well. Like I said, more on that later next week.
Homeless Services Crisis in Madison
Madison and Dane County Lack Basic Services
- Women and Children are being turned away nightly with no options but a car or the streets!
- The current system only allows for 60 nights per year!
- Laundry, showers, and restrooms non-existence for people living on the streets!
- The homeless can be banned from services without an appeal process!
YOU CAN HELP, WE HAVE TO DO BETTER!
Join Occupy Madison and The Homeless Community to help stop this CRISIS!
September 29th @ 12 Noon, 1402 Park Street
Support our Community @ Truman-Olson Building
REMINDER ABOUT GAPS IN THE SYSTEM
I worked on this document with gaps in the homeless system with agencies from the Homeless Services Consortium and these are the gaps the professionals in the field came up with, along with a list of the very limited housing options:
SUMMARY OF HOMELESS SERVICES AND HOUSING FOR THE HOMELESS
PEOPLE NOT SERVED OR UNDER-SERVED BY SHELTER SYSTEM
- Transgendered persons (Served by Safe Haven if mental illness, served by Tellurian if mental illness or AODA issues)
- Couples (they have to be split up)
- Men who have used 60 days in shelter since November 1, unless it is 20 degrees or less
- Women who have used 60 days in shelter, unless it is 20 degrees or less
- Families (children) who have used up their 180 life-time limit, no cold weather exception
- People who have been banned from shelter
- People who have been drinking alcohol during the day (some excepts on case-by case basis)
- Families on the waiting list for shelter – may be able to spend a night in Warming Shelter (currently 20 families)
- Unaccompanied Youth
- People with pets
- Daytime use for all populations ( limited use at Hospitality House)
- People with emotional issues or mental health issues that struggle with living in shelter
- People being released from corrections
- People who have 1st shift jobs and need to walk to work before buses have stared (cannot get enough sleep at shelter)
- People who work 2nd shift jobs who can’t get into shelter because they are late
- People working 3rd shift
- People recovering from surgery or illness that requires bed rest for healing
- People with certain illnesses or disabilities
- Lesbian, gay, bisexual persons (report feeling unsafe in shelters)
- Young children in the Madison Schools
From 2010 Annual Report
- 257 Units for single adults (46 SROs for men, 88 women, 123 men and women)
- 217 for Families (183 for families and couples, 34 women and children only)
- 529 Units for special populations (5 single men with AODA issues, 27 single women with AODA, 117 SRO for single adults with AODA issues, 12 for women with children with AODA issues, 6 SRO men with disability, 17 SROS for women with a disability, 96 SROs for single adults with a disability, 34 for familes with disabilities, 117 for single adults and families with disabilities, 31 SRO for single adults with dual dianosis, 3 for women from Department of Corrections, 64 SRO for single adults that are veterans)
More specifically, by population
- Permanent and transitional housing for people with HIV/AIDS (AIDS Network)
- 62 or older (McKee Apartments, has a waiting list of 10 people)
- Veterans (VA Veterans Homeless Program)
- Housing for people with disabilities who are trying to increase their income/self-sufficiency (CAC 14 households, adding 4 more)
- Single women 18 – 26 who are pregnant with their first child (Elizabeth House)
- Single women with kids and an income (St. Vincent de Paul can apply for waiting list)
- Women with 1 or 2 children under 5 years old and an income (YWCA, waiting list closed)
- Housing for people with mental illnesses – (Goodwill – 3 group homes pay all SSI except $100, 7 apartment buildings require 30% of income)
- Men or women with mental illnesses – (Housing Initiatives, 85 people on waiting list, Porchlight, Tellurian charges fees)
- Women with mental illnesses (Women in Transition)
- Short term alcohol or drug treatment (Hope Haven, North Bay, Chris Farley House – up to 3 months)
- Alcohol or drug issues (Porchlight)
- Singles inpatient drug and alcohol treatment with insurance (Tellurian)
- Single men and women (Porchlight, accept case management and pay $239-431 per month)
- Single women with no children and an income (Holly House – 24 month limit, YWCA)
- Single men (Port St. Vincent $360 per month, 40 people on waiting list)
- Families (The Road Home and YWCA: Rapid Re-Housing 45 families, pays first month rent and security deposit, small rental subsidy; Housability 23 units for families with an adult with a disability; Second Chance, 15 units where tenant pays 30% of income towards rent and money is used to repair credit; Housing and Hope 15 units, will be 30 in 2013, for mfamilies with high needs, has on-site case managment)
Waiting lists for public housing are as follows as of 6/8/2012:
1-Bedroom Unit (Disabled Designations) = 12+ Months
1-Bedroom Unit (Age 62 or older Designations) = 3 – 6 Months
1-Bedroom Unit (Age 50-61, no disability) = 12+ Months
1-Bedroom Unit (No Designation) = Indefinite wait time
2-Bedroom Unit = 1-2 Years
3-Bedroom Unit = 1-2 Years
4-Bedroom Unit = 1-2 Years
5-Bedroom Unit = 1-2 Years
For public housing you must have good credit which is problematic for poor people, 24 months of positive rental history and no criminal history.
Waiting lists for Section 8 at the City and County are closed and have been for years.
Market rate housing is also near impossible. The second quarter of the year is usually the best time to rent and there was only a 3.2 vacancy rate, the lowest in years (info goes back to 1995). Many require good credit, 3 times rent in income, no evictions or criminal history, etc.
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