Seal of Dane County County of Dane
County Executive's Office

County Announces Major Steps to Open Day Shelter This Year

April 03, 2014
Casey Slaughter Becker, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 843-8858
County Executive


Has Secured an Accepted Offer to Purchase Hospitality House From Porchlight, Funding

for Operation of Facility From City of Madison, Community Partners

The county has secured an accepted offer to purchase Porchlight’s Hospitality House facility in the Town of Madison, a major step forward for plans to open a day resource center this year for individuals in need, Dane County Executive Parisi announced today.


Under the terms of the offer, the County would purchase Hospitality House for $330,000. The purchase is subject to final approval by the Dane County Board and Porchlight’s Executive Board.


“The County has made historic investments in resources to help individuals and families in need,” said Parisi. “With the help of the County Board, the City of Madison, and our community partners, we can offer critical assistance to find a job, permanent housing, mental health and substance abuse assistance, and more.”


“Today is a milestone marking cooperation between county, city, and private sector representatives to ensure those in need have a place to go in Dane County,” said Supervisor Mary Kolar, who will introduce the offer to purchase at tonight’s meeting of the Dane County Board.  “The Day Resource Center that will be developed on Martin Street will enable those experiencing homelessness to get assistance with health, employment, and housing challenges.”


The County is planning to offer a number of services to help stabilize individuals and families in need through employment and job search resources, counseling, housing assistance, mental health and substance abuse assistance, and more. The County will work with homeless resource provider Shine608 on a management plan for the day resource center.


Plans for the facility also include basic amenities – showers, laundry, and storage – to make it easier for individuals who are homeless to conduct a job search, go to interviews, or maintain employment in order to secure permanent housing.


The 2013 County Budget included a historic $1.2 million investment in new services and programs for those who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, including $600,000 for the purchase and renovation of a day resource center.  

Porchlight’s Hospitality House facility is uniquely positioned to fill that purpose, as it has operated as a successful day resource center for homeless and low-income people in Dane County for years.


“Porchlight is proud to assist in the development of a permanent, more expansive day resource center for Dane County.  There has been a tremendous need for showers, laundry and storage facilities to serve homeless individuals and families.  This much larger, one-stop facility with comprehensive services will help assist homeless persons toward overcoming homelessness,” said Steve Schooler, Executive Director of Porchlight.  “Porchlight will continue to operate several of its long-standing programs such as the DIGS eviction prevention program and its outreach programs either in conjunction with the new daytime resource center or at other locations as well.  We look forward to this exciting opportunity to work with Shine 608 and Dane County to improve services and facilities available to homeless adults and families.”


The County Executive also thanked the City of Madison and private organizations that have partnered with the county to help provide funding for the operation of the day resource center in 2014. The City of Madison has committed $50,000 to the operation of the facility. The United Way has pledged $50,000 in operational support. Downtown Madison, Inc. will take the lead in bringing additional dollars from the private sector to the project. 


"This new facility, and more importantly this new collaboration, will allow us to effectively connect more families to housing, case management and eviction prevention, services that will help families avoid temporary shelter and homelessness altogether. That's our goal." Said Leslie Ann Howard, President and CEO of United Way. "We are so grateful for the persistence of the county executive, the work of Porchlight, the city of Madison partnership and the extra help from DMI. It's all of us coming together that will make this work.”


The estimated annual cost of operating the day resource center for a full year is $300,000.


Pending timely approval of the purchase offer, construction and remodeling of the day resource center is anticipated to begin in August, preparing the facility to open by November.


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