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

Dane County Executive Parisi Announces Day Resource Center Purchase

July 14, 2016
Stephanie Miller 608-267-8823
County Executive

                                                 County Board Action Tonight, Parisi Will Sign Immediately


Today Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced the County Board is set to take up the resolution to purchase the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce Building at 615 East Washington Avenue for the purposes of a homeless day resource center for $1.75 million. If passed County Executive Parisi will sign it immediately.


This location is closer to downtown and other shelters, will be open faster, and is a better deal for taxpayers,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi. “I want to thank all of our partners for their tireless work to provide a shelter that will help connect our community members who have fallen on hard times to critical services.” 


The County will take residency of the building November 1, 2016. Part of the building will be available for a day resource center this winter if needed. Minor renovations will need to take place before the facility opens.


The request for proposal for an operator of the Day Resource Center is due August 12th.  Once an operator is selected early this fall, the application for a conditional use permit to the city of Madison will begin. If a conditional use permit is granted by the city of Madison, renovations will begin. In the meantime neighborhood input and meetings are happening as is work with County planning staff.


The County put in an offer to purchase that was accepted in June. The building was not on the market. The Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce Building is closer to downtown than previous locations, located on a bus line, close to bike trails and has parking. The layout of the building is ideal to provide services and to operate a day shelter. The Messner property would have cost around $3.2 million including purchase and renovation. The Chamber building will cost at least $500,000 less for both purchase and renovation. Dane County still owns the Messner property further down East Washington. No determinations have been made to this point about its use.


The day resource center is intended to include private offices and meeting rooms to allow providers to meet confidentially with individuals and families and connect them to or provide them with community services, including employment and training, permanent housing, economic assistance, legal services, health care, mental health services, alcohol and other drug addiction treatment, and more.


The facility is also intended to provide for basic needs that are critical to many individuals and families experiencing homelessness, such as private, accessible showers, storage space for personal items, laundry facilities, meals, space to stay cool or keep warm, and access to  haircuts, a kitchen, and food storage. Other features that may be included are access to telephones, a computer lab, a mail/message center, a day room, an outdoor area, areas for quiet resting, an area for families who may need to access services with their children, and more.


Parisi concluded, “We know we have a lot of work to do to address homelessness and this is a great step towards helping the most vulnerable in our community. We have never had such a broad coalition of support from the public, private and non-profit sector for this project at any other location.”