We acknowledge and appreciate the efforts we have been made aware of to provide safe shelter to unhoused people. And more needs to be done.
We are in unprecedented times, and unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures. With the Wisconsin and Dane County State of Emergency, we call on you to use the City and County "Rainy Day" funds to support the city and county staff working to solve these issues. Please take these actions and fund the following immediately:
Open Monona Terrace (or Alliant Energy Center or Warner Park with transportation) immediately. Even if this is a temporary space until a more perfect solution can be found, at least it will provide more opportunity for social distancing. Identify vacant spaces that are appropriate for this use.
Authorize funding for additional staffing for Porchlight and Salvation Army or other agencies that may step up.
Give hotel vouchers to everyone lacking housing
Ensure no one is turned away from shelter, provide vouchers to prevent over-crowding.
Open the youth shelter to full capacity, with adequate staffing, or provide hotel vouchers.
Provide vouchers for people who are banned from shelters and services, both day and evening.
Provide resources for solutions for people who are doubled up with other families right now, as second-tier priorityRelax the 48 hour parking rules for people living in cars on the streets.
Establish a fund to get phones for those who have run out of minutes or have no phone access.
Open a larger, more adequate space for families to use during the day. Fund the Salvation Army et al to staff their current spaces
Provide food access to highest known health standards
End ticketing of homeless persons and "moving along" on city property as long as they are practicing social distancing.
Suspend all zoning regulations that inhibit siting of structures that enable safe distancing
People without homes, with an average life expectancy of 50, already have a life expectancy that is 20 years less than the average person. Many people without homes are over 60, have pre-existing conditions and are experiencing stress and trauma that is unimaginable. For housed people it's raining. For people without homes, it's pouring and they have no shelter from the storm! Please use those funds to help the most vulnerable among us with the least protections at the moment, before it is too late!
John Brown (UNIFY Madison)
Annie Kraus (Social Justice Center)
Stephanie Rearick (Madison Mutual Aid Network)
and all the following supporters: