I am very pleased with the Common Council’s unanimous decision this week to move forward with the 1901 Bartillon Drive site as the location for Madison’s first ever purpose-built homeless shelter.
As I said last month, when County Executive Joe Parisi and I put this site forward for consideration – this is a big deal. It has been a long time coming. But now, we can turn our focus to making this dream a reality.
The decisions we make in coming months will determine whether we create the kind of shelter I think we all want – a safe and welcoming place for those who need short-term shelter and a path back to stable housing. I pledge that we will make every effort to bring community voices, including those who have experienced homelessness, into conversations that will shape both the physical and operational aspects of this facility.
Very shortly, steps will be taken to identify an architectural and engineering firm that will help develop design plans, and we will begin the search for a facility operator. We anticipate design plans will be completed by mid-year 2023, paving the way for construction to start by the end of that year.
I want to take a moment to express my appreciation to the Common Council, and to County Executive Parisi and the County Board, for their initial support of this important project. I also want to thank Congressman Pocan, again, for his recent efforts to secure Federal financial support. Because of this early support, we begin the next phase of this work from a strong foundation.

But let me be clear. There is much hard work ahead, and we will have difficult choices to make. Success will require sustained cooperation and collaboration between City and County officials, as well as from the local network of service providers, homeless advocates and the private sector. Only then will we deliver the kind of supportive facility that residents of Madison and Dane County who face homelessness need and deserve. I’m eager to get started.​

This content is free for use with credit to the City of Madison - Mayor's Office and a link back to the original post.