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District 12

Alder Barbara Vedder

Image of Alder Barbara Vedder

Alder Barbara Vedder

Contact Information

Home Address:

2314 E Dayton St

Council Office

Common Council Office:
210 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd
Room 417
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: (608) 266-4071
Fax: (608) 267-8669
WI Relay Service

District 12 Blog

Alder Abbas' Statement Regarding the Men's Homeless Shelter Location

May 5, 2021 10:26 PM

The issue of a purpose built homeless shelter is very important to me. I have been following many of the conversations regarding last night's Council meeting when the men's shelter relocation was voted down for the Zeier Road location.

I encourage you to watch last night's meeting and especially my comments during deliberation on this agenda item. I explained my position and my sincere desire to bring the shelter closer to downtown to a more connected location.

To people who are using the phrase "NIMBY" (not in my backyard), I want to be very clear that I proposed a site for a possible new shelter in my district on Pennsylvania Avenue (close to where it becomes East Johnson) so if any thing, I am proposing my own backyard to the Council for the new shelter. It's closer to downtown, it's more connected, and it's close to the current location (also in my district) at First Street.

This is not the first time I've advocated for our homeless and marginalized communities. In fact, over the last two years I supported more than five affordable housing projects in my district, including Tiny Homes. This is the most any district had in the past two years in the City of Madison in regards to affordable housing. I also supported bringing the temporary men's shelter to Warner Park and First Street Garage, both in my district.

I am entirely for a purpose-built shelter. I always stand with the homeless community, our most vulnerable community, and my track record is a good indicator of that.

Zeier Road is not a good location for the shelter: It is 6 miles from the city center, it's disconnected from the downtown, as well as services many in our homeless community rely upon. Our homeless community deserves better and we should do better by bringing them closer to more services and engaging them with the community rather than sending them to a place which has lack of transportation and no community nearby.

Site selection for this homeless shelter will have an impact that lasts for decades. The current shelter was purchased in 1984 and now four decades later, we are at a juncture where we need to make the right choice. I think it is in the best interest of our city to explore all the options including the Pennsylvania Avenue (at East Johnson) site.

Thanks again to all those who are really interested and are committed to a permanent purpose-built shelter for our vulnerable population. I look forward to addressing homelessness and working hard for all of you.


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