The City of Madison has selected Madison Area Care for the Homeless (MACH) OneHealth and Kabba Recovery Services as operators for the City of Madison’s first sanctioned sheltered campground on Dairy Drive, located on the City’s southeast side.

This project, which is the culmination of months of planning and construction, will consist of thirty climate-controlled structures to provide shelter to individuals living there. There is a central building at the property to provide office space, showers, and restroom facilities for the users of the campground. The operators will provide on-site services including support for housing searches, mental health wellness, and addiction recovery.

“The City has been working hard to provide shelter options to some of our most vulnerable residents as winter approaches by creating a new shelter campground.” said Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway. “I look forward to working with MACH One and Kabba Recovery Services who will provide day-to-day support and services for the residents of our Dairy Drive site, as they work to connect them to more stable housing. I am grateful that the City has the financial support of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to implement this project.”

The project is located in Common Council District 16, represented by Alder Jael Currie, who has been meeting with City staff as well as area residents and area business owners as planning and construction has proceeded. 

“I am pleased and want to thank MACH OneHealth for stepping up to provide additional support services for residents experiencing unsheltered homelessness in our community. This selection moves us closer to the collective goal of providing safer and more dignified sheltering options for unsheltered individuals at this time,” said Alder Currie. “I’d like to thank the multitude of City staff who have been working around the clock on this issue and development, especially staff of the Community Development Division and Engineering. I now look forward to continuing working with Community Development Division staff and establishing working relationships with MACH OneHealth staff to ensure we are able to open the site to occupancy as soon as possible.”

MACH OneHealth, with staff including social workers and counselors, has volunteer doctors, nurses, medical professionals, and other volunteers who regularly provide street medicine, street outreach, and other services at the Beacon and men’s shelter.

Kabba Recovery Services is a multicultural, State of Wisconsin licensed outpatient treatment center skilled in providing outreach, education, and treatment to clients and the greater community.

“We are determined to make the best of this location and ensure that we provide people with a positive, healthier experience.” said Dr. Pam Alsum, President of MACH OneHealth. “MACH OneHealth volunteers and staff know that many in this community - ourselves, our friends, our family members, our neighbors - through some unfortunate circumstances, could need to live without a house and home, as did the people who will be dwelling in this shelter community.”

District 10 Alder Yannette Figueroa-Cole, an advocate and activist for the houseless community in Madison said, “This sheltered campground is a new approach that requires collaboration and a specific skill set to implement. I am pleased to see MACH OneHealth stepping up to the challenge and coming into it with experienced mental health workers, many years of providing services to this community, strong management skills, and advocacy. Dairy Drive is but one of many options we need to provide to support those that need us the most. There are many other people sleeping under bridges or secluded places. We must continue to work on solutions that uphold the dignity and the safety of the people we are bound to serve. I am committed to see this project succeed and will provide any support needed to Alder Currie and MACH One to make that happen.”

One of the first tasks on which MACH One will focus is to develop an operational plan for the campground and begin the process of determining those who will be asked to move from Reindahl Park to Dairy Dive.  The site is expected to be available for move-in beginning the week of November 15.

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