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Dane County Books Dozens of Hotel Rooms to Ensure Safe Social Distancing at Homeless Shelters

Dane County Seal

County Executive Joe Parisi announced today that Dane County has partnered with several hotels in Madison to secure 72 hotel rooms and counting to ensure safe social distancing for individuals experiencing homelessness in Dane County.

“Dane County is committed to helping our most vulnerable residents receive the support and shelter they need during the novel coronavirus pandemic,” said Dane County Executive Joe Parisi in a statement. “Through these efforts, we hope to limit the spread of COVID-19 in families experiencing homelessness and individuals at risk of developing severe health complications. A huge thank you goes out to our dedicated staff, partners, and the participating hotels who have worked around the clock to make this possible.”

The rooms will be used specifically for families experiencing homelessness who were staying in overnight shelter, and individuals experiencing homelessness who are considered high-risk in multiple categories for COVID-19, the County says. Move-in starts today. Dane County is allocating over $150,000 for the rooms and to provide these residents with meals and supportive services will be provided by a number of service agencies.

Additional hotel partners are being sought to meet the need for serving individuals at higher risk of contracting COVID-19. Ideal locations are properties on a major bus line and/or centrally located, and those with microwaves, fridges, or similar amenities to aid with meals while guests are staying in the rooms. Businesses interested in partnering should e-mail emergencymangement@countyofdane.com.

Additionally, The Salvation Army will temporarily relocate over 20 families staying in their shelter to increase social distancing overnight and during the day. This will allow The Salvation Army to serve single women at their facility 24/7. Both of these actions will reduce the number of guests at The Beacon homeless day resource center during the day, and help increase social distancing there until alternative shelter can be activated for families, women, and men, respectively.