The scene outside Madison’s City-County building each day can look a little like a scene from the TV show “Hoarders.” Homeless people have been leaving their personal property piled up outside, with much of it in suitcases and garbage bags.
City and county leaders, who both work out of the building, are searching for a solution about what can be done with the bags on a daily basis. A special committee met Monday night to look at plans used in other cities, as they try to figure out the best approach.
Dane County Board Supervisor Mary Kolar said the unattended bags pose a security threat to the building. “It’s not ok that things, bags and boxes and other things, can be left unattended…that’s really the concern,” Kolar said.
There are some who argue the homeless need a place to keep their belongings during the day, after they leave shelters. Arnold Boone, who runs a homeless storage facility in Madison, noted that “if they’re going to look for employment, if they go into a grocery store, to apply for a job, they can’t go in the store and have eight bags of clothing with them.”
No specific recommendations were made following Monday’s meeting. The committee hopes to have an alternative plan ready by next month for where the homeless can store their items during the day.