Deadline extended for residents of 'Tent City' under I-94 overpass

NOW: Deadline extended for residents of ’Tent City’ under I-94 overpass

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Residents of Milwaukee’s "Tent City" can breathe a sigh of relief after the deadline to evacuate the space under I-94 was extended. 

After weeks of moving people out, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) told CBS 58 they’re hoping it will give them and residents more time to find adequate accommodations.

The original eviction deadline for those living here under the overpass was Oct. 31. 

“I’m just riding this storm," said Rick Fowler. 

Rick Fowler has been living in the tent city encampment since June, but the early winter storm caught him a bit off-guard.

“I didn’t think it would collapse my tent,” said Fowler. “That ice got heavy.”

He recently moved his tent and belongings, but thinks he’ll be back because of the extension they’ve been granted until he can find a better place to stay.

“It’s a heavy lift. Look, I mean, people out here they’re just trying to survive, and so we’re trying to support them where they’re at,” said Eric Collins-Dyke, Milwaukee County’s Homeless Outreach Services Manager. “Support them as we get them into new environments.”

Eric Collins-Dyke, manager of Milwaukee County’s Homeless Outreach Services, says they’ve been able to place about 65 people.

The WisDOT wanted them all out so they can begin construction on a green space project.

He says they’re being more understanding, listening to the difficulties they’ve faced finding placement for people.

“We’re taking it day by day, case by case," said Collins-Dyke. 

Collins-Dyke says they still have about 20-25 more people to place, so they’re grateful for this extra time.

“Each case presents challenges and complexities, so as long as we stay in touch and let folks know our progress, and what we’re doing, we’ve been assured we’ll have the time we need,” said Collins-Dyke.

“I just hope everybody is safe out here and can find a warm place for themselves,” said Fowler.

There isn’t a definite date by when everyone needs to be moved out.

The homeless outreach services tells CBS 58 that looking into the future, they are hoping to be able to have more funding in place to prevent large encampments and other situations like this.

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