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Milwaukee opens warming centers as temperatures plummet

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Warming centers in Milwaukee will be open Thursday and Friday nights, Feb. 13-14, with temperatures dipping below 20 degrees.

St. Benedict the Moor Parish on State St. served a meal Thursday before laying out cots for 65 men and 20 women.

Theresa Bradford is homeless and calls the warming center a blessing.

"Somebody could find you dead if you out here in the cold, nowhere to go,” she said. “If you're not in our shoes then you wouldn't know. It's really hard."

Bradford says every day she’s trying to find a job.

Brother Robert Wotypka, the ministry director at Capuchin Community Services, recruited volunteers once he knew earlier this week how cold it would be.

He says most of the people who stay for the night are homeless.

"I feel like this is very much a stopgap to keep people alive, to keep people safe," Wotypka said.

Everyone’s sign-in information is passed to the city, which will then try to get them into the rapid rehousing homeless prevention program if needed.

“[Homelessness] really is a slow motion crisis,” Wotypka said. “Probably hundreds of people every night are not sure where they're going to spend the night."

Dove Williams is another homeless woman grateful for the center.

"They're providing help every way they can,” she said.

People needing a warming center are encouraged to call 211. Transportation can be made available to bring people where they need to be.

Here is a list of some centers that are open:

  • Divine Intervention (Ministry to the Homeless) - Tippecanoe Church 125 W. Saveland Ave. Milwaukee serves single adults age 18 and older - open from 12/1 – 3/31, Sun-Sat, 6 p.m.-8 a.m. No temperature threshold. Call 2-1-1 for entry.

  • St. Benedict De Moor - 924 W. State St. Serves single adults ages 18 and older. Open 12/01 - 3/01, Sun-Sat, from 8 p.m.-8 a.m. when 32 degrees or below (March only). Walk-in any time during open hours.

  • Ephesians Missionary Baptist Church - 2412 N. 6th St. (6th & Meinecke). Serves single adults ages 18 and older. Sat. – Sun. 7 p.m.-7 a.m. when 32 degrees or below.

  • Repairers of the Breach - 1335 W. Vliet St., Milwaukee. Serves single adults age 18 and older. Open from Mon.-Sat. 7 a.m.- 4 p.m. as day shelter, reopens for overnight shelter at 8 p.m. Sun.-Sat. when 20̊ or below. (Must arrive no later than 10 p.m.). Walk-ins welcome.
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