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Warming centers extend hours to help provide shelter from the elements

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MILWAUKEE, Wis. (CBS 58) – Like many warming shelters in the area, Repairers of the Breach adjusted their hours and plans to be open for 24 hours.

“I hope they’re not back there,” says Debra Sehnert Gonzalez, from Feeding his Flock Ministry. “Unfortunately, there are some foot prints so there are signs that they might be there.”

On Tuesday’s chilly afternoon, we tagged along with Sehnert Gonzalez. She had received a call about a homeless couple who had not been heard from.

The goal is to get them indoors, but ultimately hoping they’ve already sought shelter.

“We didn’t see any evidence of anyone being back there,” explains Sehnert Gonzalez. “So now, we don’t have to worry about anyone being there tonight.”

The city has declared Wednesday a health emergency day, not just for people living outside but all city residents.

“Safe guarding life and safety are our top priority,” says Mayor Tom Barrett during a press conference. “It is for that reason that the health commissioner declared tomorrow a health emergency day.”

Government officers and services will be closed and there will be no home visits. All Milwaukee County court proceedings for Wednesday and Thursday are cancelled.

“Nobody should be out there,” says Sehnert Gonzalez. “This is treacherous weather. Can you imagine doing that and then trying to sleep in this?”

Sehnert Gonzalez knows she can’t force people to go indoors, but she can provide assistance and items to help.

“I don’t think I sleep at all because I’m worried about that person making it through the night, because this is just too much,” says Sehnert Gonzalez.

Officials are urging people to limit their time outside, and if you do go out, dress appropriately.

If you need help or a place to stay you’re asked to call 2-1-1.

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