Bitterly cold start to the week has church opening its doors: “We welcome families to come out of the cold”

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MILWAUKEE -- A bitterly cold Sunday, January 10th will lead to a cold first half of the week. A church in Milwaukee is opening its doors to those who would otherwise be braving the bitter cold on their own.

Greater New Birth Church

Greater New Birth Church

Greater New Birth Church on W. Silver Spring Drive (near Silver Spring and Fond du Lac) opened Sunday night for families in need. The church can serve 100 people.

"We welcome families to come out of the cold," Ptosha Davis, spokeswoman for Greater New Birth Church said. "This is our second year we`ve been able to house 100 people when the temperatures dip."

Sleeping bags were lined up inside waiting for men, women and children expected during the overnight hours.

Greater New Birth Church

Greater New Birth Church

Demand for shelter has been high in advance of Sunday -- in anticipation of the falling temperatures.

According to a spokeswoman for Milwaukee's "Impact 211" homeless services, 200 people were placed on a waiting list for shelter. About a dozen are considered to be living in vehicles or on the street. Impact 211 officials believe they'll be able to find shelter for all families who want to get out of the cold on Sunday night.

Shelter demand in Milwaukee

Shad Para

Shad Para

Shad Para's beard showed just how cold it was on Sunday. He was out clearing an elderly neighbor's driveway in Brown Deer after light snowfall on Saturday.

"It`s pretty cold out. It`s finally starting to feel like winter in Wisconsin I guess!" Para said.

If you are in need of shelter during this bitterly cold stretch, you're asked to call 211. Space is limited, and 211 officials can help direct you to available shelter.

Homeless in Milwaukee

Homeless in Milwaukee