MILWAUKEE -- Construction on Milwaukee's newest homeless shelter could begin in the coming weeks. The building has officially been purchased -- and leaders are excited to provide services in one of the city's neediest ZIP codes.
"We experience the possibilities here as real possibilities," said Sister MacCanon Brown, president and executive director of the MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary. "A life-building and life-saving center."
A 1920s furnace factory at 24th and Center is set to be transformed into the MacCanon Brown Homeless Sanctuary -- a daytime center for the homeless or those at risk of becoming homeless.
"It would be a place of refuge where people receive all kinds of help," Brown said.
With five stories and 35,000 square feet, there is plenty of space to build -- inside and out.
There are plans to flip the entrance around and build an addition on the east side of the building with a new door. Plans for the second, third and fourth floors include space for medical care, job services and interior urban agriculture. They would even have a rooftop garden on the third floor -- producing food for the major meal program. The fifth floor would be a dedicated community space.
"Then we invite into that community people who have enough or more, to be part of the solidarity here," Brown said.
The new building is expected to offer a sense of belonging to those struggling to get back on their feet.
Before work on the building can begin, the land needs to be rezoned from commercial to special use. That is expected to happen in April. Construction would begin a short time later -- and the first floor is expected to be complete by fall.
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