‘It takes a village:’ Street Angels give the homeless food, transportation to warming shelters

MILWAUKEE -- It is not safe for anyone to be outside for an extended period of time when temperatures dip to below freezing. Outreach efforts are ramping up to get the homeless out of the cold.

The temps are cold enough to kill and there are ways for everyone to get involved to help.

"The community makes this possible," said Shelly Sarasin, Street Angels co-founder.

Volunteers for Street Angels are putting their boots on the ground to reach people stuck in the cold.

Shelly Sarasin

"Each night we have someone preparing hot food. We have groups and individuals who sign up to bring bagged lunches," said Sarasin. "It's a matter of life and death right now."

A second bus was added to the mission last week, providing food and cold weather necessities.

"Blankets, and hand warmers, and socks, and it takes a village," said Sarasin. located at 1335 West Vliet Street.

The busses take them to shelters like Repairers of the Breach located at 1335 West Vliet Street.

Repairers of the Breach

"All winter we are going to need support to keep this going the way it is," said Rebecca North, president of the board of directors for Repairers of the Breach. . "People will be sleeping right here in this room and they sleep, some of them, sitting up in the chair."

Some shelters are at capacity. Especially for women and children, there are limited places to go.

"We're doing transportation because there are no warming shelters on the south side," Sarasin said.

Many who are still outside are struggling from mental illness.

"Believe they're going to be fine and they're not cold, it's heartbreaking to leave. You are not able to convince them they could die on a night like tonight, and not knowing if we're going to see them the next time that we're out," said Sarasin.

Their efforts to save are funded entirely by the community.

"Nobody should be outside in this weather," said Sarasin.

All shelters could also use more warm clothing like thermal pants, shirts, hats and gloves. If you see anyone out in the cold weather, you can call Street Angels to help them at 414-369-3688.

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