‘You can’t live out here:’ Warming centers open doors, extend hours for freezing weekend

MILWAUKEE -- Warming centers in our area have seen an increase in people trying to stay warm in the dangerous temperatures. Some shelters are preparing for bigger crowds as the freeze continues into the weekend.

"It's very cold. You can't live out here," said Todd Grant, lives in Milwaukee.

There's a lot of places that have opened their doors and extended their hours for people to come in and get warm.

Repairers of the Breach

"You've got to let people in to stay out of the cold," said Grant.

Inside Repairers of the Breach, it's a safe haven from the subzero temperatures.

"We're ready to accept more people," said James West, Repairers of the Breach.

Todd Grant is no stranger to trying to survive in the cold. If it wasn't for the warming shelters across the city, he'd be in an abandoned building somewhere fighting to stay warm and stay alive.

"You got to go somewhere," Grant said. "Or I'll go sit in a bar for a while and that's it."

Repairers of the Breach has seen an increase over the past couple of days with people taking advantage of the warming center there.

"We were one who said that we would take the overflow up to 60 people and we're climbing up to that number," said West.

Workers say they've had about 40 people come in as temperatures dropped.

"We do see an increase. We even see different faces," West said.

It's what those seeking relief are coming in with -- or without -- that's concerning.

"We've seen people with no gloves," West said. "You can't be in that weather with your skin being exposed. You won't last a long time."

With no signs of relief of warmer weather ahead, warming centers all over are preparing for more people.

"I think with temperatures being sustained in the subzero range, I think people are going to be looking for a place," said Major Bob Fay, Salvation Army.

It's not safe for anyone to be outside for a long period of time when it's below freezing.

There are several opportunities to get help if you're out in the cold. The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County announced on Wednesday, Jan. 23 that it will open its doors to serve as warming shelters during the extreme cold.

The hours and locations are as follows:

Oak Creek

Oak Creek Centennial Church and Community Center, 8853 South Howell Ave. Oak Creek, WI 53154
Monday-Friday: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Citadel Corps Worship and Community Center, 4129 West Villard Ave. Milwaukee, WI 53209
Sunday 9 a.m. to noon
Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

West Corps Worship and Community Center, 1645 North 25th Street Milwaukee, WI 53205
Monday-Thursday: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. to noon

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