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‘I love helping people:’ Warming rooms and shelters open for Milwaukee’s homeless

Data pix.

MILWAUKEE -- The bitter cold is dangerous for those without a permanent home. Warming centers were open Monday night, Nov. 11 for the first time this season, as arctic air moved in.

RaShaun Rodgers

When temperatures outside become frigid -- there's a warm place to sleep inside Repairers of the Breach.

"As long as we have the space and the opportunity, we're going to try to do the best that we can," said RaShaun Rodgers, Repairers of the Breach night shift supervisor.

Rodgers is the supervisor at Repairs of the Breach on Monday nights. He said it was a bit hectic to get ready to open so early in November.

Repairers of the Breach

Repairers of the Breach

Dan Jones

"It was a lot of last-minute, you know, trying to figure out food situation, you know, sleeping situation, and blankets, and things like that, so we were, but it was still kind of nerve-racking because it was so early," said Rodgers.

"I almost kind of hate to think about that," said Dan Jones of spots to sleep. "Usually, I mean, wherever you can get."

Jones was one of 30 men who stayed at Repairers of the Breach on Monday night. Ten women spent the night as well.

Repairers of the Breach opens the warming shelter when temperatures dip below 20 degrees.

Repairers of the Breach

Repairers of the Breach

"It's hard because we go through resources quicker, as far as donations, washing the blankets, and making sure we have enough for people," said Rodgers of the early start.

Workers said they are always in need of donations. As of Tuesday, Nov. 12, the biggest need was hats and gloves.

The following locations are available for those seeking safety from the cold during the daytime in Milwaukee County:

  • Repairers of the Breach located at 1335 W. Vliet Street, Milwaukee, Monday – Saturday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.
  • The following Salvation Army Corps locations:
    • 1645 N. 25th Street, Milwaukee, Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
    • 4129 W. Villard Avenue, Milwaukee, Monday – Friday from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
    • 2900 W. Cold Spring Road, Greenfield, Monday – Thursday from 9:30 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Fridays from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • The Milwaukee Rescue Mission located at 1820 W. Wells Street, Milwaukee is open for day shelter any days the temperature is forecasted to be 32 degrees or below.
  • Any public buildings, such as Milwaukee Public Library branches or Milwaukee County Senior Centers.

All those seeking shelter, energy assistance, or other supportive services in Milwaukee County should contact 2-1-1 for assistance and referrals to community resources through any of the following means:

  • Dial: 211, or 414-773-0211. To avoid being charged a long-distance fee, call 2-1-1 toll-free at 866-211-3380
  • Text your zip code: TXT-211{898-211} Mon- Fri 9 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • Chat online:
  • Visit: Coordinated Entry for Homeless Services (Resource Center) located at 1918 N. 6th Street. Enter through the alley. Walk-in hours are Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 8 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and Tuesdays from 1 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Email: if special accommodations are needed to complete a services assessment.
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