MILWAUKEE, WI – A coordinated effort is underway between Milwaukee County and the Southeast chapter of the American Red Cross to help residents without homes, residents displaced by fire, and households without working heat stay warm as Winter Storm Elliot bring extremely cold temperatures to the region.
The Marcia P. Coggs Building, located on 1220 West Vliet Street, is open 24 hours through the weekend for vulnerable residents to find warmth as temperatures fall to life-threatening levels. The site is a joint effort between the City of Milwaukee Health Department, City of Milwaukee Office of Emergency Management, Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services, Milwaukee County Office of Emergency Management, Impact 211, the Milwaukee Continuum of Care, and the American Red Cross of Southeast Wisconsin.
“This is an unsafe time for vulnerable residents to hunker down on the street or in homes without heat. The dangers of the cold weather are real and can be fatal for those exposed to the elements for prolong amounts of time,” said County Executive David Crowley. “I encourage anyone without heat to call 211 and seek shelter at one of the many warming centers across the county.”
Residents can take shelter at the Marcia P. Coggs Building for walk-in warming to escape high winds and wind chills well below zero. Milwaukee County residents who are in need of emergency shelter can also call 2-1-1 for the most current information on open warming sites and shelters in their community.
“With the dangerously cold temperatures expected to last throughout the weekend, it is important to offer potentially life-saving resources like an additional, temporary warming site at the Marcia P. Coggs Center,” said Department of Health and Human Services Director Shakita LaGrant-McClain. “Milwaukee County’s housing and shelter-focused outreach team continues to make proactive connections to unhoused residents, encouraging them to seek warmth and shelter during this dangerous winter storm.”
Milwaukee County has a robust housing and shelter-focused outreach system. — every day and night of the week we have professional street outreach teams making proactive connection to our neighbors outside to triage them into shelter, create housing plans and provide life-saving support to services. Anyone who witnesses an individual living outside during these extreme temperatures should reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with the location and general description of the individual.
Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services Behavioral Health Service’s Access Clinics are currently closed. Residents at risk due to a mental health crisis can also receive support from a Crisis Assessment Response Team (CART). If you or someone you know may be facing a crisis, please call the crisis line at 414-257-7222.