MILWAUKEE — With temperatures dropping below freezing, the Milwaukee Continuum of Care is implementing a Warming Plan for the 2022-23 winter season. The Continuum is partnering with several groups to provide places for the homeless to sleep rather than on the streets.
That includes St. Benedict the Moor Parish on State Street in downtown Milwaukee, which is offering 30 beds available nightly, with 20 set aside for men and 10 for women.
“We’re trying to provide extra space and capacity for those who are out in the street during the winter,” Site Manager for St. Ben’s Community Meal Kenny Howard said.
Those beds are being used — St. Ben’s saw all 30 beds filled up with people taking shelter on Thursday, December 8. The parish is working with the City of Milwaukee to potentially expand their capacity as temperatures continue to fall, but Howard said that will not come at the expense of safety for their guests.
“We still believe COVID is out, so we’re trying to do things safely,” he said. “If the need comes we want to be flexible so we can accommodate.”
Howard said that the primary goal at St. Ben’s is to support the homeless through their programs, and the Warming Plan is the latest extension of that. The parish also offers free shower and laundry programs as well as St. Ben’s Community Meal, which provides a hot meal in the evening Sunday through Friday.
“These are all things that we try to do for our guests, who don’t have the basic needs,” Howard said.
The Continuum of Care team is at St. Ben’s to provide on-site assessments for people in need Monday through Friday from 1-3 p.m. If you are concerned about someone in the community who may need these resources, you can email [email protected] for professional street outreach from Continuum of Care.
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