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Milwaukee School of Engineering students designing homeless sanctuary

Posted: 7:39 PM, Jan 09, 2018
Updated: 2018-01-09 20:39:47-05

A group of MSOE students are putting their skills together to help Milwaukee's homeless. 

MSOE engineering student, Nick Brnot remembers the moment he and his fellow classmates entered the future home of the MacCanon Brown homeless sanctuary.

"When we toured the site for the first time we were terrified. There really was nothing there then you start hearing MacCanon talk about her dream and her mission and what she wants to see. Walking around on the floor you could start to see it," Brnot said. 

That vision is to turn the fourth floor of an old furnace factory into a year-round indoor garden. Classmate, Joshua Wankowski hopes the project can produce enough food on site to feed everyone who walks through the doors.

"The true purpose of this project is that we can provide state of the art accommodations and aquaculture and aquaponics to the homeless," Wankowski said.

The design and production will all be done by this core group of honor freshman students.

"What is incredible about this program is that we are going to be sticking with this project and this group for three years," Brnot said.

But it is more than just a student project. At MSOE, it is about servant leadership.

"Having a real community connection cause we are not just making that for ourselves we are serving the people who will be using it," said Kyle Radomski.

Now, in one of Milwaukee's most impoverished ZIP codes, this unique partnership is showing how young people are using their talents and time to help the least of them.

"We are really trying to build toward her mission and vision and that alone is driving our innovation and ideas," Wankowski said.