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Warming centers over capacity as temperatures plummet

Posted at 10:00 PM, Jan 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-30 10:37:45-05

The brutally cold weather has Milwaukee Police concerned about the people who live out in it.

Late Tuesday afternoon, TODAY'S TMJ4 followed along as officers checked for homeless people staying outside.

"Police department, is there anybody in there?" said Lt. Craig Sarnow.

He said even though people leave their tents to go inside sometimes other people show up.

"When we do check on these areas and they do encounter somebody in a situation like this we can get them to where they need to be so they are safe," said Sarnow.

Downtown at St. Ben's, they are over capacity Tuesday night. Normally they sleep about 60 people. They expect more than 100.

"We had people jammed in the hallways, jammed in the corners. We ran out of cots, gave out blankets," said Brother Rob Roemer of Capuchin Community Services.

Omar Harris has been living on the street for eight months.

"It's hard to stay warm and find food and just make it through the day," said Harris.

He is living outside Tuesday in four layers and a couple pairs of pants.

"I have never been that cold before," said Harris. "I felt like I was going to faint."

Harris said he is not ready to head back into it any time soon.

"It's a battlefield out there," he said.