Homeless shelters at or near capacity during freezing temps

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- With cold weather moving into the area quickly, single digit temperatures can become a life or death situation for those with no place to go.

Workers at the Impact 211 call center are scrambling to help get the homeless out of the cold. Callers to the hotline are asked for information such as their name, age, income and if they suffer from any physical or mental health issues.

"One woman who clearly had some mental health concerns and made her way back to Milwaukee County because her housing fell through in Dane County," said Eli Wolfe. "These callers are coming through and they got all of these stressful situations going on and they're hoping to get into shelter."

One place callers are referred to is the Cathedral Center in downtown Milwaukee -- a homeless center for women and children.

"When the temperature really dips, their life is threatened. Not to mention being victims of crime. It's being vulnerable to so many other things," said center director Donna Rongholt-Migan.

Workers say the number of people they're serving has decreased compared to last year, but that fact can be misleading. Rongholt-Migan says those in need are staying at the center for longer periods of time.

Many shelters, including the Cathedral Center, reached family area capacity on Friday night, December 6th -- there may still be spaces available for single women, however nothing is guaranteed.

Those needing a place to stay during the cold weather should call 211.