Waukesha condo collapse evacuation, free U-Haul storage, shelter

Forced out of their homes, 65 Waukesha residents are searching for long-term housing after they were evacuated out of fear their condo building could collapse. Several local businesses are stepping in to help.

The majority of those 65 people are staying with friends and family or in hotels, but some are staying at a temporary shelter at Elmbrook Church as the Red Cross and others try to help them manage a sudden crisis.

Given ten minutes Saturday to gather their things, it was moving weekend for Alicia Halvensleben and her neighbors, only, they didn't want to leave the Horizon West Condominiums.

"We're all struggling," said Halvensleben. "This is gonna be hard for us."

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They had to leave out of fear their home could collapse.

"It absolutely is critical in our thinking to make sure people have somewhere to stay that's safe, that's warm and has all their needs met," said Justin Kern, American Red Cross.

The American Red Cross of Wisconsin turned part of Elmbrook Church in Waukesha into a temporary shelter, providing food and a warm place to stay for those suddenly in need. Kern, Red Cross communications director, estimated five people are staying at this shelter for the time being.

"We will work with every single person to make sure that they have a plan for some longer-term housing and their other needs so that everything's met, and they can get on the road to recovery sooner rather than later," said Kern.

Additionally, U-Haul is offering displaced residents 30 days of free self-storage or container usage as they search for a new home. In a statement, the company said: "We're a strong member of this community and will be here to support our neighbors. We are 'Waukesha Strong' and will get through this together."

The Red Cross says the demand for this shelter could grow as time goes on. They encourage any impacted residents to contact them for help.

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