Barbara Miner

This weekend will mark one year since a homeless man was found beaten to death on the steps of a Milwaukee church. Johnny Smith, 53, was found dead in his sleeping bag outside Redeemer Lutheran Church on March 29. 

The congregation was deeply impacted by the tragedy and this weekend had planned to honor Smith with a special service. But, like many other churches, Redeemer Lutheran has be forced to close to the public. However, the service will still go on virtually. 

Lauren Sigfusson

It’s hard to be “safer at home” if you don’t have a home.

Homeless shelters and other social service groups around the world have struggled to keep their communities housed, clothed, and fed during the coronavirus pandemic. Not only does the virus threaten the health of homeless people themselves, transience can also spread the virus to the broader public.

Watercolor_Concept / stock.adobe.com

The holiday season can be a difficult time for people experiencing homelessness. Harsh and frigid weather can mean fewer spaces at local shelters and warming centers, leaving many people vulnerable to the cold.

Winter came early this year in Wisconsin, leading to an influx of people seeking shelter earlier than expected. After state senators failed to pass bills that would provide necessary funding, advocates for Wisconsin’s homeless are concerned about the future of these shelters and warming centers.


Many students will be traveling home to their families this week to enjoy a nice Thanksgiving meal. But there's also a large segment of Milwaukee students that aren't as fortunate. 

Michael Rosen taught economics for 29 years at MATC. One day in class, he says they were discussing the book Evicted and a well-performing student in the class raised his hand and revealed that he was homeless. Rosen was shocked, “I had no idea this student was homeless.” 

Marti Mikkelson

Thursday is the deadline for people living in a massive homeless camp in downtown Milwaukee to leave, so the state can begin work on a stormwater runoff project. 

The Department of Transportation (DOT) passed out notices a few weeks ago to campers in the "tent city" near 6th and Clybourn streets, telling them they have to vacate by the end of October. State and county officials have been working with different agencies and have vowed that everybody will get the services that they need. 

Lauren Sigfusson

Where do you go when you're homeless and you're being forced to relocate from the shelter you found under a bridge? That's the dilemma that dozens of people who have been living in a homeless camp, or "tent city," in downtown Milwaukee are facing. 

State officials have ordered campers to vacate the area near 6th and Clybourn streets by the end of the October, so work on a stormwater runoff project can begin. The camp started with a few makeshift shelters a couple years ago but has grown to more than 60 tents.  

LaToya Dennis

On any given day, there are about 300 Wisconsin veterans who don't have a place to live. That’s according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. To combat this problem, the city of Milwaukee is supporting an initiative to provide tiny homes for homeless veterans.

About 15 people packed into Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's office Wednesday afternoon. Alderwoman Chantia Lewis was the first to speak about the initiative. She says it's near and dear to her heart.

Courtesy of Milwaukee Magazine

In recent years chronic homelessness has improved in Milwaukee, as fewer people are trying to survive out on the streets. But as with many social issues, there’s a more complicated story just beneath the surface.

Maayan Silver

Milwaukee residents are facing dangerously cold temperatures. And organizations that serve the homeless population are taking action.

The high Tuesday is only expected to reach 2 above zero, with wind chills from 15 to 25 below. A wind chill warning takes effect at 6 p.m., and we could see an overnight low of 21 below zero — with a wind chill as low as 45 below.

READ: Wisconsin Governor Declares State Of Emergency

Michelle Maternowski

On any given night in Milwaukee, there are around 200 people sleeping on the streets. With temperatures dipping well below freezing, there’s now a renewed push to find solutions for homelessness in the city. The issue was center stage at a Milwaukee Common Council Health and Public Safety meeting on Wednesday.

Lauren Sigfusson

The number of homeless people in Milwaukee appears to be growing, or at least, it's becoming more visible. In the past year, about a dozen homeless tent encampments have popped up across the city.  The Common Council's Public Safety committee is holding a special meeting today to consider solutions.

Marti Mikkelson

Community advocates called for an “all hands on deck” approach Tuesday to Milwaukee’s growing homeless problem. City leaders made their plea in front of a homeless encampment downtown, which has sprung up in the past year.

Lauren Sigfusson

For several years, Milwaukee County has been working to end chronic homelessness through permanent housing for people.

Since those efforts were put into place, county officials say the number of chronic homeless people has decreased by 45 percent. However, driving through downtown Milwaukee, it’s hard not to notice the tent encampments that have popped up.

fokas.pokas / Fotolia

More than 400 homeless youth are on Milwaukee’s streets each night. Current estimates from the Williams Institute note that 40 percent of those are LGBTQ, having been kicked out of their parental homes because of their orientation or gender identity.

LaToya Dennis

Across the country, tiny homes are being used in a number of ways. Some people enjoy the novelty of living in a small space; for others, the tiny houses are an answer to homelessness. A new, tiny home community in Racine is giving homeless veterans a shot at independence.