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Homeless in Milwaukee

On a daily basis, the MPD responds calls related to homelessness. Officers are sent to check the welfare of homeless persons under bridges and in doorways and are sent to panhandling calls and other homeless related issues.

Officer Thomas Kline
Officer Thomas Kline

The Milwaukee Police Department addresses homelessness in a variety of ways and aims to address root causes of the issue. Many homeless are affected by substance abuse issues, mental health challenges and a variety of other factors resulting in them living on the street. MPD’s aim is to aid the homeless by addressing these issues to stop the cycle and to help them seek treatment or other options for assistance.

Officers are trained to recognize that punitive measures and enforcement are not the answer to assisting those in need and to use those measures only when absolutely necessary. The MPD is trained in crisis intervention to assist with those in mental health crisis and have additional training to deal with a variety of issues affecting homeless persons.

The events of this story take place in District 1.
Learn more about District 1

Stats and Results: Homelessness

  1. 2016 941 homeless men, women, and children in Milwaukee County
  2. 2017 900 homeless men, women, and children in Milwaukee County
Homeless Man Balerie
Homeless Man Balerie
Homeless Outreach Team (HOT)

This group of police officers, detectives, sergeants and lieutenants volunteered to receive specialized additional training to address homeless issues and to provide homeless persons with resources and care. The officers are dispersed throughout the city and work patrol duties as their primary role. However, they are often called upon for their HOT function as the need arises. Officers are equipped with clothing, blankets, toiletries and food to distribute to those in need. The officers also facilitate emergency shelter at a variety of locations and make referrals for long-term solutions.

Street Angels

Street Angels Milwaukee’s goal is to restore hope by empowering individuals, inspiring others to pay it forward, and providing basic human necessities to those in need.

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Community Advocates

Community Advocates help individuals with basic needs such as getting a roof over their heads, keeping their lights on and making sure families are safe.

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St. Benedict the Moor Parish (St. Ben’s)

St. Ben’s provides health care services and meals to the poor, the hungry and the homeless. In fact, St. Ben’s is one of Milwaukee’s oldest and largest meal programs for the homeless.

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