Guest House of Milwaukee plea for food for homeless is answered

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Guest House of Milwaukee plea for food for
homeless is answered
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Rick Wood
A donation from the Outpost food cooperative is stocked near the Guest House’s kitchen.
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By Georgia Pabst and Lydia Mulvany of the Journal Sentinel
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A plea for food to feed
homeless men at the
Guest House
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A plea for food to feed the homeless men staying at the
Guest House of Milwaukee shelter drew "an awesome
response" of assistance, shelter director Cindy Krahenbuhl
said late Tuesday.
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The shelter put out a call for help earlier in the day Tuesday,
saying it was running out of food for the 101 men staying
there. A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel online post about the
situation drew an immediate and overwhelming response,
she said.
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"The phones have been ringing and we're bombarded, in a
positive way, with offers from volunteers and church
groups who say they will make sandwiches and help out,"
she said.
In addition, the Hunger Task Force said it will provide some
food, she added.
During the Christmas holiday season there's an outpouring
of giving, but once New Year's Day arrives there's
sometimes a shortage of food, she said.
"This year was more intense because some volunteers and
groups who were going to serve meals canceled out for
whatever reason," she said.
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Even though there's been a big response to the call for
food, she said the need continues. Sometimes it's "feast or
famine," so if someone would like to help with food, call the
volunteer line to get a date when there's a need, she said.
Because of the brutally cold weather, all of Milwaukee's
shelters are reporting they are at capacity. Some overflow
beds are becoming available thanks to funding from the
Greater Milwaukee Foundation.
The Guest House is opening 15 more beds on New Year's
Day with funding provided by the foundation, Krahenbuhl
said.
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Cathedral Center, a shelter for families and single women, also is at capacity. It will open
10 more beds on Thursday because it also received money from the foundation, said
Donna Rongholt-Migan, executive director.
The shelter normally has 32 beds for women and eight rooms for families, she said. But
because the economy continues to hurt the most vulnerable, the stays in shelters are
getting longer, she said.
This winter the shelters are adjusting to the new coordinated entry system designed to
more efficiently serve the homeless, said Rongholt-Migan, also the co-chair of the
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Under the system, a person dials 211. A worker on the phone makes an assessment of
the person's vulnerability index so that individuals can be prioritized, she said.
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The 211 system has information from all the shelters on the number of beds available,
so that a person can be referred without having to call around.
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"The system, we hope, will be more respectful of the way we serve people," she said.
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After about a year in operation it will be easier to gauge the true need and to identify the
gaps in services, she said.
To arrange donations to the Guest House, call (414) 345-3240 and press 6 to reach the
front desk, or email [email protected]
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