Milwaukee County Supervisor Michael Mayo, Sr. today invited the community to join him in an event to raise awareness of homelessness in Milwaukee County by spending the night in Dineen Park.
The event will begin at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 29 at the Dineen Park Golf Shack, 6520 W. Keefe Ave. in Milwaukee.
Mayo plans to stay in the park until 9 a.m. on the 30th.
“Homelessness is an issue that often goes ignored by people who live in the warm comfort of their homes,”Mayo said.
“But too many people, including children, will be sleeping outdoors this winter, and that is simply not acceptable. I’m hoping we can wake this community up to the issue of homelessness and do more to get people in permanent shelters.”
Mayo said that estimates show on a daily basis there are more than 3,100 people in Milwaukee County who are chronically homeless.
Many suffer from mental health issues, some are veterans, some are families with children, some are men, and there is a growing problem of youth homelessness.
There were more than 6,600 people in Milwaukee County who were homeless at one point or another in 2012, according to the Wisconsin Department of Administration’s Division of Housing.
Of that number almost 1,800 were children.
“Meanwhile, funding for homeless shelters in Milwaukee County will be cut by $600,000 in the 2014 federal budget,”
Mayo said. “I’m asking the community to help me not only in addressing the issue of homelessness, but to do something concrete about the problem.
We need more funding for shelters, not less.”
Mayo invited participants to bring donations of personal items such as coats, blankets, hats, scarves and even toothbrushes.
“We can’t solve the problem of homelessness overnight, but by spending the night in the park we will help bring a better awareness and get some supplies for those who need it most,”he said.