Here was our full written response to Jesse Garza when we were asked about the large encampment on 6th & Clybourn:
"Street Angels provides meals, water, and essential supplies to people who are homeless. Three nights a week we follow a 25-stop route to extend friendship and help with connections to housing/shelter resources. 6th and Clybourn is one of our stops because homeless individuals reside there and, yes, the numbers have increased substantially in just a few months. We are as concerned about this as the Downtown BID and others, but we are not responsible for this surge in numbers. Frankly, a meal 3 times a week does not entice someone to live under the freeway. While one’s struggle with homelessness is multi-faceted, we have been truly alarmed by the number of people who tell us they left shelter because living outside was better than the dehumanizing treatment they received in shelter. Regrettably, the shelter they talk about in this way is the Milwaukee Rescue Mission. We would urge concerned officials to ask MRM how they might improve their services, so people feel welcomed, respected and cared for. Meanwhile Street Angels will carry on. We won’t turn our backs on anyone."
While many are not pleased with the aesthetics of this camp, one must remember that they are human beings deserving of transformation, compassion and guidance. We will continue to work with Milwaukee County Housing First to guide our friends to permanent housing or shelter. However, until those resources become available, we will serve our friends with dignity, as that is the one thing any person should not have to leave at the door to receive assistance. We are grateful for those who give their time and love unconditionally to support our mission.