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Happy Holidays Bibelot: Art & Unique Gifts, Page 10

Milwaukee Makers Win Emmys, Page 4

Volume 4 • Issue 12

December 2007

Homeless in Bay View By Michael Timm

Meet Jim, Kathryn, and Glenn

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rizzled, clear-eyed, and sagacious, Jim breathes slowly, deliberately, his breath coming deep from within a trim body covered in blue flannel, snow pants, and boots. His fingertips are yellowed and his lips barely emerge from beneath a thick outdoorsman’s beard. A fur trapper for 25 years, Jim has lived in the Wisconsin wilderness. He revels in na2007 Calls ture, loves for Shelter by bird watchSelected Zip Code ing, and can 53110 60 discern the 53204 501 call of tundra 53207 106 swans migrat53215 388 ing through 53221 86 the fog. 53235 10 With a gold Source: 2-1-1 @ Impact data cross necklace (*January-November) glinting on top of her red Mickey Mouse sweatshirt, Kathryn totes her CD player like a comfort blanket— though when it’s really cold she doesn’t use it because she’d rather keep her fingers warm by insulating her gloves with old newspaper than press its tiny buttons. She loves all kinds of music, from gospel to rock to country. Right now, her favorite song is “Paralyzer” by Finger Eleven. She fondly remembers when her 17-year-old daughter introduced her to the song and they turned it up in the car to rock out.

“Just getting through daily life, it’s hard. Finding things to do, or finding ways to make money, get basic needs met. There’s nothing really easy about it. Especially now it’s winter. That just makes it that much harder. Hard to deal with the cold.” —Glenn Quiet, courteous, alert, and cloaked in an olive drab army jacket, Glenn once pawned his Class of 1987 Cudahy High School ring. But through a stroke of fate, it was later recovered by police after that pawn shop was robbed, and now he again wears it proudly on his finger. Jim, Kathryn, and Glenn are all very different people with different stories. But they have one thing in common. They are homeless in Bay View. On a recent snowy Wednesday night, dozens of homeless, aged, and disabled people came in from the cold to enjoy fellowship and one or two helpings of the piping hot chili (and maybe some pudding for dessert) at Unity Evangelical Lutheran Church, 1025 E. Oklahoma Ave., which sponsors a soup kitchen Wednesdays at 5:30pm. Jim missed that night—he was busy working the job he’s had since November, ringing a bell for the Salvation Army—but Kathryn and Glenn were among the diners.

Local politician “murdered” for bad public art

From January through November 2007, a total of 9,643 calls for some kind of shelter were logged by Impact, Inc., a private nonprofit serving Milwaukee County. Of the calls originating from a known Zip Code, 106 originated in 53207.

Kathryn’s Story

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athryn is still troubled by the circumstances leading to her living out on the street, where the night wind penetrates multiple layers of clothes and blankets so that she finds it difficult to sleep. “I still feel the tremors of—It was just like an avalanche of bad events,” she said.

“It was just like an avalanche of bad events.” —Kathryn In 2005, Kathryn said, she was studying at Alverno College to become a nurse. She said her slide into homelessness started when she lost her job as a certified nursing assistant working with tracheotomy patients. Soon after, she said she was hit by a car. Then she said her son, now 19, was badly burned and hospitalized for more than a month. Kathryn said she was visiting him daily in the hospital, but

at about the same time, the mortgage on her Bay View home was going into foreclosure. “I kept holding on to school because as I was losing everything,” she said, choking back a tear, “school was the only thing left. And I was clutching on to that as hard as I could.” Her son pulled through, she said. But she lost the house. She has all but lost her education. After the foreclosure, she lost her two pet cats, Garnett and Emerald. Around the same time, she said she also lost custody of her daughter, who will be 18 in March. “During the time that my son was in the hospital and all this was going on, she was doing a lot of running away from home, and I was trying to do what I could to manage teens, but it’s kind of hard when you got the other parent who’s waiting somewhere in the neighborhood to help her,” said Kathryn, who described her daughter’s father as “always chasing the parties. He was not into SEE PAGE 6 the family life.”

SEE PAGE 8

Kinnickinnic River Trail moves forward By Michael Timm

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he Kinnickinnic River Trail (KKRT), a 2.25-mile bike and pedestrian trail following mostly derelict railway and connecting the Third Ward and Walker’s Point to Lincoln Village and Bay View, is on schedule to be paved in 2008. The estimated $2.6 million project, 80 This composite rendering shows the pedestrian bridge above Chase Avenue where it crosses the Kinnickinnic River, with the UMOS parking lot in percent of which is the distance. The bridge, which will connect to the Kinnickinnic River Trail, may be completed as early as 2009. ~courtesy Bloom Companies, LLC funded through a teenth Street Community Health Center, federal Congestion Mitigation Air Qualschedule, Driscoll said. the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee’s ity grant and 20 percent through a local The Milwaukee Christian Center, which Community Design Solutions, and the match, will also feature a pedestrian bridge has partnered with Groundwork in the past Wisconsin Department of Natural Respanning Chase Avenue near Rosedale to clean the Kinnickinnic River area, will prosources. Avenue and the river. The bridge should vide in-kind labor to help build the trails. hopefully be done in spring 2009, said Grant for Connecting Trails The construction of separate walking Dave Schlabowske, bicycle and pedestrian trails stemmed from suggestions at an Nov. 29, Groundwork Milwaukee recoordinator for the city of Milwaukee DeOctober 2006 KKRT design charrette. ceived a $2,500 grant from the Kodak partment of Public Works and member of Following suggestions from the charrette American Greenways Awards Program. In the KKRT planning committee. participants, materials used for this project combination with $1,300 received through Schlabowske said the KKRT planners are will be salvaged from on the site. United Water, it will fund a system of pedesworking on the paperwork required to reSEE PAGE 4 trian trails and stairs connecting the Kinnquest permission ickinnic River to of the Wisconsin the section of the For more on various visions for the KKRT, see Department of KKRT running groundworkmke.org/programs/kk.html#kktrail and click on Transportation along the aban“A Vision for the Kinnickinnic River Trail Corridor – PDF.” to advertise for doned railroad Pg 2 Prime Cut Barber contractors. “We Pg 3 A KK Holiday Thank You right-of-way behope to advertise this winter and begin Pg 3 Visions of Successful Schools tween Lincoln and Chase avenues. construction in the spring,” Schlabowske Pg 4 Emmy for Documentary The paths will provide direct access to the Pg 5 MPS New Year’s Resolutions said. river, said Mary Beth Driscoll, executive diPg 7 Your Carbon Footprint Along with the actual KKRT construcrector of Groundwork Milwaukee. Pg 8 Who Killed Tony Zielinski tion, multiple organizations have partnered Construction—excavation for limestone Pg 9 Yellow Perch Puzzle to improve the river corridor naturally and Pg 10 Bibelot Gift Shop slab stair cuts for these connecting trails, culturally in conjunction with the trail. Pg 11 School for the Deaf which will eventually be lined with chipped They are Groundwork Milwaukee, the Pg 12 Fighting Mortgage Scammers bark—could start as early as this spring, decity of Milwaukee’s Department of Public Pg 13 BVHS Violence Free Zone pending on the city’s actual KKRT paving Works, the National Park Service, the SixPg 14 What Would Jesus Buy?

INSIDE

Pg 15 Deer Creek Dinosaurs

December 2007  

December 2007 Issue

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