Eviction deadline arrives for residents of south side trailer park

CREATED Feb 4, 2014 - UPDATED: Feb 4, 2014

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MILWAUKEE -- Imagine facing this brutal winter and being homeless. 
 
That's exactly what's happening to people like Jose Vasquez, who today left his mobile home for good because city inspectors deemed it unlivable
 
Vasquez lived at Evergreen Court near 27th and Hampton.
 
The property, home to more than a dozen mobile homes, was foreclosed several months ago when the landlord declared bankruptcy.
 
If Vasquez needed repairs, he had nowhere to look, and that's what happened when his pipes burst a few weeks ago during this bitter blast.
 
With no plumbing, inspectors gave Vasquez a deadline of today, February 4, to find another home.

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Four siblings, 12 and under, smile in happier times.  Their mom shows us a picture of why they're all crying today.

"That's the cat we had to give up, one of them. That's Cuddles," said Kelly Marrs.
 
Cuddles was taken away by MADACC in the eviction here on Evergreen Court.
 
"There were two MADACC trucks here and a neighbor had called me saying that they're trying to come in here and take my animals," said Marrs.
 
And in one week, MADACC could put the cats up for adoption. Marrs' head is spinning as she looks around at what was home and how fast they've been ordered to leave. The city did inspections on Friday and considered making residents get out on Monday, but then on Monday, made a final decision that gave residents 24 hours to get out.
 
"Help us to understand the sense of urgency in getting these people out," I asked.
 
"Well, let me describe the situation out there. We saw people transferring buckets of water between units. We had people huddled in blankets in front of space heaters," said Todd Weiler, Milwaukee department of neighborhood services.
 
The mobile homes use propane, and after their tanks ran out, couldn't afford to refill them at today's inflated prices. But, the Marrs family was making it work. Now, they've had to pack up what they could, leaving behind some toys and so many memories.
 
"It's heart breaking," said Marrs.
 
The city has put evicted residents in touch with social services. But we're told homeless shelters were all filled up Monday night in Milwaukee.  The DNS tells us now that the eviction is completed, the names of the residents here are being put at the top of the waiting list to find shelter.
 
City inspectors showed up at 1pm Tuesday, the deadline for residents to get out, and they did leave peacefully.  But, later in the day, there were more problems at Evergreen Court.  Milwaukee police arrested two men who were allegedly trying to steal things from the now vacant trailer homes.