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‘I feel like I’ve failed my children’: Families in limbo after apartment evacuation

By Kendall Keys

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    MILWAUKEE (WISN) — Diana Williamson-Wynne and her four children packed up from their apartment at Community Within The Corridor Saturday and packed into a hotel room. Thursday night is their sixth night away from home, with no word on when they can return.

The Milwaukee Health Department ordered the evacuation of about 150 residents on Saturday from the apartment building near 32nd and Center.

Recent testing inside showed dangerous levels of trichloroethylene which is a chemical used for cleaning metal parts. It’s also a cancer causing substance, according to the National Cancer Institute.

“I just had to pick my kids up from the bus stop over there. The first thing my son said to me was, ‘Mommy, we’re going home?’ Because he know where we live. He knows our apartment building and all I can say is, ‘No, we’re not going home,'” said Williamson-Wynne.

Williamson-Wynne said the uncertainty brings back painful memories for the single mother of four kids between the ages of three and nine.

“I’ve been homeless with my kids, I stayed at the shelter with all four of them in 2020. Three years later, I’m back homeless living out of a hotel. Like mentally, that is the hardest thing to do, because now I feel like I’ve failed my children,” Williamson-Wynne said.

She told WISN 12 News reporter Kendall Keys that she wants someone to take accountability, and she wants answers from the apartment’s developers.

Until then, Williamson-Wynne said she feels stuck.

“I want to break my lease, I been telling them that, they’re not answering me about that. I want my money back. I will find me a house. I want my lease broken so my kids can be comfortable. So my kids can go outside and play,” Williamson-Wynne said.

WISN 12 News reached out to the public relations firm representing the apartment’s developer to request an interview. A spokesperson said, “At this point, I’m not sure we’ll be doing any interviews. If that changes, I’ll certainly be in touch.”

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