St. John Shelter Offers Alternative Plan for Overcrowding Problem
GREEN BAY, WI – St. John's Homeless Shelter is ready to take on more people, but they're still facing fines from the city for housing too many.
The shelter unveiled a newly-renovated area today, to help with the overflow problem they've been facing all winter.
Deacon Tim Reilly blessed the new space that St. John’s now has available for overflow.
“Unfortunately there is an emergency in the city of Green Bay. And that need has been great on a regular basis,” said Alexia Wood, Executive Director of St. John’s Homeless Shelter.
They’re renovating new classrooms, not just adding beds. The changes include larger bathrooms, locker rooms for women and laundry facilities.
“We have people who have nowhere else to go, and will freeze on the streets,” said Ann Rehrauer, a volunteer at the shelter.
With the new area comes space for 20 more people. Now St. John's says they're going to apply for a new conditional use permit with the city, and ask to move the occupancy up from 64 to 84 a night.
“We've also always tried to work with the city, and try to get the right permitting,” said Deacon Reilly, President of the Shelter.
St. Norbert College has been housing the extra people, but that will end next week when students return to class.
St. John’s is facing fines from the city for going over the 64 person limit. They've entered a not guilty plea and will be in court for a pre-trial meeting on February 5.
We spoke with the city attorney's office about the new space, they say any new permit would have to go through the Planning Commission for a vote, and then go to the Common Council. The city says they will continue working with the shelter.