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St. John's homeless shelter plans to request increase in bed capacity


GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - Operators of the downtown Green Bay St. John’s Evangelist homeless shelter plan to request an increase in their bed capacity. 

Currently the Green Bay Catholic Diocese serves 64 people, but was cited by the city for being in violation of their permit. 

During a news conference Monday outside the shelter, an estimated 125 volunteers and supporters of the shelter gathered.  There Executive Director Alexia Wood announced they plan on requesting a new conditional use permit to serve 84 guests a night. 

The shelter has redeveloped an area of the old school they occupy that was not in use.  Over the summer, the shelter revamped its bathrooms, resource center and sleeping quarters. 

Meanwhile, the Diocese is gearing up for a fight against their citation, claiming their operational plan, that was approved by police and discussed at committee level, allows them to currently house overflow residents that they are supposedly in violation of. 

Back in August, the shelter's conditional use permit was approved by the city council for an increase of a dozen more people to 64-beds.  As part of the CUP, the city required an operational plan. That operational plan includes an overflow plan to serve 20 people, which was discussed at a Plan Committee meeting.   

The shelter has been sending around 16 guests every night to St. Norbert College since Dec. 21st after the city cited the shelter.  But the college is only available for another week, as a campus gym will be needed once students return from winter break. 

The shelter put out a call to organizations to help with overflow guests, as it may not be possible for the city council to approve the new CUP request before St. Norbert College students return.