GREEN BAY - One of Green Bay's homeless shelters could soon be putting itself in trouble with the city.
City officials say St. John the Evangelist Homeless Shelter is allowing too many people to stay at its overnight shelter.
Deacon Tim Reilly with the Green Bay Catholic Diocese says he isn't happy with how the city's mayor is treating the shelter.
"Mayor Schmitt has lost his leadership credibility," said Reilly.
Last week, the city sent St. John's officials a letter saying they had five days to comply with its conditional use permit capacity of 64 overnight residents. According to the city, the shelter has been over its capacity every night in December, reaching as high as 86 people one night last week.
"When we grant a conditional use permit to someone, we expect them to hold up their end of the deal and they clearly aren't," said Jim Schmitt, Green Bay's mayor.
"As far as we're concerned the operational plan allows us to go to 84," said Reilly.
Green Bay's assistant attorney says that doesn't matter because the shelter's operational plan isn't the same as the 64 beds on its city permit.
"They cannot put an operating plan together that violates the CUP," said Jim Mueller, an assistant city attorney for Green Bay.
"We need to take care of the people who are going to be coming to the shelter tomorrow night in the middle of the snowstorm," said Reilly.
That could cost the shelter $681. The city plans to start issuing a fine of that amount each night the shelter goes over capacity.
"It's not the city council, its not the people of Green Bay, it's the mayor of Green Bay who thinks if he can shut down St. John the Evangelist Homeless Shelter, he's not going to have a homeless issue," said Reilly.
"I know they want to paint this as a Jim Schmitt doesn't like us thing, but that's just not the case," said Schmitt. "I'm a practicing Catholic. I think 100% of the homeless shelters in the county are in the city of Green Bay. We've been very very supportive of the homeless shelters."
Both sides say they'd be willing to sit down to work on a solution. So far, no meeting is scheduled.
St. John could up its permit occupancy to 84 with the approval the city's planning commission and city council. But, the earliest that could happen is January.
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