GREEN BAY - In less than two months, the St. John the Evangelist Homeless Shelter is scheduled to open in Green Bay.
The shelter's struggles have included neighborhood complaints and city citations for allowing more people in than the city had approved.
A task force has also been looking into the area's ongoing homeless issues.
Leaders of St. John the Evangelist Homeless Shelter in Green Bay want to increase the number of guests it's allowed to take in from 64 to 84.
The proposal is on the agenda for the City's Plan Commission meeting next week. The Catholic Diocese of Green Bay runs the shelter. Alexia Wood is the shelter's executive director.
"The need is still great. We're expecting that it's going to be another year where individuals in our community are needing to seek a safe place through this winter season. And St. John's doors will be open to do that," said Alexia Wood, St. John the Evangelist Homeless Shelter executive director.
Shelter leaders asked for the capacity increase in January, but the conditional use permit with the city did not allow it. The city cited the shelter for going over its capacity. A temporary overflow shelter was set up on the St. Norbert College Campus in De Pere. In February, city planners tabled action on the request for 60 days. The assistant city attorney says that citation against the shelter was dismissed on May 6.
A homeless taskforce has been meeting throughout the summer.
"As the cold weather approaches obviously we're concerned about where people go," said Joseph Prosser, HOPE homeless task force member.
Joseph Prosser says the group wants to increase education and services for the homeless. Prosser also wants a place for people to go during the day.
"We are not focusing on opening or continuing any daytime services in St. John's itself. That's not our priority," said Prosser.
City leaders declined to comment until after the Plan Commission meets next week. Those at St. John's say they're hoping for the best.
"Agencies are working together to make sure that our neighbors are cared for, and at the end of the day, that's what it's all about," said Wood.
The agenda for the Plan Commission comes out Friday, with community members telling FOX 11 they plan to be at that meeting in force.
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