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Homeless shelter cited for overcrowding

A homeless shelter in Green Bay was given a citation Dec. 28 for violating its occupancy limits.

The city took action after a long debate involving the Saint John the Evangelist shelter which is run by the Green Bay Catholic Diocese. Officials from both the city and the church said recently they were committed to working together to solve the concerns.

Assistant City Attorney Jim Mueller would not comment on the citation, but he said both sides would keep meeting to resolve the issues. The citation accuses the shelter of violating Green Bay's zoning code - and it called for a fine of $500 for each day the excessive occupancies took place.

A court hearing on the matter is set for January 18th. This summer, Green Bay city officials renewed the shelter's permit and increased the number of allowable residents from 52 to 64. The church says it has gone above 80 people per night in recent weeks. They attributed it to a high demand during a rough economy.

Shelter administrators have been ordered to make a court appearance Jan. 18 to face charges the shelter has violated its city permit by housing more people than allowed.

Mayor Jim Schmitt says the city has always supported homeless services and will continue to do so, but city leaders worry repeated violations of the occupancy limit at the shelter create safety problems and worry businesses and people living nearby.