St. John’s Homeless Shelter preparing for increase in guests

St. John's has 84 beds available for guests
St. John's has 84 beds available for guests(WBAY)
Published: Nov. 9, 2021 at 5:53 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2021 at 5:57 PM CST
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - As the temperatures continue to drop, more and more people are looking for a warm place to stay. St. John’s Homeless Shelter is prepared to help its guests get through the winter.

Laverne Ladousier, a guest at the shelter, has been the cook for the two years he’s been staying there.

“Since I’ve been at the shelter, I’ve gotten along with other people and it change me--more positive,” said Ladousier. “Now I’m giving back to help out other that are just coming in the door.”

The shelter has space for 84 guests. Steve Schauer, the Director of Community Engagement, said they’re nearing 70 people per night.

“We haven’t hit January, where it’s 0 or 10 degrees out, so I could imagine our guest count is going to be a little bit higher than what we’ve seen in the past,” said Schauer.

The pandemic only added to the many ways that could lead to homelessness.

An eviction moratorium expired this summer and data from the Wisconsin Department of Administration (DOA) showed eviction filings neared pre-pandemic levels in September.

“That is possible one of the causes of why people do end up being homeless, is that they can’t afford the cost of an apartment right now,” said Schauer.

The DOA has $50 million in federal money left in the Wisconsin Emergency Rental Assistance Program (WERA). The original amount the state received was $322 million.

In Brown county, the Northeast Wisconsin’s Community Action Program (NEWCAP) still has $1.4 million available from the second round of WERA.

“We have dispersed nearly $10 million already in the county, and we are looking at an additional $3.2 million coming this way,” said Debbie Bushman, with NEWCAP.

People, who were impacted by the pandemic in any way, need to apply to receive assistance.

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