College comes to Green Bay shelter’s aidAn overpopulated homeless shelter in Green Bay is getting help from a private college.
By: By Patty Murray, Wisconsin Public Radio, Superior Telegram
An overpopulated homeless shelter in Green Bay is getting help from a private college. St. Norbert College in De Pere is housing homeless people in a campus gym. It is just a temporary fix.
St. John the Evangelist Catholic church in Green Bay operates an emergency overnight shelter downtown. This year it has gone over its 64 person capacity so often that the city is threatening to fine it up to $500 per day.
St. Norbert College is just a few miles south, in De Pere. The school's vice president for mission and student affairs is Jay Fostner. He says offering to help the homeless fits in with St. Norbert's mission.
"It was a no brainer," he says. "We offered to house the overflow from St. John's which is about 16 people is what we can take."
Fostner says the gym isn't near residential neighborhoods and just passed an inspection from the fire department.
St. John's shelter transports people to De Pere in a van and monitors residents.
"And then the shelter staff stays overnight with the guests so there's somebody awake in there or a couple of people actually, while the guests are using the facility," Fostner says.
St. Norbert can only offer to house the overflow until Jan. 20, when students return from winter break.
Meanwhile the city of Green Bay filed charges and shelter officials are scheduled to appear in municipal court later this month.