GREEN BAY – Homeless people in Green Bay could soon have a place to go during the day.
The city’s homeless task force is looking to open a resource center in an empty space at 600 South Adams Street. The center would have information about jobs and health care.
Community leaders started looking into creating a center downtown in 2011. Plans for a center were in the works last fall, but those fell through.
Even though the current proposal is far from a done deal, the people behind it believe this time will be different.
“Absolutely excited about it,” said Jane Jordan of Lutheran Social Services.
By June 1, Jordan hopes a building that’s virtually under the Mason St. bridge will become a resource for struggling adults looking to change their lives. Lutheran Social Services would rent the building and run the center.
“It has been perseverance and determination, but we understand how very important this is to fulfil a gap within the community,” said Jordan.
The location is two blocks from St. John the Evangelist Homeless Shelter. St. John’s is open November through April and only at night.
The new daytime center would be open everyday except Saturday.
Before the facility could open on Adams Street, the city must approve a conditional use permit. While the city isn’t ready to comment, Jordan is optimistic it will move forward.
“Everything is pointing in the wonderful direction that it should be able to obtain that,” she said.
We asked people who live nearby if they would be okay with having the center in their neighborhood.
“I don’t think it’s a big deal. I think anywhere for people to go is better than nowhere,” said Leigh Pennings. “There’s definitely a need in the community.”
“I think they need a place to go,” said Megan Gaurano. “They’re already here. I think they need a place to be able go to go for a resource.”
Another neighbor wouldn’t go on camera, but he said he opposes the site for the proposed resource center. He wants the building to be torn down so there is more green space by the river.
Jordan says it would take about $65,000 to remodel the space that’s 4,000 to 5,000 square feet.
Yearly operations would cost $155,000.
Remodeling and operating costs would come from fund raisers and grants.
Jordan expects to submit a permit to the city in a couple of weeks. She says if it’s approved, fund raising efforts for the center will begin.