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Homeless shelter working to provide overnight housing year-round

St. John the Evangelist Homeless Shelter in Green Bay as seen on Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017. (WLUK/Gabrielle Mays) 

GREEN BAY (WLUK) -- A safe place to sleep no matter what time of year, that's the goal of St. John's Homeless Shelter.

But its a seasonal shelter open November through April.

"April 29, the last night the shelter was in operation, we had 39 guests in our doors which means when our doors closed for the season, we had 39 people turning out to the streets without a place to go," said Lexie Wood.

St. John's executive director, Lexie Wood, feels more needs to be done.

"The plan for the summer is that we would essentially just use those overflow sites, local churches on a rotating basis just to ensure people have access to safe housing 12 months a year," Wood said.

St. John's would also provide staffing for the overnight shelter.

St. John's is in Alderman Randy Scannell's district. He says when he first started, he received complaints about homeless people in his district. But once St. John's opened the Micah Center, a daytime resource center for the homeless, things changed.

"Once we got the Micah Center up and running, that dealt with a lot of that, I don't know if it's completely gone away but I haven't been getting any complaints," Scannell said.

St. John's overnight housing initiative comes after four homeless people died in Green Bay within a 12 month span. The shelter talked about those deaths in a letter sent to its supporters.

"We look at all four of these deaths, of our homeless brothers and we say every single one was a preventable tragedy. Even if they died of natural causes, the fact that they died alone and unaccounted for on the streets of Green Bay," Wood said.

Wood adds, the new overnight shelter would run from April 30 to October 31 and cost about $75,000.

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