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St. John’s Homeless Shelter pleased with outreach effort

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 7:04 PM CDT
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GREEN BAY, Wis. (WBAY) - Staff at St. John’s Homeless Shelter in Green Bay are pleased with the new Engage Initiative that launched this spring.

We first told you in March that the homeless shelter proposed the idea in an effort to meet people where they are. St. John’s Park has been a popular spot for those struggling with homelessness to gather, but many are reluctant to walk across the street to seek help.

Since launching the program last month, staff says they’ve seen success in connecting people with the services they need.

They’ve also partnered with other community organizations, such as the Salvation Army, which provides bag lunches at the park and other services.

“We come once a week, and we are just engaging in relationship with the guests that are here, listening to stories, offering resources. We let them know about the shower program at the Salvation Army, which is Monday through Friday in the mornings,” Salvation Army Basic Needs Manager Deb Weaver said.

People have also seen the park being used again by people from surrounding neighborhoods.

“We’ve seen the community return to the park, so that was a huge thing last year. You would drive by the park at any point and you would have 30 plus individuals camped out and just engaged in alcohol and other activities so families didn’t feel safe to bring their kids here,” St. John’s Homeless Shelter Executive Director Matt Kadlec said.

The Engage Initiative runs through October.

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