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St. John's homeless shelter, Green Bay meet to talk bed capacity violation


GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The city of Green Bay and officials with the St. John’s homeless shelter met today to discuss possible solutions to what the city says is a violation of their conditional use permit. 

Friday’s meeting was attended by Assistant city attorney James Mueller who says both sides presented ideas to solve the occupancy limits, but they require additional work. 

In a joint-statement released Friday, both sides are committed to working together for the benefit of the individuals served by the shelter and the community.

Mueller told WTAQ shortly after the meeting that the shelter is in violation of their 64-bed permit that was approved in August.  The city is still talking about further enforcement action. 

Neither side would comment further than the release statement.

The shelter claims their operational plan, that was part of the terms of their permit, allows for an overflow area in the shelter. The city says that not legal. 

Under the direction of Mayor Jim Schmitt, the city’s legal department sent the shelter a letter saying they needed to be in compliance by Wednesday or face further enforcement action.  But as a winter storm warning turned into a blizzard warning, the city backed off until Friday.

However, the city did not take enforcement action which could mean a citation of up to $681 a night according to Fox 11.

Later Friday evening, Deacon Tim Reilly with the Green Bay Catholic Diocese issued a public apology to Mayor Jim Schmitt for comments he made on Tuesday during a press conference where they brought public the letter sent to them. 

"I believe that I was unfair and incorrect in attacking the Mayor personally" Reilly said in a statement. 

Schmitt placed a call to police about a homeless man who was drunk and urinating in a park outside his home window.  Soon after, Schmitt called an emergency meeting, in an attempt to get the occupancy issue resolved, but the city council decided against going further with the issue. 

After Deacon Reilly's comments Schmitt called for new leadership at the Green Bay Catholic Diocese.