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Newcap opens new homeless shelter in Green Bay

By Heather Graves

GREEN BAY – Northeast Wisconsin Community Action Program, or Newcap, is a local non-profit which serves as a lifeline for many struggling with homelessness.

Since beginning its efforts in Brown County in 2017, Newcap has become a major resource for the area’s most vulnerable.

The organization is now taking that support one step further by opening the Center for Advocating, Believing, and Achieving, a new, temporary homeless shelter on Green Bay’s far west side.

“Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, it became apparent that the county needed additional shelter opportunities for their most vulnerable population, the unsheltered homeless,” said Debbie Bushman, Newcap vice president of housing program development and compliance.

Bushman said the Center for Advocating, Believing, and Achieving – which gets its name from Newcap’s philosophy – gives families an option when they don’t have any others.

“There are three shelters that serve families and they all have special criteria in order to be eligible, so there are families that are not able to find shelter in the county because they do not meet the eligibility criteria for access to shelter,” she said.

The shelter welcomed its first residents in late November after securing funding through the City of Green Bay Community Development block grant program made available with CARES Act funding.

“Newcap came across an opportunity to lease a shelter building for up to six months that could house up to 12 families at any given time,” she said.

It was an opportunity to help families Bushman said the organization couldn’t pass up.

“It was decided that Newcap would open a shelter that would serve families, since that is the most needed in the county,” she said.

The shelter is already addressing the need, welcoming several more residents since opening just a few weeks ago.

But Bushman said there is room for a couple more.

Families struggling and needing a place to stay can stop by the shelter, located at 840 N. Taylor St., or call 920-604-9045.

Everyone must be tested for COVID-19 prior to staying at the shelter.

Testing is available free of charge at Newcap’s Community Health Clinic located at 1540 Capitol Drive.

“Families are placed in a motel until their results come back, so we don’t risk the health of any other residents already residing in the shelter,” Bushman said.

The eviction moratorium is keeping families housed for the time being, but she said it could be a different story in January.

“Newcap continues to look for additional funding to assist households in need and to prevent the evictions that may happen at the first of the year,” Bushman said. “The homeless needs in Brown County continue to increase and shelter is definitely a top priority to keep people safe during this time.”

So far, support for the shelter from the community has been great, but she said help is still needed.

A complete list of needed supplies are listed on Newcap’s Facebook page.

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