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St. Johns Ministries opens women’s shelter

By Josh Staloch

GREEN BAY – A new facility on Walnut St. in downtown Green Bay whose mission will be to help women experiencing homelessness or housing instability officially opened its doors on Monday, Sept. 19.

With the need for services growing exponentially, St. John’s Ministries has renovated the former Micah Center at 700 E Walnut St. and turned it into a 55-bed women’s shelter.

The facility will function in tandem with Wellspring, a daytime resource center specifically serving women with trained staff and volunteers to help those seeking support and services as they attempt to get back on their feet.

“It’s of course unfortunate that we need these services, especially to the scale that we’re finding these days,” Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich said. “It’s more critical than ever to have organizations like St. John’s and their staff and their volunteers doing this great work.”

Mayor Genrich added that solving the area’s homelessness problem isn’t something that St. John’s or city government can do alone, and that it will take a community-wide effort to eradicate homelessness.

“Since the early days of St. John’s, we have been providing a mat on the floor, warmth, and a meal to those who are in need in our community,” St. John’s Ministries Executive Director Alexia Wood said. “That need has grown tremendously and, thanks to the support of so many in our community, we have been able to expand and evolve as an organization to continue meeting that need.”

Wood said the organization’s growth is reflected in the new facility’s opening, but the long-term goal is to no longer need the shelter at all.

“Our deep desire is to get out and address systemic change and address the root causes of poverty and homelessness,” she said. “To see our brothers and sisters, our neighbors, stable and in affordable housing. In the meantime, we want to make sure our programs and facilities continue to grow so they can support those who need them.”

The Wellspring daytime resource center has been operational since early July, and the 55-bed shelter portion of the facility is expected to see its first occupants on Nov. 1 when the shelter season begins.

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