News Updates

Posted 5-25-20: “Now Accepting Donations of Items Again”
That stack of hoodies you don’t wear. Those great tennis shoes that don’t quite fit. A couple of backpacks you won’t use…..We can take those off your hands!!! We have exciting news for those of you who have been cleaning out your closets: we are beginning to take select donations on a limited schedule at St. John’s. As St. John’s has expanded services during the last 3 months to meet the increased need during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have depleted our stores in our donation room. We need your help re-stocking our donation room with much-needed clothing and hygiene items so we can continue supplying our guests with essentials.  Get the details!

Posted 5-21-20: “Becoming the ‘Laundry Lady'” By Carrie Arnold, St. John’s Volunteer
I’ve had aspirations to be many different things in my life, but never did being a “laundry lady” present itself as an enticing option until Covid 19 came upon the scene. I am here to tell you what a profound impact that embracing the role of laundry lady for the Spring Lake site guests has had on my life, and on my husband, Bob’s as well.   Read more…

Posted 5-12-20: “New Directions for COVID-19 Shelter Response”
The guests, staff and volunteers of St. John’s are no strangers to change, especially since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. Many of you know by now how St. John’s moved to expand our services and stay at the forefront of our community response to homelessness during this unprecedented time. Over the past week and in partnership with Brown County, St. John’s has taken another step forward in serving our homeless brothers and sisters amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more.

Posted 5-8-20: “Walking with the Vulnerable”
Zoom Recording by the Diocese of Green Bay featuring St. John’s Homeless Shelter staff discussing COVID-19 shelter response. Click here to listen. Enter password: L!vJustGB1​

Posted 5-1-20: “It’s Zoom Time, Volunteers”
Whether you’re a Shelter volunteer at St. John’s, a front desk volunteer at the Micah Center or a support volunteer at Wellspring, we have a new way for you to stay connected during the COVID-19 crisis. Brooke Graham, Volunteer Coordinator, will be holding two Zoom meeting options weekly, and will announce meeting day/times at the beginning of the week via email. Not part of our volunteer system Better Impact but still a volunteer looking to connect? Contact Brooke at bgraham@sjehs.org. Learn more.

Posted  4-30-20: “The Black Swan Adventure”
What is an adventure? I’ve usually placed the thought of some type of excitement when thinking about adventure. According to the Merriam-Webster on-line dictionary there are 3 definitions. I’m choosing to recognize the following definitions, only for the purpose of my story:
Adventure: a. an undertaking usually involving danger and unknown risks.
                     b. the encounter of risks.
Has my experience with the possible infection of the COVID-19 virus been an adventure? Keep reading.

Posted 4-24-20: “Celebrating National Volunteer Week Amid Global Pandemic.” It’s National Volunteer Week!!!! And this year, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s a time unlike any other….and still, St. John’s volunteers are as committed as ever!  Read more.

Posted 4-15-20:  “COVID-19 Impact: Joseph Project May Class Canceled.” The impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic is being felt in every community across our state, as people face joblessness and employers make difficult decisions about whether to stay open. Now more than ever, we see how important The Joseph Project is, as it connects people to good jobs that are focused on manufacturing. While we can’t hold in-person classes at this time, this Micah Center based program will plan to hold classes later this summer, August 2020.  Read more.

Posted 4-10-20:  “Perspectives: St. John’s & COVID-19”

The COVID-19 health crisis is uniquely impacting our homeless brothers and sisters, so we sat down with three members of our St. John’s family. Berta is a Night Shift Coordinator, Mark is a Guest Intern, and Barb is a Board Member. These are their perspectives…   Read more.

Posted 4-8-20:  “Newest Packer Kirksey Support sOur Homeless Brothers and Sisters.” The newest Packer Linebacker Christian Kirksey is already making an impact in Green Bay. Not only is he an exceptional athlete, but Christian is passionate about assisting those in need. He reached out to St. John’s, because he wants to ensure that homeless shelters have the items needed to sustain during such unsettling times.  Read more.

Posted 4-7-20:  “Thinking of the Homeless During the COVID-19 Crisis” by Executive Director Alexia Wood

Dear Friends,

I am writing to ask you to take a moment with me right now to think about our homeless brothers and sisters as you navigate this COVID-19 pandemic. Pray for them. Pray for staff in the trenches. And in total vulnerability, I am asking you to pray for me as I continue leading us through this. As you sit hunkered down at home, consider what it would be like to not have a “safer at home” home to hunker down in. If you have some more time these days, continue reading. Here’s our reality at St. John’s…  Read more.

Posted 4-3-20:  “Packers Give Back supporting 10 local organizations with first round of COVID-19 community relief funds.” 

Following last week’s announcement that the Green Bay Packers have established a $1.5 million COVID-19 Community Relief Fund through Packers Give Back, the first round of grants has been given to provide immediate support to Brown County residents facing challenges caused by the pandemic.

The first round of emergency response grants through Packers Give Back and the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, totaling $283,000, have been given to 20 organizations across Brown, Kewaunee and Oconto counties.

These grants help address food and hygiene needs, housing assistance, transportation, medication and other basic needs. Recipients range from food pantries to homeless shelters and organizations serving individuals with disabilities. Read full press release.

Posted 4-2-20: “Greater Green Bay YMCA and St. John’s Shelter partner to ensure the record number of shelter guests have access to shower facilities.”  St. John’s Shelter has been serving record numbers of guests since mid-March, 2020 due to the economic and other challenges created by COVID-19. On March 18th they opened a second site at Spring Lake Church to accommodate more people in need. The only thing missing, showering facilities. The Ferguson Family YMCA, just down the street from Spring Lake Church, stepped in to provide this service for St. John’s and their residents.

“From the bottom of my heart and as a homeless shelter guest, it means the world to me to be able to take a shower and feel better as a human being. I coordinate our shower program, and for me an all the guys, it makes such a big difference and lifts our spirits to have a hot shower every day. You can see the look on our guests faces that shows how much it helps. It is such an honor to be part of this partnership with the YMCA.” -Mark Taylor, St. John’s Guest Intern. Read full press release here.

Posted 3-31-20:  “We Miss You!” by Vicki is a tribute to our volunteers that we miss so much during this difficult time of “stay at home” orders and crisis that have cause us to dramatically limit volunteers at our three facilities. Read the blog.

Posted 3-29-20: Video Update on St. John’s COVID-19 Response from Executive Director Alexia Wood

Posted March 24, 2020:
“After Midnights”
One staff member reflects on the changes in this past week and what it meant to go from a daytime position to starting work at midnight. Read article.

Posted March 23, 2020: “Getting out, getting active during COVID-19”
One of the positive stories from our two shelter locations is the way guests and staff are getting active and having some fun. Read article.

Posted March 22, 2020:  “Amid COVID-19 Crisis Local Restaurants Partner to Help the Homeless”  Even in a difficult time, compounded by the stresses of experiencing homelessness, our guests and staff are finding joy in the food we share together and the generosity of our Green Bay community. Read blog post.

 

Posted March 21, 2020: “Where to Find Food, Housing Help and More in Wisconsin During the COVID-19 Pandemic” highlights St. John’s Homeless Shelter on Wisconsin Public Radio. Read more.

Posted March 20, 2020: Updates from St. John’s Executive Director, Alexia Wood

Posted March 19, 2020:  St. John’s has seen an outpouring of support from the community in order to sustain our expanded shelter services. We have been partnering with local restaurants to help meet the need for 3 meals/day at two locations. Community members are also making meals and donating items of need. We are so incredibly blessed by the partnership we have with Spring Lake Church Downtown. Not only have they welcomed us in their church, but the congregation members have generously reached out to help with meals, donations and so many things. Thankful, grateful, blessed certainly describes today, so we ended it with a family photo with Pastor Bill of Spring Lake Downtown!

Guests, staff, and Pastor Bill from St. John’s second shelter at Spring Lake Church Downtown came together for a “family” photo, finding joy during a difficult time.

 

Posted March 18, 2020: WBAY Ch. 2 News “Local homeless shelter operating 24 hours a day, expanding to 2nd site” View news story.

The Press Times: “Homeless shelter expands in response of need” View article online.

Posted March 17, 2020: St. John’s announces Spring Lake Church Downtown as site of our second shelter site amid COVID-19 crisis.

Posted March 16, 2020: “St. John’s Homeless Shelter Expands Services to Respond to Increasing Homeless Need Amid COVID-19 Crisis”
GREEN BAY, Wis., March 16, 2020 – Since St. John’s Homeless Shelter opened our doors nearly 15 years ago, we have always sought to meet the need of our most vulnerable homeless brothers and sisters, never operating with capacity by utilizing off-site overflow locations when our building capacity of 84 is reached. With growing concerns about the global pandemic of the COVID-19 virus, St. John’s is once again stepping in to meet the need by expanding our emergency shelter services. Because we have seen record numbers of guests already this year, with 123 guests just last night, we see a need to directly and safely meet the needs of these individuals in this time of the COVID-19 crisis, while also meeting the need of the greater community.

Since late February, we have been instituting preventative measures outlined by the CDC and government entities, yet we see the need to do more to best support the guests we serve and to address the safety of our community. Beginning Wednesday, March 18, St. John’s Homeless Shelter will begin operating two 24-hour shelter sites, one at our Shelter and the other at a downtown area church, providing for the continuous care of those vulnerable adults who would otherwise be on the streets during this health crisis.

By operating two emergency shelter sites, we are able to create smaller groups of guests and promote social distancing to help mitigate the possibility of community spread of the COVID-19 virus. While there have been no cases of COVID-19 in Brown County or among our guests, we have been in communication with local health officials, and we are prepared if a guest at our shelter were to test positive for the COVID-19 virus. Lastly, in order to expand our shelter services as outlined above, we will temporarily close our daytime centers, the Micah Center and Wellspring.
Read in Full.

Posted March 11, 2020: “St. John’s is Proactive in Addressing COVID-19”
At St. John’s Homeless Shelter, the Micah Center and Wellspring, the health and safety of our guests, volunteers and staff has always been our top priority, and we know that many have questions around COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus. Since Feb. 25, 2020, our leadership have been meeting to develop comprehensive and proactive measures for St. John’s. We want to share with our St. John’s community what proactive steps we have taken. Read More.