The Future of Housing in our Area

Fr. Paul Demuth, Envision Board member and Housing & Safety Signals Team

January’s “Point in Time” count of homeless persons in Green Bay discovered 41 unsheltered persons living on the streets — the highest winter number counted in three years! People who are chronically homeless often deal with long term mental health and addictive behaviors, and the traditional shelter models do not address the needs of this population. Recent research has pointed to a possible solution:  peer-run housing. It works like this: a small group of apartments is staffed by formerly homeless persons certified as “peer specialists.” Unlike the traditional “case management” model, peers work with these residents at their own pace to develop the confidence and skills needed to become healthy and, eventually, live independently. The Brown County  Homeless and Housing Coalition have approved this model as a concept and are looking for a sponsor to implement it for the Green Bay area.