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Ceremonial groundbreaking for new homeless shelter in West Bend

Sept. 5, 2017 – West Bend, WI – A ceremonial groundbreaking today to officially dedicate the new homeless shelter on Water Street in West Bend.

“Years ago we recognized our ultimate goal was permanent housing to eliminate homeless,” said West Bend Police Chief Ken Meuler.  “Through this emergency shelter we’ll be able to offer support services and transitional living.”

The $1.4 million project is being built by American Construction Services Inc. It is expected to be completed in early 2018.

“The construction piece of this is the easy part,” said Mayor Kraig Sadownikow, owner of American Construction Services. “Getting the passion and awareness together and all the donors, that’s the hard part.”

Family Promise of Washington County will be the owner and operator of the facility which will house up to 18 men and women with 6 supportive housing apartments.  The shelter will be staffed 24 hours a day and will address the needs of the individuals and assist them with access to food and shelter and assistance to gain employment and manage money.

During Tuesday’s ceremony it was announced the facility will be called Karl’s Place in honor of Karl Glunz of Richfield.

“There is a need in Washington County for homeless singles, women and men,” said Glunz. “We’ve experience the need over the past four to five years and now we have the opportunity to provide them one building,for both men and women, with all the services they need to work themselves toward independent living.”

Glunz has lived in Richfield for 15 years. He has been a member of St. Vincent De Paul for 52 years.

“St. Vincent De Paul is always interested in serving the poor and the needy and food, shelter and clothing is part of the mission,” he said.

Many thanks were given to financial supporters of the project including Tonnie and Tim Schmidt from Delta Defense, Greater Milwaukee Foundation, Schlagel Foundation, Prescott Family Foundation, United Way Washington County, WHEDA, St. Vincent De Paul, West Bend Mutual Insurance and the Ziegler Family Foundation.

In June 2017 there was some discussion and concerns aired by the Plan Commission regarding the facility.

Jed Dolnick – “What would you say would be the most common reasons people need the shelter?”  Kathleen Fisher with Family Promise said, “Mostly because people don’t have the ability to pay the rent and lack of income.”

Chris Schmidt – “What’s the average period of time someone would use the facility before they get back on their feet and find affordable housing?” Fisher said, “People can stay up to 90 days. Our goal is to get them in and out in 30 days. With the apartments they could stay up to 1 year and that gives us more time to work with them on the issues whether it’s mental health, addiction, finding a job, education, in order to live independently.”

Adam Williquette – “Do you see any problems with the proximity to the baseball fields down the street.” Fisher responded. “There will be 24-hour supervision so our goal is to maintain quality control and care of the folks in the shelter program.”

Jim White – “The six supportive housing apartments that this can be up to a year, is this considered temporary or permanent or semi-permanent housing?” Fisher said, “It would be permanent supportive housing but our goal is to get them in and out in 12 months.”


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