Homeless shelter OKs clear way for ribbon cutting

Port facility financed with grants will be able to house up to 20 people
By 
KrISTYN HALBIG ZIEHM
Ozaukee Press staff

A ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held Friday, May 20, for Portlight, a homeless shelter to be built in a former day care facility on Port Washington’s southeast side.

The ribbon cutting comes just weeks after the Common Council approved a conditional use grant and land covenant needed for the shelter, which will be operated by Family Promise of Ozaukee County.

“We are deeply appreciative of your support for this program,” Family Promise board member Connie Pukaite told aldermen.

Family Promise has purchased the 4,763-square-foot building at 1505 Sunset Rd. and plans to construct a 2,477-square-foot addition to the structure.

The addition will include two wings, each with two suites for clients, while another four suites will be in the central part of the building.

There will be a shared laundry room, kitchen and large gathering space for meals and programs.

Exterior changes to the building include adding gables and a new entrance.

When completed, the shelter will house as many as 20 adults and children at one time.

The shelter is not a drop-in facility but a program aimed at helping people get back on their feet, officials said.

Those housed at the shelter would be there for a maximum 90 days, Family Promise representatives have said, although the average stay is about 47 days.

Clients must participate in weekly case management meetings aimed at helping them get on their feet.

Sex offenders aren’t allowed at the shelter, according to Family Promise.

The building will be staffed around the clock and a security system will be installed.

Family Promise has been operating in Port for seven years. It had operated a shelter program, housing people in area churches, but that changed with the pandemic.

But because the need for a shelter hasn’t waned, the agency decided to create a place of its own. It received a $2.3 million community development block grant that will pay the cost of the building, renovations and the first year of operation.    

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Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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