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Uptown Homeless Shelter To Close By Christmas

An Uptown homeless shelter will close its doors by the end of the year, the organization announced Tuesday. Officials for the Interim Housing Program at North Side Housing and Supportive Services, 941 W. Lawrence Ave., said increased expenses and the instability of the state budget prompted the closure. Richard Ducatenzeiler, the shelter’s executive director, said the facility had operated with an annual budget of about $550,000. The state had provided about 66 percent of that funding, he said.

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An Uptown homeless shelter will close its doors by the end of the year, the organization announced Tuesday.

Officials for the Interim Housing Program at North Side Housing and Supportive Services, 941 W. Lawrence Ave., said increased expenses and the instability of the state budget prompted the closure.

Richard Ducatenzeiler, the shelter’s executive director, said the facility had operated with an annual budget of about $550,000. The state had provided about 66 percent of that funding, he said.

“We honestly don’t know what would happen (when the state’s stopgap budget expires) in January,” Ducatenzeiler said.

He added that health insurance costs have increased, as well as money spent on salaries, rent and supplies.

The 72-bed shelter, which is currently home to 62 men, will stop accepting residents at the end of the month, Ducatenzeiler said. The city’s Department of Family & Support Services is working to relocate the existing residents by Dec. 23, officials said.

“We’re hoping that in working with the city very closely, we’ll be able to find locations for every participant,” Ducatenzeiler said. “We don’t want anyone to fall through the cracks.”

Ald. James Cappleman, 46th, encouraged finding shelter for the homeless.

“These are men that their next option is living on the streets, which is crazy,” Cappleman said. "(People) are more likely to get arrested in their living on the streets.”

Mariah Woelfel is a WBEZ reporter. Follow her @MariahWoelfel.

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