Even as plans move forward to spend almost $34 million to build three new homeless shelters in Cincinnati, the more immediate task is providing emergency care during the year's coldest months. And organizers are short $25,000.
For the past two years, a handful of local agencies have teamed to offer an emergency cold shelter at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, Over the Rhine.
Cincinnati City Council voted late last month to provide $30,000 for the winter shelter, but an additional $25,000 is needed to make sure the shelter can operate from mid December through the end of February.
In the winters of 2011 12 and 2012 www.michaelkorsoutletus.net 13, the winter shelter provided a safe, warm place to sleep for 860 and 600 individuals, respectively.
Hamilton County's emergency shelters for the homeless do not have the capacity to serve everyone in need during the coldest months when the demand for shelter is highest, said Kevin Finn, president and chief executive of Strategies to End Homelessness, the agency that coordinates homeless services and money in the county and city. "If michael kors outlet locations additional shelter capacity is not available, homeless people will have no choice but to remain on the streets, at risk of hypothermia or even death," said Finn, a former street homeless outreach worker. "The winter shelter brings homeless people in off the streets and also provides connections to housing and services targeted toward helping them out of homelessness."
The primary winter shelter space is in the finished basement of Prince of Peace, 1528 Race St. Some overflow space is available at the Drop Inn Center, 217 W. 12th St., also in Over the Rhine. In addition to Prince of Peace, the Drop Inn Center and Strategies to End Homelessness, the winter shelter is sponsored by the Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati.
The former shelter opened only when a winter shelter emergency was called. The temperature or wind chill had to drop to single digits, even if all other shelters were full. The city of Cincinnati Health Department and the Cincinnati Recreation Commission operated the winter shelter at the Over the Rhine Recreation Center.
As many as 160 people a night received shelter at Price of Peace during winter 2012 13. The total nightly cost was less than $1,000 per night, and Finn calls it a cost effective way to protect the community's most vulnerable citizens.
A permanent winter shelter is planned as part of the new Drop Inn Center. On Nov. 22, Drop Inn officials and developer Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. announced an agreement to move the shelter from its 12th Street location its home since 1978 www.hvfull.com to the former Butternut Bread Co. factory in Queensgate.