More work to be done to ensure warmth, safety for local homeless population

December has ushered in colder weather than normal, and alongside the frigid temperatures comes the need to provide warmth and safety to the city's homeless population.
The Winter Shelter, which can house up to 200 individuals per night, opened its doors Dec. 8 and will remain open through February — a much-needed addition to the 675 beds available year-round that are already at or above capacity.
“We have been working to ensure that everyone who needs to come in off the streets has a warm place to sleep,” said Kevin Finn, president and CEO of Strategies to End Homelessness.  
The 2016-17 season marks the second year that the Winter Shelter will operate out of a permanent location — within the David and Rebecca Baron Center for Men.
Despite its name, the Winter Shelter houses both men and women and helps ensure no one is out on the street in the cold.
While the City of Cincinnati, Shelterhouse (formerly the Drop Inn Center) and Strategies to End Homelessness have all collaborated to make sure adequate funding is in place to operate the Winter Shelter, they are trying to do more, as the month of March is not currently funded.
“We’ve secured 90 percent of the funding needed to staff and operate the Winter Shelter through February,” Finn said. “Of course, it can still be very cold in March, and if the weather calls for the Winter Shelter to stay open longer, that requires even more resources.”

Do Good: 

•    Support the Winter Shelter by donating today.

•    If you encounter an individual cold and on the street, tell them about the Winter Shelter. 

•    Looking for a last-minute holiday gift? Purchase a $10 ornament now through Dec. 23, and feed 10 homeless individuals in the process. 

Read more articles by Brittany York.

Brittany York is a freelance writer, adjunct English composition instructor and server at Orchids at Palm Court. She loves travel and photography. Keep up with Brittany on Instagram @brittbrittbrittbrittany.
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