WEATHER FORECAST KEEPS WINTER SHELTER OPEN
As snow and frigid temps return, shelter closing is postponed
CINCINNATI, OH – February 28, 2014 – The seasonal Winter Shelter, which has kept hundreds of individuals from sleeping on the streets since December, normally closes its doors at the end of February. However, with a Winter Storm Watch in effect, organizers have decided to keep the seasonal shelter open until Tuesday, March 4th and will evaluate continued need in early March.
For the last two years, Strategies to End Homelessness, the Drop Inn Center, Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, and the Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati have partnered to add seasonal Winter Shelter beds to the local emergency shelter system to ensure that anyone who is homeless and on the streets has access to a safe, warm place to sleep during the coldest months of the year. The Winter Shelter normally operates from mid-December through February, but the first week of March is expected to bring snow, ice and dangerously cold temperatures.
“We have a seasonal Winter Shelter for one basic reason: to make sure people don’t freeze to death on the streets. Unfortunately, some years that risk is present beyond the month of February”, said Kevin Finn, President/CEO of Strategies to End Homelessness, Inc.
Prior to 2011, seasonal shelter was provided to homeless people in an unreliable way, only on nights when the temperature dipped below 10 degrees Fahrenheit. In 2011, Strategies to End Homelessness, the Drop Inn Center, and the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition and their partners moved to replace this haphazard system so that seasonal Winter Shelter would be reliable and adequate, and would also provide the services necessary to assist people out of homelessness, not just warehouse them in homelessness.
People in need can access Winter Shelter beds by coming to the Drop Inn Center at 217 W 12th Street. Doors open at 9pm. With as many as 160 people sheltered on any given night at a cost of less than $1000 per night, this Winter Shelter is a very cost effective way to protect our community’s most vulnerable homeless citizens.
“We would not be able to keep the shelter open if the people of Cincinnati had not been so generous in supporting the Winter Shelter this year”, Finn added, “but keeping the shelter open will decrease the funding we have available, and make opening the shelter next year that much harder.”
Donations to support the Winter Shelter can be made by visiting www.strategiestoendhomelessness.org , or by sending a check to Strategies to End Homelessness, 2368 Victory Parkway, Suite 600, Cincinnati, OH 45206.
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