Homeless shelters extend opening for winter weather

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The temperature is expected to fall to about 12 degrees on Sunday night, hazardous conditions for people who are homeless. Thankfully, the seasonal Winter Shelter will remain open during this winter storm.

"The Winter Shelter is added shelter capacity that we open during the coldest part of the Winter normally about mid-December through the end of February, "Strategies to End Homelessness Executive Director, Kevin Finn said.

Because this winter has been so unusually cold a decision was made to shelter open a bit longer.

"We actually received 50-thousand dollars from the city of Cincinnati this year. There have been several foundations and companies that provided money, but the money we're actually using to extend into March is because different people saw stories on the news and made donations," Finn explained.

It costs about $1,000 a day to operate the winter shelter, which Finn says is more than just a place to warehouse people.

"We've also managed to incorporate more services into it so that people are actually getting connected to services that might lead them out of homelessness."

The Winter Shelter is located at The Drop in Center on West 12th Street and has made a big difference in the life Tim Bray who says he lost everything while serving a 30-day jail sentence.

"I was homeless and lost all my clothes and stuff and they put me in touch with resources to get on my feet and help me look for housing. They put me on the list for jobs. They've helped me get a place to stay out of the cold," Bray said.

"It's cold and it's nasty. Yeah you don't want to be out there. Thank God for places like this and people that donate. Donations make it possible. It all helps. Yeah, it's been a blessing to me. I've been lucky,"  Bray gratefully expressed.

This is the third winter the shelter has been open and depending on the weather, the Winter Shelter may stay open past March 4.

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