After five years of makeshift quarters, Cincinnati's homeless shelter system now has a permanent home for the Winter Shelter and the capacity to serve everyone in need during the coldest months of the winter.
Funded by the city and operated by Shelterhouse (formerly the Drop Inn Center), The David and Rebecca Barron Center is the new permanent home for the city's Winter Shelter.
The Barron Center is located at 411 Gest St.
The Winter Shelter will open Tuesday, and will remain open through February, serving an additional 100-plus homeless adults per night as demand for shelter is highest during the winter months. It is open to men and women, ages 18 and up who need emergency assistance.
Normally, the David and Rebecca Barron Center operates as a shelter only for men, and the Esther Marie Hatton Center assists women.
Over the years, Strategies to End Homelessness, Shelterhouse, homeless services providers and advocates have worked together to add capacity to the local system.
A cornerstone of the Homeless to Homes Plan is improving our local emergency shelter system with five service-enriched facilities.
Strategies to End Homelessness announced plans for the "Bring It Home" community-wide fundraising campaign in June to raise the final $2.7 million needed to complete construction of the Homeless to Homes shelters.
"We have been collaborating to transform our homeless shelter system for the past five years, and we have accomplished what seemed unimaginable not that long ago," said Kevin Finn, president and CEO of Strategies to End Homelessness.
"Now we're in the homestretch with about $900,000 left to raise in the "Bring It Home" campaign, which will close the funding gap for capital expenses, including at the new Barron Center," he added.
In addition to the Winter Shelter, churches and other groups also sometimes open their doors to homeless people to ensure everyone has a safe, warm place to sleep.
This winter, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, which previously allowed Shelterhouse to make use of its building as a location for the Winter Shelter, will be allowing people to once again sleep in their building when the weather is at its worst.
Donations to support additional Winter Shelter capacity can be made at www.WinterShelterCincy.org.