Proposal would transform part of Queensgate jail into day center for homeless

Former jail site may become day center for homeless population

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - A portion of the old Queensgate correctional facility could become a new day center for people living on the streets.

Maslow’s Army says they’re taking the lead in an attempt to convert the first floor of the building into a place the homeless can have a sense of belonging.

A man named Jessie, who often goes by “Cowboy,” knows how difficult it is being without a permanent place to stay during the winter.

“I almost lost my hands, I lost my feet,” Jessie told FOX19 NOW. “I about lost everything I had in my life. It’s a rough life out there.”

Others say the same.

The drop-in center is an option, but some homeless say they’re bidden out as early as 6 a.m. Many go to a makeshift gathering spot on Third Street until the sun goes down.

Samuel Landis with Maslow’s Army understands their concerns because he says he’s been in their position.

“Having been somebody who has experienced homelessness and has been on the other side of this… I did have a library to go to, I did have places to go stay warm during the day. Unfortunately, with t his pandemic on our heels, these individuals don’t,” Landis said.

That’s why his group is looking to transform the Queensgate facility. He says it will be open every day from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“There will be a vast amount of resources,” Landis said. “We plan on having a TV. Some people on the streets do have work and have third-shift jobs, so they can take some naps and sleep during the day.”

The group also plans to provide food and services like drug and alcohol treatment.

Landis says the facility will have space for around 300 of the 7,500 homeless people in the region.

The group is still working with the building’s owners and the city to get the necessary permits and funding, but they are hoping to get it up and running by Thanksgiving.

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