Thirty years on, shelter ’A Place to Call Home’


By The Clinton County Homeless Shelter



WILMINGTON —Clinton County Services for the Homeless — “the Shelter” — opened its doors in 1988 and became the first emergency shelter in a rural Ohio community.

The support of our Clinton County Community has enabled the Shelter to continue its mission of providing emergency shelter, compassionate care and support to the homeless and underprivileged while remembering each resident is a person of worth for nearly 30 years now.

The challenge of finding full time sustainable employment that can support an individual and/or family is challenging for those who have become homeless. Loss of transportation, lack of affordable childcare, separation from a spouse, illness, and injuries are among some of the many hardships that the homeless experience.

Those whom the Shelter serve not only receive a temporary place to stay, but also encouragement and access to the basic tools needed to help them regain their independence and dignity.

The Shelter’s ability to help those in need depends on funding from various sources. The Ohio Development Services Agency Homeless Crisis Response Program (HCRP) emergency shelter grant provides operating funds for the Shelter.

Additionally, the Shelter collaborates with four surrounding counties operating as Region 16 and receives funds from the Rapid Rehousing Program (HPRP) Grant. The goal of HPRP is to rapidly move families from emergency shelter into permanent housing.

The funding from the grant enabled the Shelter to find homes for forty-three people during the last year. Mental Health and Recovery Services of Warren and Clinton Counties provided a 2016 fiscal year grant to the Shelter. This grant allowed the Shelter to provide essential services to those Shelter residents who were in recovery

While grants from governmental sources provide stability to its work, the Shelter could not operate without the amazing support it receives from the local community.

The Wilmington Area Ministerial Association continues to support the Shelter along with numerous local Churches, local businesses, service organizations and individuals. The Shelter also benefited from community giving through funds awarded by the Clinton County United Way in 2017

Volunteers from the community provide countless hours to help make a success of various fundraising efforts held throughout the year.

The Board of Realtors sponsored the Day of Caring pancake breakfast held each year the last Sunday in February at the Wilmington Friends Meeting. The Wilmington AM Rotary Club works tirelessly in organizing and sponsoring the Cardboard City event held annually the third Saturday in September.

The staff and board members of the Shelter, with help from many others, hold a soup fundraiser each year in the spring and fall.

The Shelter continued collaboration with the Cincinnati Food Bank in conjunction with the local Walmart store and the Feed America Program in 2017. Volunteers organize efforts to pick-up the donated food and distribute it to the Shelter as well as other local organizations that help feed those in need.

In 2017, 145 Clinton County households benefited from the Shelter’s food pantry with assistance from the Feed America Program and donations from individuals, churches, families and businesses.

Three days a week, volunteers deliver food from the Feed America Program to Churches in surrounding Villages so they could also assist in feeding those in need in Clinton County.

Expansion

In early fall, a parking lot expansion project was completed. The expansion connected the property behind the donation center with the existing parking lot located behind the Darleen Myers House and allows for much needed additional parking spaces, and easier accessibility to the Donation Center.

The newly expanded parking lot includes a circular drive with separate entrance and exit driveways.

In 2017, the enclosed, unfinished back porch of the donation center was renovated to accommodate a laundry area. Work completed included insulation, updated electrical work and lighting installation, plumbing, duct work for HVAC, drywall and relocation of the back-door entrance.

The donation center houses the food pantry, clothing, baby items, household items, toiletries and more received from our Clinton County Community and shares with residents of the shelter as they move into permanent housing and anyone in the community in need of help.

The Shelter’s nine volunteer board members meet monthly to oversee operations of the Shelter and volunteer numerous hours each year. The Shelter employs four full-time and five part-time staff members covering shifts 24 hours seven days a week.

In addition, previous and current residents of the Shelter “pay it forward” by sharing their time and talents to volunteer at fundraising events, to help maintain Shelter property, and to lend a hand wherever needed.

In 2017, we provided a home for 224 people, including 43 children. Residents spent 9,801 total nights at the Shelter. During their stay, residents received a total of 49,005 meals and snacks.

We are excited to announce we will be celebrating our 30-year Anniversary in 2018 — the Celebration is scheduled for Saturday, June 30. Please watch for further information and like our Facebook page The Clinton County Homeless Shelter “A Place to Call Home.”

Clinton County is a wonderful place to live and work. The Shelter board and staff thank each of you for your continued support.

With the help of this remarkable community, the Clinton County Homeless Shelter will continue to work hard to assist those in need of emergency shelter and other essential services.

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By The Clinton County Homeless Shelter