Cincinnati Approves Funds for Homeless Shelters

By Adrian Maties, Associate Editor The Cincinnati City Council voted unanimously last Wednesday to approve the first $1 million in city money toward the “Homeless to Homes” campaign, a project meant to build, rebuild and relocate three homeless shelters across the [...]

The Cincinnati City Council voted unanimously last Wednesday to approve the first $1 million in city money toward the “Homeless to Homes” campaign, a project meant to build, rebuild and relocate three homeless shelters across the Queen City. Eventually, the city will spend $10 million on the plan.

The Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC) is leading the $25 million fundraising effort, together with Strategies to End Homelessness Inc. With the city’s $10 million, it will be more than halfway to its goal. According to public records, the funds will help build a new City Gospel Mission in the West End, create a new YWCA-operated women’s emergency shelter from scratch in Mount Auburn and relocate the Drop Inn Center from the Washington Park area of Over-the-Rhine to a still-undetermined location.

The city’s contribution will come from block grant money used for community development ($1.6 million), unspent capital funds ($1.4 million), a loan from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development ($5 million) and money from the 2013 capital budget ($2 million). In addition to the city funds, 3CDC and Strategies to End Homelessness have $3 million in other commitments, with the Procter & Gamble Co. pledging $1 million.

The YWCA women’s shelter will have 60 beds for single women in a nearly 20,000-square-foot facility that is expected to be completed by 2013. City Gospel Mission shelter will have 76 beds and 42 transitional beds for single men and is expected to be finished in late 2012. The new Drop Inn Center will have 150 beds for single men only. 3CDC has spent more than $3 million on site acquisition for City Gospel Mission and the YWCA and design work for those projects.

Although the new facilities will help homeless people, the shelter plan is not without controversy. Nearby businesses and neighbors in the West End and Queensgate neighborhoods are against the idea, claiming that the decision is illegal.