Posted on August 18, 2014 by jrudemiller

Part of City’s Homeless to Homes Plan, Facility Slated for Summer 2015 Completion

CINCINNATI (August 14, 2014) – City Gospel Mission kicked off construction on its new 40,500-square-foot campus at 1805 Dalton Avenue today, in an event the organization co-hosted with Strategies to End Homelessness and the Cincinnati Center City Development Corporation (3CDC).

City Gospel Mission is one of five facilities in the Homeless to Homes Plan, brought about by a 2008 City Council ordinance which stated that, “homeless individuals should have safe, appropriate shelter facilities that provide comprehensive services necessary for homeless individuals to obtain and maintain housing.” The plan’s main recommendation was not an increase in the number of beds but rather a reconfiguration of the beds. The plan calls for separate facilities for women and youth, as well as three different facilities for men – a substance abuse shelter, faith-based shelter, and safe/step-up shelter.

Two of the five facilities, the Talbert House Parkway Center and the Lighthouse Youth Services Sheakley Center, are already open and operating. The new City Gospel Mission and the Drop Inn Center Women’s Facility will be constructed and operating by summer 2015, and the Drop Inn Center Men’s Facility will be constructed and operating by fall 2015.

Once completed, the new City Gospel Mission campus will provide 74 emergency beds, 36 transitional housing beds, a Lord’s Gym and JobsPlus Employment Network on campus, a Deaconess Health Check clinic, and an increase in space, programming, and number of caseworkers, providing better opportunity to move the homeless into homes.

A number of speakers were on hand to commemorate the event, including Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley. In 2012, the City of Cincinnati committed $10 million to the project, which seeks to break the cycle of homelessness through daytime services and treatment programs – rather than by simply offering those in need a place to sleep.

Much of the capital for the construction of the three new facilities within the Homeless to Homes Plan has already been raised through a mixture of private donations and public funding, $14 million of which will be needed to complete City Gospel Mission’s new campus. A portion of that funding will come from the $5 million Cincinnati received from the State of Ohio’s “Capital Funding to End Homelessness Initiative.” The initiative was spearheaded by the Ohio Housing Finance Agency, whose Vice President of Public Finance, Sean Thomas, was also on hand to speak at the event.

While funding efforts are still ongoing, the project’s newest donor, the Deaconess Associations Foundation, was acknowledged with the presentation of a $400,000 check by Tony Woods, chairman of Deaconess Associations, Inc., during the ceremony.

“Deaconess has a long history of dedication to the health and well-being of the Cincinnati community,” said Woods. “We are now blessed to be in a position to support another important element of our population, the homeless. We pray that by doing so, the health and lives of our homeless neighbors can be renewed.”

The event concluded with the speakers and others on the stage each laying a brick on a symbolic wall at the site, as a gesture to recognize the start of construction, after which hard hat tours of the new facility were offered.

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