Drop Inn Center

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

A replacement for an Over-the-Rhine homeless shelter opens next week.  The David and Rebecca Barron Center for Men has three times the space of the Drop Inn Center, according to Shelterhouse director Arlene Nolan.

While a recent report shows the number of people who are on the streets or staying at emergency shelters has decreased locally, last year there were still nearly 8,000 individuals counted on the streets, in shelters and in transitional housing programs in Hamilton County.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Another night of frigid temperatures means an overflow crowd at the Drop Inn Center.

In the warmth of the shelter, Ron Stewart explains a failed relationship put him on the streets and this facility has been helping him for the past three weeks. He is singing the praises of the Drop Inn Center which provides him with a place to eat and sleep, and a way out of homelessness.

Stewart says, "I'm making friends. I have a support system and I'm looking forward to being in my own place by the beginning of next month."

Cincinnati Council could soon be asked to add homeless status or perceived homeless status to the city's hate crimes law.

Council Member Chris Seelbach and others are making the announcement Thursday during a press conference near the Drop Inn Center in Over-the-Rhine.

"Which means that if police determine that the crime was committed because the person was homeless or perceived to be homeless, then a judge could add up to 180 days on the sentence of the person who committed the crime," Seelbach said.

Sarah Ramsey

Two companies that would be neighbors of the relocated Drop Inn Center in Queensgate are expressing concerns about the plan.  

A city council committee heard from proponents of the plan two weeks ago, and Tuesday it heard from representatives of two companies that say they need more information.  

Richard Posey is with K4, an architecture, design and construction firm with a facility in Queensgate.  He said one issue is security and safety for employees.

Sarah Ramsey

Construction on the new Drop Inn Center could begin later this summer and the facility could be open in August 2015.  It will be moving from its current location in Over-the-Rhine to Queensgate.

A Cincinnati Council committee received an update on the project Tuesday from Executive Director Arlene Nolan.  She said several sites were considered before one was selected.

Update:  The $7 million Cincinnati is borrowing to relocate homeless shelters will only be used for two projects and not three as earlier reported.  

Council Member Chris Seelbach said City Manager Milton Dohoney, Jr. mis-spoke Wednesday when he said the funds would benefit three shelters.