Street Reach

Greater Cincinnati social worker Rachael Winters and Northern Kentucky University students Justin Hill and Brittney Kane have developed an app that is designed to get homeless people the help they need and off the streets.

A Cincinnati Council majority seems to like the idea of providing seasonal jobs to about 15 to 20 homeless people.  

But there are some who have concerns about using $50,000 from a city contingency fund to pay for it.

Cincinnati is being asked to fund a homeless-to-work pilot program.  The full council could vote on the issue Wednesday.  

It would offer seasonal jobs to 15 to 20 homeless people.


Homelessness is a serious and continuing problem in Greater Cincinnati, on both sides of the Ohio River. In 2013, the State of Kentucky ranked worst in the nation in the extent of child homelessness. And the number of sheltered individuals in Kenton, Boone and Campbell Counties increased by more than 60 percent in 2014.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

For the first time in several years, Cincinnati's winter shelter for the homeless will be located in one facility.

The new Barron Center for Men in Queensgate has 200 beds in a 10,000 sq. ft. square foot area.  It features separate restroom facilities for men and women, a lobby area for new intakes, and two intake offices.

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.

Preliminary information shows the number of homeless people in Cincinnati and Hamilton County declined slightly during a point-in-time count last month.  

The Department of Housing and Urban Development requires communities to make the count once a year during the last week of January.  

Kevin Finn with Strategies to End Homelessness said this year there 1,029 people counted compared to 1,043 last year.

Homeless census starts tonight

Jan 27, 2015

**UPDATE 1-29-15** Strategies to End Homelessness has secured $15.3 million dollars from a HUD grant.  

A press release from the group on Wednesday says Hamilton County and Cincinnati are sharing in $1.8 billion in grants to be distributed nationwide,  announced in the last week.  

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.


Homeless children, teens and young adults are a rising concern for police and social workers in Hamilton County.

Lighthouse Youth Services CEO Bob Mecum says homeless kids used to mainly be unhappy runaways.

"Today we're seeing kids who are, for the most part, long-term victims of poverty, long-term victims of neglect, and physical and sexual abuse," says Mecum.

Addiction is another major problem. Mecum says heroin use today is unprecedented and often passed down to children by their parents.

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.

Cincinnati Council could vote Wednesday to withdraw support for a controversial housing project in Avondale.  National Church Residences wants to build up to 100 units of permanent supportive housing for homeless and disabled individuals. 

City Council approved a resolution in February supporting the group's effort to get low income housing tax credits from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.  Those credits have since been approved.