Homelessness

Strategies to End Homelessness is celebrating some good news in Hamilton County's homeless numbers. The just released 2014 Community Data Report finds homelessness declined to levels not seen since 2010.

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.

Panhandlers are an all-too-common sight in most large cities, including Cincinnati, and even though non-aggressive panhandling is legal here, it can be bothersome to visitors, residents and workers. And giving a panhandler money is not the best way to truly help the suffering. Downtown Cincinnati Incorporated recently launched a program to make people more aware of local agencies and services, such as the Winter Shelter, and how they better serve those in need. Joining us to talk about the Panhandling Education Program and helping the homeless in Cincinnati are Cincinnati Police Captain Mike Neville, David Ginsburg, president and CEO of Downtown Cincinnati Inc., and Kevin Finn, president and CEO of Strategies to End Homelessness.

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.  

Downtown Cincinnati Inc. is launching an effort to decrease panhandling while maintaining or increasing support to social services.  DCI president David Ginsburg says the group is publicizing agencies that try to get to the root of poverty.

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.

Mark Heyne / WVXU News

City Gospel Mission, 3CDC and Strategies to End Homelessness officially kicked off  construction of the City Gospel Mission Campus Thursday morning. The new campus at 1805 Dalton Avenue is part of the five-facility system of Cincinnati's Homeless to Homes Plan.  It will provide 74 emergency beds and 36 transitional housing beds.

"We'll have day service programs, case management, recreation and three meals a day," said City Gospel Mission President Roger Howell.  "Our other facility will have the Lord's Gym, which is recreation and working out, getting your body back in shape."

 

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Cincinnati-area groups are working together to test a federal pilot program aimed at reducing the number of homeless lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

Meredith Hicks with Lighthouse Youth Services explains why the region is one of just two in the country chosen to try out new strategies targeting this vulnerable population.

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.

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