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Bethany House Services Breaks Ground On $18.5M Shelter In Bond Hill

Cory Sharber

Bethany House Services on Tuesday broke ground on a new shelter in Bond Hill that will replace the seven homes it's currently using.

Plans to replace the seven homes began as early as 2015. CEO Susan Schiller said the project experienced some hurdles including the pandemic and a budget increase from $16.5 million to $18.5 million.

"It's taken us seven years to get here, but we wouldn't give up because every day we saw the need of the shelter and in our housing programs, and we knew we could make a difference in the lives of our children and families," Schiller said.

Board of Directors Chair Carolyn Washburn said it takes every bit of support to aid women and children who need the help of the shelter.

"It takes more than 80 community partners who will be able to do their work right here where the families are," Washburn said. "The medical and mental health professionals, the people who will help our moms with jobs and their parenting skills, the organizations that provide childcare and furniture and haircuts, they'll be able to do it here."

Currently, families are spread across five shelters in South Fairmount, Westwood, College Hill and Bond Hill; three of which are apartment buildings. The new facility will have private bedrooms for families, playrooms for children and a kitchen and dining area.

Bethany House serves more than 2,500 people each year. Three-fourths of those people are children. The new shelter will be able to hold an additional 100 families per year. In 2019, only one in four families that called the homeless shelter hotline received shelter.

Construction started in May and could be completed as soon as August 2022.

Cory Sharber attended Murray State University majoring in journalism and political science and comes to Cincinnati Public Radio from NPR Member station WKMS.