Emergency Shelter of NKY receives $180K grant as new facility faces delay
St. Elizabeth Healthcare and the Greater Cincinnati Foundation have donated $180,000 to the Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky to expand services for those seeking aid.
The grants will be used to hire a street outreach worker and a Daytime Navigation Center specialist. The positions will aid mobile street outreach for adults experiencing homelessness in Northern Kentucky and assist guests at the Daytime Navigation & Engagement Center at the new facility opening later this year.
Funds will also go toward acquiring a 12-person handicap accessible shuttle van, which will allow clients to go to medical appointments. Executive Director Kim Webb says the goal with the van is to improve health outcomes and reduce emergency room visits.
"Then we're not flooding the emergency room with individuals that don't really need to be there," Webb said. "What they need is primary care. They need consistent care."
Rosanne Nields is the vice president of planning and government relations at St. Elizabeth. She says St. Elizabeth has recognized that social determinants of health are responsible for roughly 40% of a person's health outcomes. She says the grants prioritizes three areas: transportation, food security and housing.
"We want to make investments in those areas so that we can help prevent people maybe from going to the hospital or getting worse if they are in the hospital and then discharged and don't have a place to go," Nields said.
New facility plans delayed
The grants come as plans for ESNKY to move to a new facility continue being delayed. Originally, plans to move to the new location on West 13th St. in Covington were supposed to take place Nov. 1. Webb says they will be staying put for now.
She says while cold temperatures are affecting the community currently, homelessness is "year-round."
"Everybody thinks about homelessness when it's cold, but wet and cold, or wet also has the same implication," Webb said. "When it's hot, you suffer from heat stroke and heat exhaustion and dehydration, so there's a lot of health factors that happen year-round."
The current facility can hold 32, but it's being reduced to 24 due to COVID-19. When at full capacity, the new facility will be able to hold 68 people per night. Those seeking aid will be able to shower, do laundry and connect to services. Webb says ESNKY aims to be in the new facility in about six weeks.
ESNKY's winter shelter is open until March 31. Doors open at 6 p.m. for adults. Guests exit at 9 a.m. the next morning. For a full list of requirements to enter, click here.
This story has been updated to reflect that ESNKY plans to move to the new facility in roughly six weeks. The article originally stated that plans to open the new facility were being moved to late December/early January.