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Winter Shelter to open for season as temperatures drop

Shelterhouse, formerly the Drop-In Center on Gest St., is able to house more than 100 people by opening up its basement in the winter.

Shelterhouse in Queensgate is preparing to open the doors of its Winter Shelter Wednesday.

The facility is located on Gest St. at the David & Rebecca Barron Center for Men, and has been operating seasonally at its current location since its opening in 2015.

According to Shelterhouse, the Winter Shelter offers a 10,000-square foot space that can house up to 200 individuals every night.

The shelter is open to individuals facing housing insecurity who are not current residents at Shelterhouse.

Shelterhouse's Executive Director Arlene Nolan says the organization opens additional space each year to accommodate those who may not be comfortable staying in a shelter regularly and simply need a warm place to sleep during the coldest days.

"There are varying reasons why some people do not like to go into a traditional shelter," Nolan says. "There are some people — typically because of mental health issues — (who) cannot stay in a congregate shelter. There are too many people, they find it very stressful, so they tend to stay outside."

While the Winter Shelter typically hasn't reached its capacity in years past, the shelter anticipates a lot of people coming through its doors this winter.

"With the housing market being as tight as it is, with so many people facing evictions, people living paycheck-to-paycheck, people find themselves without housing," Nolan said.

The Winter Shelter at 411 Gest St. is open from 7 p.m. - 6 a.m. starting this Wednesday for single men and women facing homelessness. Those in need of a place to stay can stop in or call the shelter at 513-721-0643 Ext: 111.

Zack Carreon is Education reporter for WVXU, covering local school districts and higher education in the Tri-State area.