A replacement for an Over-the-Rhine homeless shelter opens next week. The David and Rebecca Barron Center for Men has three times the space of the Drop Inn Center, according to Shelterhouse director Arlene Nolan.
“It is designed for our residents and our programming," says Nolan. "It has light, it has space. Every element is designed with our clients in mind.”
Nolan says the Drop Inn Center's current facility on 12th Street will be turned over to 3CDC, which helped fund the new center on Gest Street in Queensgate.
Jerry Leary is a client at the Drop Inn Center and likes the new location. “We’re away from everything, but I love it. I think it’s going to be beautiful,” he says.
The Barron Center can house 150 men per night but will also be the city's winter shelter. A separate facility for homeless women, the Esther Marie Hatton Center for Women, opened in Mount Auburn in June.
Nolan says the new men's shelter is three times the size of the old facility on 12th Street and was a long time in the making.
“We’ve designed this ourselves, developed it over the last five years, and it’s really going to not only enhance services but just add safety and security for our residents and space for our partners,” she says.
Partners of Shelterhouse include the Cincinnati Health Network’s Health Care for the Homeless.
Nolan says the men's shelter is the final piece of the city's Homelessness to Homes plan, which was adopted in 2008 to create or redevelop five homeless shelters in Cincinnati. Funding for the entire $42 million strategy came from the city, 3CDC, federal grants, and outside fundraising.
Nolan says the new shelter will start housing people sometime next week, and promises a "seamless" transition with no interruption in services.