Strategies to End Homelessness

Ambriehl Crutchfield / WVXU

Despite budget constraints, Strategies to End Homelessness is working to reduce the number of families experiencing the summer surge of homelessness.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Despite local shelters saying they have room, and a now county-wide order blocking tent cities, some homeless people are still living outdoors in Hamilton County. Advocates say that's because there are homeless people beyond the ones most visible on the streets, and there aren't enough beds to help everyone.

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Updated: 3:20 p.m.

Now, homeless camps are banned from all of Hamilton County by court order. 

Bill Rinehart / WVXU

Last week the City of Cincinnati shutdown and fenced off an area near Paul Brown Stadium that had been the site of a homeless camp. Now, city officials are looking at options for how to respond to the homeless camps that remain along Third Street and another encampment underneath a highway overpass near U.S. Bank Arena.

Provided

An annual report on homelessness in Hamilton County is turning up some surprises. 

Pixabay, available for use

Homelessness doesn’t just affect adults – it can affect entire families. 

The number of individuals in Greater Cincinnati experiencing homelessness has dropped in recent years, but there are still far too many men, women and children, entire families, who do not have a safe, secure, stable, place to sleep each night. Recently, more than 60 service organizations came together to create a plan to identify and proactively address the needs of homeless families.

We continue our discussion of the homeless situation in Greater Cincinnati by looking at homelessness prevention programs designed to help families avoid entering shelters, with Jewish Family Service Director of Vital Services Fran Gafvert; executive director of St. Vincent DePaul, Mike Dunn; and, Strategies to End Homelessness Executive Director Kevin Finn.

Several agencies have been working for a couple years on a plan to reduce family homelessness in Cincinnati.  That proposal is now a reality.  

“Solutions to Family Homelessness Plan” focuses on four areas:  prevention, capacity building, housing and policy change.  

While a recent report shows the number of people who are on the streets or staying at emergency shelters has decreased locally, last year there were still nearly 8,000 individuals counted on the streets, in shelters and in transitional housing programs in Hamilton County.

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.

Panhandling and social service agencies in town

Jan 30, 2015

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.

Ann Thompson / WVXU

Another night of frigid temperatures means an overflow crowd at the Drop Inn Center.

In the warmth of the shelter, Ron Stewart explains a failed relationship put him on the streets and this facility has been helping him for the past three weeks. He is singing the praises of the Drop Inn Center which provides him with a place to eat and sleep, and a way out of homelessness.

Stewart says, "I'm making friends. I have a support system and I'm looking forward to being in my own place by the beginning of next month."

  LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) youth are dramatically over-represented in the homeless youth population. Across the country, from 25 to 40% of homeless youth identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender. A program designed to educate the public, reduce the problem and help these severely at-risk kids stay off the streets was recently introduced in Cincinnati. The National LGBTQ Youth Homelessness Prevention Initiative, led by the U.S.