The ninth annual Strike Out Homelessness fundraiser to benefit the Highland County Homeless Shelter will be held Saturday, Oct. 26 from noon to 4 p.m., and administrative director Tammy Long said that those planning to attend should RSVP by calling the shelter at 937-393-0634.
“The cost is $50 per lane for two hours of bowling and up to six people, shoes included,” she said. “Alley 21 is offering a special on food to all of the participants, which includes a large pizza and a pitcher of soda for $10.”
She said there will be silent auctions, raffles, and 50/50 chance with possibilities of winning season passes to Long’s Retreat or tickets to COSI, Creation Museum, Shadow Box Live, Cincinnati Observatory, Contemporary Arts Center and more.
“We are also calling local businesses and getting lane sponsors as well as prizes for the raffles and silent auctions,” she said. “We’ve mailed out flyers about our year-end capital campaign to a lot of the local businesses and members of the community and they should arrive any day now.”
She said the homeless shelter has seen an increase in the number of individuals they assist this past year, and emphasized that every dollar received from the benefit will be reinvested back into the shelter to help with its daily operating expenses.
The Highland County Homeless Shelter was established in 2004, Long said, and is a 501(c)(3) non-profit emergency facility that has 28 beds, and serves single men, single women, and families with children.
She said the shelter is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, and offers its clients safe, temporary shelter for up to 90 days.
“Some of our clients are those affected by domestic violence and we’re still seeing a lot of people coming to us from rehab facilities,” she said. “Many of them are stuck in a transition stage as they come from treatment since a lot of times their families have turned their backs on them, so they have no resources to fall back on and face a lot of barriers to getting their lives back together.”
The shelter’s mission statement is to provide safe, temporary housing for homeless individuals and families, and to aid those that are homeless with the resources and referrals that will help them obtain and maintain permanent housing.
Shelter Executive Director Greg Hawkins described the homeless population in a rural community like Highland County as “a lot of couch surfing” of people who are in between places to live.
The face of the homeless in Highland County, he said, could be someone who is living with a neighbor due to the loss of a job or a work related injury, or in the case of an elderly client, it may have been the death of a spouse that brought them to the homeless shelter due to not being able to keep up the payments on a house which led to foreclosure or being unable to pay the rent on an apartment.
For a complete list of auction and raffle items at the Strike Out Homelessness fundraiser Oct. 26, Long said to visit the shelter’s Facebook page, Twitter or go to www.hcshelter.org later in the month.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.