The Highland County Homeless Shelter as been serving the local community for 18 years and executive director Greg Hawkins said the beginning of a new year kicks off the shelter’s annual capital campaign.
“We continue to strive to expand our programs and offerings to the community. We write to ask you to support our organization in 2022 with a monetary donation to our annual fundraising campaign,” Hawkins said in a news release. “Each year, our organization assists homeless individuals within our community and without donations from individuals like you, this would not be possible. Donations help sustain our organization and benefit the community which we serve.”
The Highland County Homeless Shelter is open 365 days a year. It can offer assistance and support for up to 28 men, women and children, for a maximum of 90 days.
”We provide beds, food and shelter, along with access to essential programs and services that enable homeless individuals to rebuild their confidence, and their lives,” Hawkins said. “We are happy to serve Highland County and surrounding areas, and we are proud to serve those less fortunate. To meet our mission and provide services within our community, we rely on the generosity of individuals and businesses for support. Without the assistance of community-minded individuals, businesses, organizations and churches, we would not be able to serve those in need within our community. We ask that you make a commitment to support our annual appeal by making a monetary donation to the Highland County Homeless Shelter.”
Additionally, Hawkins said the homeless shelter is preparing for its annual “point-in-time” to be held on Feb. 22 from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. the next morning. That will be followed by a service-based count to identify any additional unsheltered individuals on the night of the point-in-time.
”The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires communities receiving federal homeless assistance funds to conduct annual counts of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons, as well as to annually count all homeless dedicated projects and beds,” Hawkins said. “These are called the point-in-time counts (PIT) and housing inventory counts (HIC).”
This year, the Ohio Balance of State Continuum of Care (BoSCoC) delayed the point-in-time due to an increase in COVID-19 cases. It typically takes place in January.
During a 24-hour period, staff and volunteers scout Highland County for homeless individuals, both sheltered and unsheltered, to collect information utilizing the Counting Us app and offer local resources to the individual or family. The information is then provided to the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, Ohio Development Services Agency and HUD to gauge which areas have seen increases or decreases in the homeless population, Hawkins said.
He said staff and volunteers will be handing out backpacks with KN95 non-medical disposable masks and an assortment of informational materials donated to the shelter by the Paint Valley ADAMH Board and personal hygiene products provided by the shelter staff.
Anyone found during the point-in-time in need of services from the homeless shelter will be processed for entry into the shelter.
Anyone interested in volunteering for the point-in-time may contact the shelter at 937-393-0634 or via email at [email protected]
“Your generosity will make a difference in our community by permitting us to continue our work,” Hawkins said.