The downtown warming centers, sponsored by the Coalition for the Homeless and supported by the SIDs, helped individuals experiencing homeless through a cold winter complicated by COVID. The centers closed for the season on April 2.
Over the course of the winter, 243 individuals were served through 2,289 visits. Each month, the number of individuals and total visits increased, demonstrating that the services were much needed.
The stations located in downtown churches (Trinity Episcopal Church, Broad Street United Methodist Church, and First Congregational Church) and Columbus Metropolitan Library offered warm beverages, access to support services, blankets, hats, and more. These items were largely donated thanks to the generosity of the Central Ohio community.
Due to the success of the winter program, Columbus Coalition for the Homeless submitted a proposal to the city of Columbus for funding to support Drop-in Centers to be available year-round. These centers would offer hospitality, light-touch case management, showers, laundry, outreach, and linkage with other services. The plan is to offer the program five days per week at area churches. While they wait for approval for funding, the Coalition hopes to continue to offer services with donated funds.
If you are interested in helping or want more information, contact Josh Posten, program coordinator, Columbus Coalition for the Homeless, at email@example.com.