Over-the-Rhine cold shelter forced to turn people away

CINCINNATI - As temperatures dipped into the teens early Thursday morning, a winter shelter in Over-the-Rhine for people who are homeless was forced to turn people away.

The shelter, located at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 1528 Race Street, opened at 8 p.m. Wednesday but quickly reached capacity and had to send people to the nearby Drop Inn Center—another homeless shelter located at 217 West 12th Street.

The Prince of Peace Lutheran Church's leaders said they are worried they won't be able to keep the shelter operating through the end of February as planned because of the demand and financial restraints. The shelter still must pay its employees and relies heavily on donations and contributions to operate. The shelter, which usually averages 100 people per night, only has capacity for 45 people.

The Prince of Peace Lutheran Church's facility opens each night at 8 p.m. and closes each morning at 6 a.m., according to the Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition. The shelter is funded partly by several area organizations, including the coalition and the Drop Inn Center, to provide a safe and warm place for people who otherwise would be sleeping outside or in unheated homes.

Anyone wanting to donate can send checks made payable to the Drop Inn Center with the memo "Warm Hearts," to 217 West 12th St., Cincinnati, OH 45202; or can visit the website at www.dropinn.org .

All checks with the memo, "Warm Hearts," will go directly to operating the winter shelter.

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