Cincinnatians face challenges finding shelter as temps drop

Posted at 11:38 PM, Jan 20, 2019

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati is coated in a thick layer of snow, creating transportation hiccups and long shifts for road cleaning crews.

As temperatures begin to plummet and frigid winds cut through the city, not everyone can opt to stay indoors where it's warm.

Maslow's Army spent the weekend shuttling more than 100 people to shelter who may otherwise have been stuck outside as snow, freezing rain and wind chill advisories descended on Cincinnati. President and co-founder, Sam Landis, said the winter shelter houses as many people as it can from 7 p.m. to 6 a.m. But the time the shelter can remain open still leaves many Cincinnatians out in the cold during the day.

"They are not a day program at the winter shelter," said Landis. "They are not equipped, staffed or funded to run the day center."

This lack of staffing and funding means the shelter can only house people through the coldest parts of the night. To keep people warm, Landis and community activist Brian Garry called churches willing to provide shelter and bridge the crucial gap in winter housing.

"This is a public health emergency that we must deal with and we're taking it upon ourselves to deal with this, but it's bigger than us," said Garry.

For Landis and Garry, this issue is certainly personal, after the death of Ken Martin last year in Government Square.

"That hurt us, so we want to do everything in our power to make sure it doesn't happen again," said Garry.

Since then, they've advocated for more resources, but since Martin's death, the need for a day center still hasn't been met, and that need is growing.

Maslow's Army also gave out clothing to the homeless and the organization always needs more. If you would like to help, you can contact Maslow's Army or visit their website to make a donation.