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Group working to open new day shelter as temperatures drop and COVID-19 cases rise

Posted at 9:35 PM, Oct 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-28 13:22:39-04

CINCINNATI — The site of the former Queensgate Correctional Facility, which closed its doors in 2008, could become a new day shelter for people experiencing homelessness in Cincinnati.

Maslow's Army is spearheading the effort to transform the old jail site into a day center.

Many people experiencing homelessness often turn to public spaces to keep warm if area shelters are full, not open during the day or for other, more complicated, reasons. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to see spikes in cases and hospitalizations, access to these public spaces is harder to come by.

"We have to help the people," said Samuel Landis, executive director and co-founder of Maslow's Army. "Give them the proper tools that's needed to become healthy and productive members of society. Whether that's helping them with job skills, maybe building resumes. Of course they need their basic needs, their food, clothing, water, shelter. They need that security and that sense of belonging."

The group is working on a deal with the current owners of the new jail and the City of Cincinnati to take over the property; They said they hope to have the day center up and running by Thanksgiving.

Landis said in addition to providing a safe, warm place to stay, the shelter would also offer crucial services like drug and alcohol treatment, case management services and peer support. Maslow's Army is partnering with other community agencies to offer those resources.