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Maslow's Army moves into new home for helping homeless

Posted at 3:16 AM, Sep 03, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-03 03:16:28-04

CINCINNATI – Maslow’s Army moved into its new home Sunday better late than never.

The volunteer group helping the homeless was itself homeless until Sunday when it moved into a new location outside the Hamilton County Justice Center.

Once settled in, organizers agreed it's an ideal spot.  

"To allow these individuals out here to feel like they're a part of the community is invaluable," said co-founder Sam Landis.

Feet from the county jail center are hundreds of people in need of help, Sam and his wife, Susan Landis, aren't worried what kind of message this location might send to some people.

 "We thought, well, what is a better message to say that once you are out and you're in the midst of society, come back and be served here at the Justice Center and show that the Justice Center does support those in need," said Susan Landis.

For more than a year, Maslow’s Army gathered on Fountain Square to distribute food and water to people experiencing homelessness. But other events on the square required the group to move.

They now have a space in front of the Justice Center that won’t be taken from them.

“Commissioner Todd Portune spearheaded this,” said Sam Landis.  “He saw that we had a need and we were floating around and it was very difficult for the individuals we serve, which could be 300 to 500 people a week, to find us without social media and numbers."

The Landises know setting up outside the Justice Center makes the homeless more visible. But, in a lot of ways, that's the point.

"I think it's really important to put a face to homelessness and poverty," said Sam Landis.  

"Some people consider, 'Well, if we can't see it, it's not a nuisance.' But I think the way that we go about it is with more compassion."

Maslow's Army's new location is semi- permanent. The Hamilton County Board of Commissioners cleared them to set up every Sunday there through the end of 2019.