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Maslow's Army looking for a permanent location

Group helps people experiencing homelessness
Posted at 6:35 PM, Jul 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-09 05:40:34-04

CINCINNATI -- Before he became homeless, Robert Lee Orcutt served 22 years in the Navy, including two tours in Vietnam. 

Every Sunday, Orcutt would meet the volunteers from Maslow's Army, who would provide him with a hot meal and new clothes. The group tries to help people experiencing homelessness in Cincinnati by giving them clothes, resources and hot meals.

But organizers say the number of people coming to them for help has dropped significantly.

The group was able to use Fountain Square Sunday, but earlier in the summer, it was refused a permit to use the area as its permanent service location.

It's been forced to change locations week to week, and need to find a new home.

The area in front of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center is at the top of the list for a new location, but not everyone is thrilled about the idea.

Michael Miller is also homeless. He said he walks around Downtown until he finds the group.

"That's pretty much all we have to look forward to, is helping out other homeless people," he said.

For Orcutt, who lost both his legs to diabetes, that's not so easy.

"When you move around and you move to someplace I can't get to, it's tough," he said.

On Monday, Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune proposed Maslow's Army get a permanent location in front of the Freedom Center.

"It's land that's under county control," he said.

But the location sits right between Paul Brown Stadium and Great American Ball Park, raising concerns among some that it could tie up valuable event space.

The Freedom Center hasn't endorsed the idea, either. They declined to comment on the issue, but said they've reached out to Maslow's Army for a meeting.

While decision makers will continue debating the pros and cons, there's at least one person who doesn't need convincing.

"It'd be awesome," Orcutt said. "It'd be awesome."