XENIA — Interfaith Hospitality Network is not taking away hope for those who need it most during the COVID-19 pandemic.
IHN officials announced recently that its Schneider House of Hope shelter on South Detroit Street in Xenia will remain open to families with children. IHN received a grant from the Dayton Foundation/Greater Dayton United Way for direct assistance to homeless families with children. The $15,000 grant is from the COVID-19 Response Fund for Greater Dayton and will help IHN cover operating costs.
“It was always our plan to stay open,” said Beth Holten, director of Interfaith Hospitality Network of Greene County/Schneider House of Hope. “We’re just going to proceed. Because the financial and health impact would be devastating on those homeless and teetering on homelessness.”
Holten said IHN’s national organization, Family Promise, and the Coalition on Housing and Homelessness in Ohio have also helped.
“Both (have been) very instrumental in helping smaller shelters put procedures in place that would keep guests and staff safe during this time,” she said.
The shelter is currently housing six families and has a capacity for 10. It operates with a $300,000 annual budget and lost around $50,000 in income with the cancellation of the annual golf marathon fund-raiser next month.
“That will have a major impact,” Holten said.
Operating costs have gone up because of the coronavirus, as officials have had to buy supplies not normally needed, such as gloves. The shelter isn’t allowed to have volunteers so staffing costs have risen as well.
Holten said the public can help IHN during the COVID-19 crisis through financial contributions since the aforementioned golf outing, and another fund-raiser were cancelled. For donors who do not itemize, the CARES Act indicates that up to a $300 charitable deduction can be applied to 2020 taxes.