XENIA — Bridges of Hope, a non-profit that will soon be opening a shelter in Xenia, is recognizing Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Week with activities to help address the issue locally.
Staff and volunteers from Bridges of Hope — which recently purchased the former Simon Kenton Elementary School building for the shelter — will spend Nov. 11-19 raising funds so necessary renovations can be completed, allowing the shelter to open.
“Hunger and homelessness are epidemics that sadly affect too many members of our community,” said Marlene Labig, vice-president of the board for Bridges of Hope. The poverty rate in Greene County is 15 percent and on any given night, there are nearly 100 homeless people in the county, 40 percent of whom are children.
Bridges of Hope is trying to raise $50,000 so the shelter can open by the end of November. That money will pay for repairs to the boilers and make the restrooms operable. Once open, only the gymnasium and restrooms will be accessible to those needing shelter during the winter. Part of the gym will be for men, part will be for women, and the stage will be for families, according to Pastor Dan Jordan, Bridges of Hope president. Movable walls will separate the areas.
The group will hold a capital campaign team meeting 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 13 at the shelter. In all, about $1,000,000 is needed for the entire project, which will include not only the shelter but shared ministry space, a food pantry, a clinic, and worship and education spaces. It’s all geared to help those struggling with homelessness, addiction, and poverty.
Bridges of Hope will also hold a kitchen shower 7-9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 14. Items needed to stock the kitchen include unbreakable dishes (plates, bowls and glasses), serving utensils, mugs, silverware, 4-slice toasters, coffeemakers, pump pots, thermos mugs, potholders, pitchers, coffee, creamer and sugar, salt and pepper, Crockpots, electric roasters, buckets, mops, brooms, dish soap, floor cleaner, folding banquet tables and chairs, wire shelving.
Xenia Daily Gazette news report compiled by Scott Halasz.