XENIA — Simon Kenton Bridges of Hope (BOH) received a $81,200 check from Ohio Development Services Agency (ODSA) June 10 to help install a sprinkler system at the emergency shelter.
ODSA recently awarded the Target of Opportunity Program (TOPP) grant to the county. The funds will be used along with matching funds from community partners to complete the $162,400 project at the shelter and resource center by May 31, 2020.
The Greene County Department of Development administered the grant award on behalf of BOH.
Mary Oakley, ODSA, who presented the check to BOH board members, commended the partnership involved in the project.
“I think it’s fantastic,” she said.
The Greene County Board of Commissioners allocated $10,000 to the project, the City of Xenia gave $10,000, the Dayton Foundation added $50,000 and Bridges of Hope raised $11,200.
“A lot of people have put a lot into this,” BOH Board President Marlene Labig said. “There were a lot of $25 donations going into that.”
BOH, which opened in December 2017 at 1087 West Second Street in Xenia, is Greene County’s only nonprofit shelter specifically serving single individuals experiencing homelessness. The shelter’s home is the old Simon Kenton Elementary School.
“I love the name, Bridges of Hope,” Commissioner Tom Koogler said. “It’s a pathway … provides the light at the end of the tunnell for them. It’s definitely a project that needs supported going forward.”
Installation of the sprinkler system will allow BOH to achieve permanent occupancy of the gymnasium area of the building, according to Labig. This means the shelter would not have to close during the summer.
“Thank you so much. This has made a huge difference,” added Labig, who said BOH addresses both mental health and addiction. “We want to help them work on recovery, want to get them ahead so they’re self-sufficient and stable.”
Future projects include repairing the boiler system and working on permanent shelter renovations to move out of the gym.
The shelter is the first phase. Next phases of BOH include adding classes, training, job help and more.