Standing Oaks working toward goal of establishing shelter for homeless

| July 22, 2019

COSHOCTON – Standing Oaks of East Central Ohio right now knows of at least 22 people who are living on the street in our community.

The nonprofit organization’s vision is to provide these people with a safe, clean and temporary place to live while helping them transition from housing instability to housing stability. They currently don’t have a place to do that, but they are working toward it and trying to help those who are struggling with housing as they can.

One of their current projects is to hand out blessing bags as needed. Kathy Robbins has a variety of personal hygiene items stored in her garage and can prepare bags for both men and women. She also has a variety of other items such as wipes, toilet paper, nail clippers, ChapStick, food, plastic utensils, blankets, and some diapers.

“I have a lot of little different things,” Robbins said. “I work with places like The Salvation Army and others that I volunteer with to find out what people need and those in need pick them up from them.”

Robbins became acquainted with the issue of homelessness in our community when she was the homeless liaison for Coshocton City Schools. She and the small group from her church started gathering supplies for those who are homeless and then Standing Oaks was created to work toward establishing a transitional shelter in Coshocton.

“We want to keep people in their housing,” she said. “The cost of rent is incredible here. There are people that are just on the fringe of becoming homeless. There were 30 to 40 people on the street when winter came last year. If they don’t have a home they are going to be occupying placing they aren’t supposed to be like vacant buildings. They need a place to go to meet their needs and feel safe. We have some shelters in our community and we are very grateful for them, but our goal is to work in partnership with other agencies and help people work through a program to move from housing instability to housing stability.”

Standing Oaks would offer wraparound services to help people with education, training, recover from addiction, mental health issues and emotional support.

“We would walk beside people,” Robbins said. “We are all loved by the Lord and we are going to love others as well. We believe God is leading us to do this.”

Those involved with Standing Oaks will be creating a small business plan to make sure a shelter can sustain itself and not be gone in a few months or years.

“We want it to stand the test of time,” Robbins said.

However, until a permanent transitional shelter can be opened, they are working on plans for a temporary shelter for the winter from Nov. 1 through March 31. Individuals could stay there from 8 p.m. until 8 a.m. The sheriff’s department would work in cooperation with them on this project, but the idea will only be possible if grants and other funding requests come through.

“It would give them a safe, warm place to sleep,” Robbins said.

Several fundraisers are planned to help Standing Oaks raise money for its projects. The first is a piano concert featuring Annie Takeuchi Kinner that is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4, at Roscoe United Methodist Church. A family friendly day full of food, activities, music and more is set for 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14 at the Coshocton Christian Tabernacle. A gala is being organized for Saturday, Nov. 2. Anyone wishing to contribute to Standing Oaks, can mail checks to 1690 Bow Lane, Coshocton, OH 43812, or have it deposited in the organization’s account at Century National Bank. Donations of personal hygiene items, blankets, etc. can be taken to Grace United Methodist Church, Coshocton First Baptist Church or NewPointe Community Church’s office above Mercantile on Main. Robbins added that prayers also are appreciated.

“This is all about serving others through the hope of Jesus Christ,” she said.

For more on Standing Oaks, visit its Facebook page, e-mail [email protected] or call Robbins at 740-221-0195.


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Category: Faith

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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