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Movement underway to help the homeless

| May 10, 2019

COSHOCTON – The Homeless Coalition of Coshocton County, formed in the fall of 2018, is actively seeking to engage individuals, agencies, and organizations within the area to join the local movement to end homelessness in our county. This initiative requires input from a cross-section of various individuals/groups who have related interests, as those perspectives are critical and valuable to the group’s action, in alignment with its mission statement: Provide services and/or connect people with available services while they are in a safe place that will move toward stable and adequate housing.

The Coshocton Emergency Management Agency, in partnership with the Salvation Army and Kno-Ho-Co, opened two warming centers during the winter. Additionally, in partnership with New Pointe Community Church, several area churches participated in a “Love Collection Challenge” during February, as donations were accepted to share through street ministry. The donated supplies are stored in one location and shared as requested, and are especially necessary. Items include bedding, personal hygiene items, non-perishable food and drinks, and supplies for warmth (i.e., blankets, scarves, hats, gloves). If you or someone you know is experiencing homelessness and is need of supplies, or if you have new supplies to donate, you may contact Heather Walker at 740-610-1317 or Kathy Robbins at 740-221-0195.

The need for a homeless shelter is great, and it is the goal of the coalition to provide a homeless shelter, at a minimum, for the months of November 2019 to April 2020 for the hours of 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. It is the desire of the coalition to ensure that a plan and a location, supported by adequate resources, are in place to meet the needs of people for the coming winter.

Another exciting area of work being developed is Standing Oaks of East Central Ohio. Standing Oaks of East Central Ohio is a non-profit organization,501(c)(3), and a faith-based initiative to establish a transitional homeless shelter in Coshocton which would provide a safe, clean and temporary place for people to be while transitioning from housing instability to housing stability.  This faith-based organization would endeavor to provide wrap-around support, working in partnership with existing agencies and organizations, in order to meet physical, emotional, relational and spiritual needs of Standing Oaks’ clients, rooting them in truths so that they may stand independently, as God receives all the glory. The reference for “Standing Oaks” is from Isaiah 61:1-3, specifically, “They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of his splendor.”

The Standing Oaks Steering Committee has received several donations for this transitional shelter, and is searching for property to serve as a location for this full-service facility. The Steering Committee is also working toward several fund-raising events scheduled for late summer and for the fall. Sunday, Aug. 4, a piano concert is being held at Roscoe United Methodist Church, and on Saturday, Sept. 14, the Coshocton Christian Tabernacle is hosting a family-friendly benefit with entertainment, a silent auction and food.

If you would like to have more information, contact Kathy Robbins at [email protected] or Pastor Joe Sanders at [email protected]  Donations may be made to Standing Oaks of East Central Ohio; a non-profit, tax-exempt account has been established at Century National Bank in Coshocton, Ohio.

Category: Clubs & Organizations

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Article contributed to The Beacon.

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