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May 5th 2014

Drop Inn Center Sets Relocation Opening Date

Chris Wetterich, Staff reporter – Cincinnati Business Courier

The Drop Inn Center plans to open its new facility in Queensgate by September 2015, the director of the men's homeless shelter told a Cincinnati City Council committee on Monday.

Council's Neighborhoods Committee unanimously approved an ordinance paving the way for construction of a new 80,000-square-foot facility at 747 W. Fifth St. at the site of the old Butternut bakery.

The full City Council could approve the ordinance, which carves out an exception in the city zoning code so that the Drop Inn Center can move to the new site, on Wednesday.

Last year, the Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC) purchased the site for the Drop Inn Center so it could move out of Over-the-Rhine and expand its programs, said executive director Arlene Nolan.

The Drop Inn Center was started 40 years ago to serve mainly alcoholic men. With 16 employees, it is the largest single homeless shelter in terms of people served, with 61 percent of the city's homeless population receiving help there. About 2,000 men and women come through the shelter's doors at 217 W. 12th St. each year. Less than 20 percent of the center's clients come from downtown or Over-the-Rhine, with homeless people being dropped off by police or social workers, Nolan said.

The new Drop Inn Center will be nearly double the size of the current facility. It will be able to house 150 men, plus 200 more during the winter months in a separate, seasonal facility, which was near the top of the shelter's wish list. It is within a mile of the central business district, and it will have an updated kitchen and expanded laundry facilities.

"It serves as a way to ensure nobody freezes to death on our streets," Nolan said. "We really have designed this facility for well, well into the future. It's going to be a fabulous state-of-the-art facility."

Demolition of the current site is expected to begin this month, with construction starting by the summer and completion by September 2015.

Please contact Arlene Nolan if you have questionsanolan@dropinn.org

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