On Thursday the St. Paul's Community Center announced it was running out of money to operate its winter crisis shelter program, and that it may have to shut the program down as soon as Friday. Hours after the announcement, the Lucas County Economic Development Corporation (LCEDC) said it would cover the cost of containing the operation.
The program provides overnight shelter and a meal for up to 50 people per night.
"They come in, they are tired, fatigued. They're hungry, exhausted. They haven't showered. So we provide food, a nice dinner, then shower facilities, soap, deodorant," said Habib.
Habib said $13,000 would be needed to run the program through the end of February. The LCEDC, at the request of Lucas County Commissioners, decided to provide the program a $13,000 grant. The program generally shuts down on March 1.
"Many of the homeless people in our community have jobs. What they don't have is permanent housing. This funding reflects the fact that without housing, these people will invariably lose their jobs and all of us – including the businesses that employ them -- will suffer as a result," said LCEDC President Ford Weber.
"Human development to me is economic development and we should be supportive of both," said Commissioner Pete Gerken
Commissioner Tina Skeldon Wozniak added, "Citizens who are unhoused need shelter particularly in the winter months. I am pleased that the LCEDC has stepped up to make sure our citizens have these resources."
"Economic growth and social justice go hand in hand," said Commissioner Carol Contrada.
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