Friends of the Homeless impacting many lives

Friends of the Homeless impacting many lives

Letter to the Editor,

“The poor will always be with you; and whenever you want, you can do something good for them” (Mark 14:7).

For the last 16 years, Friends of the Homeless of Tuscarawas County has been active in living out these words of Jesus. Our dedicated staff and board have worked responsibly in our efforts to address the persistent problem of homelessness and hunger within Tuscarawas County.

Because of your generous donations in 2020, you assisted our ministry in providing for those in need in our community: 177 adults and 12 children served, 47% exited to positive destinations — 7% above the state’s performance standard, 206,955 shelter guests meals served, 3,992 community meals served, 643 food boxes provided, and 3,720 people served since opening on Oct. 31, 2005.

It is a labor of love that is impacting so many lives, both today and, hopefully, in the years to come. Without the community’s support, the future of the shelter is at risk.

Our ministry’s operating budget is approximately $460,000 per year. The average length of stay in 2020 was 41 days at an average cost of $1,435.31 per guest. Due to the slowdowns of the current pandemic, we have only been able to raise half of what is needed in 2021! Please consider a special gift in the spirit of the season so we might be able to keep our doors open to those needing our help.

Beyond the financial donations, we also are in need of people to volunteer their time to our ministry. Due to the deteriorating condition and ever-increasing cost of maintenance to the current building, the board of directors is preparing to launch a capital campaign to obtain the necessary resources to build a new homeless shelter, the House of Hope.

The homeless among us are our friends, neighbors and family who need and deserve a clean, safe and secure environment from which they can begin to rebuild their lives and return to being contributing members of our community. We wish to partner with other community leaders and members, business professionals, and nonprofit experts to explore, plan and bring to life a new state-of-the-art facility to serve our community.

Our staff and board are here to help you discover what your roll can be in addressing the trauma of homelessness. Simply call shelter director Calvin White at 330-602-6100 ext. 305 or Rev. Joe Svancara, board president, at 440-396-4151 for more information.

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