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Is there a necessity?

Group formed to explore drop-in center prospects

 

An exploratory meeting to determine if Ironton could use a daytime drop-in center for the homeless has launched an ad hoc committee to investigate the prospect of such a resource for the community.

Last month approximately 30, mostly from social service agencies, came to a meeting, hosted by Christ Episcopal Church, to see if there was any interest in the topic from the community, according to the Rev. Sallie Schisler, priest in charge at the church.

“There was one gentleman who found himself unexpectedly homeless and he wanted to say how important it was for the community to investigate that kind of opportunity because it is much needed,” Schisler said.

Now those who came to the first meeting have become the group charged with the mission to collect more data on the need for a shelter operating during the hours the nighttime shelters are closed.

“The meeting was very positive,” Schisler said. “Everyone agreed a drop-in center would be valuable to the community. There was not one person who was there who said ‘I don’t want to participate.’ Also there was a gathering of names of people who might be interested in attending future meetings.”

The next meeting will be at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 5 at the Briggs Lawrence County Library branch in Ironton where Bob Hansen, executive director of Harmony House in Huntington, will speak. Harmony House is a day shelter that offers a variety of social services.

Also it was determined there could be grant money from the department of justice to partially fund a center.

“The next step is to continue to meet, educate ourselves, look for grant opportunities and make sure all the potential players are at the table,” Schisler said.