Daytime center still needed
More than a year ago, Ironton clergy and those concerned about the disadvantaged got together to see if the city had a significant homeless population.
Soon after their first meeting, they agreed the need was there and pressing.
While the city has a nighttime shelter at the mission, there is no daytime drop-in center for the homeless.
That started the group looking for property. They wanted a place within walking distance of the mission and the OneStop job center.
“You can get all the services at the OneStop, but you can’t hang out there,” the Rev. Sallie Schisler of Christ Episcopal Church, said.
Right now, during the day, the homeless have to fend for themselves.
However, one business’s closing could provide an opportunity for others. On Jan. 2, the Transit Café is set to close. It is sad that an outlet for Tri-State Industries clients will be gone. But turning the café into a downtown drop-in center could bring hope to others.
The building is handicapped accessible, has a kitchen and bathrooms.
The port authority, LEDC and the CAO should allow this space as a daytime center.
Yes, that wouldn’t bring in money, but lack of profits is what closed the café anyway.
Economic leaders are wise to expend energies bringing in business. But sometimes, reaching out with no material return in mind is just as worthwhile.
After all, one never knows when a twist of fate can turn the most affluent into one of the homeless.