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Volunteers blanket Montgomery County to conduct annual homeless count

Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 @ 6:09 PM

            Point-in-Time Count volunteer Debra Horton, right, interviews Mickey Henry who has been sleeping in an abandoned house in Dayton. The annual count helps determine how much federal money Montgomery County receives for homeless programs. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF
            Chris Stewart
Point-in-Time Count volunteer Debra Horton, right, interviews Mickey Henry who has been sleeping in an abandoned house in Dayton. The annual count helps determine how much federal money Montgomery County receives for homeless programs. CHRIS STEWART / STAFF(Chris Stewart)

Debra Horton knows why hundreds of people in Montgomery County end up homeless every day: addiction, unemployment, incarceration, abuse.

She experienced them all.

“You don’t realize how many people there are out here and you don’t realize who it affects,” said Horton, now an outreach specialist with Miami Valley Housing Opportunities. “There are 14- and 15-year-olds walking around here with no homes. That affects everybody because this is our community. They grow up and either survive or not.”

RELATED: County has ‘effectively’ ended homelessness among veterans

Early Wednesday, Horton and about 30 other volunteers fanned out across Montgomery County to count how many people — once like her — are living on the street.

The annual Point-in-Time Count is both required and a determining factor in how much federal money the county receives for homeless programs.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Continuum of Care (CoC) grants are the largest single funding source for housing and services for people who are homeless, said Kathleen Shanahan, Montgomery County’s Housing and Homeless Solutions program coordinator.

This year, the Dayton-Kettering-Montgomery County CoC received 29 awards totaling $9.5 million to help get people off streets, out of shelters and into stable housing.

RELATED: HUD awards $9.5M within county to fight homelessness

By 7:30 a.m., Horton and her team identified 18 people primarily along Gettysburg Avenue, including a teenage girl without a coat, who were living without shelter.

They met another man who had just been released from jail and was sleeping in a “bando,” or abandoned house.

“He’s a heroin addict. He’s 19 years old. His mom just passed away and she’s the one who got him hooked on heroin,” Horton said. “So he’s going through that.”

The number of people staying in Montgomery County shelters is reported through a data system. The information is collected from Daybreak youth shelter, Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness outreach (PATH), St. Vincent de Paul Gettysburg Gateway for Men, St. Vincent de Paul Gateway Shelter for Women and Families, and the YWCA of Dayton’s domestic violence shelter.

Last year, the annual Point-in-Time Count showed 382 households in Montgomery County had no home. Altogether, 500 people were counted, 53 of whom were unsheltered.

MORE: $400K recycling grants available to Montgomery County cities, groups

At 11 a.m., Horton found Mickey Henry at the House of Bread, a Dayton food kitchen.

“I’ve been bouncing, but I can’t seem to bounce back,” said Henry, a 32-year-old a couple years out of prison.

He landed in prison for “young, dumb, stupid stuff,” but primarily for robbery, he said.

Before he went to prison, Henry lived in a house on Harvard Boulevard. Now he sleeps in a “bando” not far from downtown on an avenue most would recognize.

“I only go there at night. I’m out trying to hustle jobs all day,” he said. “I need housing.”

Henry was at least the 35th unsheltered person identified by the volunteers on Wednesday.

The final numbers won’t be known for a couple more weeks, Shanahan said. Even then, it’s hard to get a 100-percent accurate count.

“It is as accurate as we can get it,” she said.“You can’t canvass every inch of the county. Particularly when it comes to vacant and abandoned housing.”

MORE: Montgomery County gets $1.2M to help make homelessness ‘rare, brief’

Volunteers came from the city of Dayton, Daybreak, Dayton Police Department, Homefull, Montgomery County, PATH, VA Medical Center and Volunteers of America found the unsheltered in municipalities besides Dayton and in unsuspecting locations, Shanahan said.

“We found people in 24-hour laundromats and Waffle Houses, so it’s not just the typical spots people think of,” she said. “We found (unsheltered) people certainly in Dayton, in Huber Heights, in Vandalia, in Englewood just to name a few.” Teams later visited Moraine and Miamisburg and other parts of town.

While the primary homeless shelters are in Dayton, those who need help are from all across the county, Shanahan said.

“They all didn’t become homeless in Dayton,” she said. “Literally every jurisdiction: Oakwood, Washington Twp., Centerville, Kettering, and those north, when you map it by ZIP code, all jurisdictions in Montgomery County show up as somebody’s last permanent address.”

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Malfunctioning pump spills 10 gallons of fuel, prompting HAZMAT to respond

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 5:09 AM
Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 5:58 AM

Fuel spill at Vandalia Shell station prompts HAZMAT response

UPDATE @ 6 a.m: A malfunctioning pump spilled ten gallons of fuel at a Vandalia gas station Tuesday morning, prompting HAZMAT to respond.

>> Record-breaking warmth today, widespread showers expected overnight

The incident occurred at the Shell gas station in the 500 block of National Road, per initial reports.

The gas station was closed while crews were on scene, but half of the station pumps have reopened for service.

No injuries or other hazards were reported as a result of the spill.


HAZMAT has been requested to a Vandalia gas station after a fuel spill.

Initial reports indicate fuel spilled at the Shell gas station in the 500 block of National Road. The gas station is closed while crews respond.

This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.

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Lanes closed on NB I-75 near Needmore Rd. after three-vehicle crash 

Published: Monday, February 19, 2018 @ 3:49 AM
Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 6:30 AM

Traffic issues can be reported by calling our newsroom at 937-259-2237 or tweeting @WHIOTraffic .

Traffic conditions are updated every six minutes on AM 1290 and News 95.7 FM.

Major Highway Incidents

  • On northbound I-75 before the Needmore Road exit in Dayton, three-vehicle accident with one vehicle on its side around 5:35 a.m. Far left and middle lanes are closed. 

Surface Street Incidents 

  • At Wyoming Street and St. Paul Avenue in Dayton, a car reportedly crashed into a building around 6:25 a.m.

>> RELATED: WHIO App-Winter

>> RELATED: Track the latest conditions in your neighborhood on our live WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Ongoing Construction & Other Closures 

Live look at highways on our traffic cameras here.

Latest traffic conditions are also available on our traffic map. 


  • Keowee Street north of Stanley Avenue, bridge closed until 2019. The official detour is: Keowee Street to Stanley Avenue to I-75 to Wagner Ford Road and back to Dixie. More information is available here.
  • Stewart Street Ramp to US 35 East, RAMP CLOSURE March 28 - Sept 30, 2018. The official detour is: Stewart Street to Edwin C. Moses Boulevard to I-75 north to US 35 west to James H. McGee Blvd. to US 35 east.
  • I-75 north Ramp to US 35 west and east, Lane width restriction until Apr. 1, 2018. One lane will remain open on the ramp with a width of 11 feet.


  • SR 47 between Fifth Avenue and Wilkinson Avenue, Lane closures Jan. 21 - Nov. 27. One lane will remain open in each direction at all times. 

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Record-breaking warmth today; widespread showers expected overnight

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 3:36 AM

Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini talks about which days will have the hardest commutes because of the weather.

>> WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar


  • Record-breaking warmth today
  • More showers, storms tonight through Wednesday
  • A wintry mix early Thursday

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini)

>> 5-Day Forecast


TODAY: Early dry time with temperatures in the 60s. We’ll see broken clouds through the day with highs peaking in the low 70s. The record for the day is 69 degrees, set back in 2016. Expect wind gusts through the day between 20 to 30 mph. We can’t rule out a passing shower or storm during the day across the northwest, but most will stay dry during the day. However, tonight showers and storms become more widespread overnight. 

WEDNESDAY: Temperatures start in the upper 50s to low 60s with scattered showers and storms during the first half of the day with rain possible falling heavy at times. Temperatures will drop during the day and hit 30 degrees by nighttime with us also experiencing gusty winds. Any lingering showers could fall as a wintry mix or freezing rain.

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini)

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini)

THURSDAY: Morning showers will be a wintry mix. Cooler temperatures for the day in the mid-40s. Some dry time returns during the day into the evening. 

>> School, Business Closing and Delays

FRIDAY: Widespread rain will begin to fall again, heavy at times. A flood threat continues with highs in the upper 50s.

(Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Kirstie Zontini)

>> The Ohio River is rising, prompting flood warnings for some areas

SATURDAY: Rain continues through the day, again heavy at times. It’ll be breezy with highs in the upper 50s. Flooding is possible with rain totals for the week ranging from 1.5 to 3.5 inches. 

Great Miami in Troy and Dayton will get close to the flood stage. Some low lying spots along the river could see minor flooding.

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Man taken to area hospital after being struck by vehicle in Trotwood

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 1:06 AM
Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 3:44 AM

Pedestrian strike in Trotwood

UPDATE @ 6:15 a.m: One man was taken to Grandview Medical Center after he was struck by a vehicle in Trotwood early Tuesday morning.

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Semi swerves to avoid deer, ends up in mud in Preble County

The initial call reported that a woman hit a man and that he was in the middle of the road on East Westbrook Road at Macduff Drive, according to investigators.

His condition is unknown at this time.

Officials continue to investigate whether the incident was accidental or on purpose. 


Officials continue to investigate a pedestrian strike that occurred in the area of East Westbrook Road at Macduff Drive in Trotwood early Tuesday morning.

The incident was dispatched just after midnight, per initial reports.

A medic was requested to the scene, but there are no further details on the person who was struck. 

Westbrook Road at MacDuff Drive was blocked off during the investigation for around two hours, but has since reopened. 

We’re working to learn more details on the ordeal and will continue to update this story as they become available. 

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