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Published: Wednesday, January 24, 2018 @ 6:09 PM
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Published: Wednesday, May 16, 2018 @ 2:44 AM
Updated: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 10:16 PM
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Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 5:58 PM
Updated: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 5:58 PM
DAYTON — A company says that Dayton is giving some teens in foster care no place to go after a zoning board denied its request to help establish a new “group home.”
Griffin Academy LLC says that the city’s zoning code does not explicitly define the type of group home for male teens it wants to open at 437 Black Ave. in east Dayton.
The facility would house up to 16 teens in foster care, providing housing, supervision, social services and educational services.
City of Dayton staff and its zoning administrator say the proposed group home most closely fits the definition of a transitional housing facility, which is not permitted in that neighborhood.
Griffin Academy’s appealed the zoning administrator’s determination that the proposed operation would be transitional housing.
Griffin Academy claims the group home is most like a residential facility, which is permitted in the district. The proposed site of the group home on Blackwood Avenue is a former nursing home that has been vacant for years.
But the Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously voted to uphold the zoning administrator’s refusal.
Griffin Academy did not provide clear and convincing evidence that the zoning administrator’s determination was incorrect and his interpretation seems reasonable, board members said.
City of Dayton staff said the scope of services, length of stay and foster youth clientele for the proposed facility most closely fits the definition of transitional housing.
But Griffin Academy said transitional housing facilities, by the city’s own definition, are run by public or nonprofit agencies, and Griffin Academy is not that — it’s a private company.
Residential facilities, by the city’s definition, are for room and board and other services for developmentally disabled people in a family setting.
The Griffin Academy owners say they are considering taking legal action to try to move forward with opening the group home.
“You are zoning us out,” said Theresa Darr, the company’s owner. “Where are our children supposed to go if we can’t find a place for this in the code?”
“This is just devastating,” she said.
Greg Gantt, an attorney representing Griffin Academy, said other Ohio communities have faced litigation for fair housing law violations after attempting to zone group homes out of existence.
“I believe we fit residential, clearly and convincingly,” Gantt said.
Under the city’s zoning code, uses that are not specifically listed are prohibited, and only if the zoning administrator determines that a proposed use is substantially similar to a permitted use will it be allowed, said John Musto, city of Dayton senior attorney.
In March, some residents who live near the proposed site said a facility for at-risk teens would be a bad fit for the Wright-View neighborhood, which already struggles with crime, drugs and registered sex offenders.
Published: Friday, May 25, 2018 @ 10:36 PM
Updated: Saturday, May 26, 2018 @ 8:30 PM
— Alberto, the first named storm of the Atlantic Ocean season, is forecast to strengthen as it continues to move over the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico.
The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center brings the system to strong tropical storm strength before making landfall somewhere along the Louisiana to Florida coastlines Monday afternoon, Storm Center 7 Meteorologist Brett Collar said.
The forecast track then indicates the remnants of Alberto could influence the weather here on Wednesday and Thursday. The main threat for this area would be some decent rain; however, there could be a few storms as well, Collar said.
It also is important to note that your WHIO Weather App may alert you if the Miami Valley is placed within the uncertainty cone issued by the National Hurricane Center sometime this weekend. If you get that alert, it doesn’t mean to expect a tropical storm … but that there is an increased possibility of some influence of the storm.
Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018 @ 7:12 AM
DAYTON — Robert Martin Jr., 30, who gained national attention in 2005 for playing football at Colonel White High School in Dayton, despite being born without legs, was booked into Montgomery County Jail Sunday morning for failing to comply with officers.
According to a Dayton police report, Martin was driving one of the eight to 10 ATVs traveling southbound on N. Main Street around 12 a.m.
Several of the ATVs then fled in different directions from police moments later in the area of E. Third St and Main, the report said.
An officer followed Martin, who was traveling at a high rate of speed, driving a blue Kawasaki ATV to the railroad tracks in the 300 block of N. Paul Laurence Dunbar St.
According to the report, Martin was found on the ground crawling toward nearby bushes while the ATV was on its side.
When asked his name, Martin said, “It’s me, Bobby.”
Martin was issued traffic citations and faces charges in Clark Co. for an outstanding OVI warrant.