‘Working tirelessly;’ Local homeless shelter pushing for expansion, more beds ahead of winter months

XENIA — As the seasons change and the weather gets colder, there is an emergency occupancy push to double the number of beds in a local shelter.

Bridges of Hope, a homeless shelter in Xenia is hoping to buy dozens more beds to match the increase in homeless numbers they’ve seen since this summer.

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“We filed for emergency occupancy and we are waiting to hear back. We have just been working tirelessly to do everything to make that happen,” Leslie Grout, the director of Bridges of Hope said.

News Center 7’s Malik Patterson spoke with Xenia residents about the need for more beds.

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“There is a lot of homeless people they really need the help,” Ashley Crittenden, from Xenia, said.

While there is support for the homeless shelter, there is also backlash that both the city and the shelter face.

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News Center 7 reached out to people who are against the expansion but have not heard back.

“A lot of people don’t like it because a lot of homeless people are on drugs. But I feel like if there is help out there they can get clean,” Crittenden said.

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William Urschel, the Board President of Bridges of Hope told Patterson that they will spend roughly $20,000 on beds and staffing through the winter months if approved.

“With how cold it’s been so far we definitely don’t want people out there freezing, especially parents, and kids,” Xenia resident, Zak Kelly said.

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The Public hearing will be next Wednesday at the Planning and Zoning Commission.

“Anytime we are helping the homelessness problem I think it’s a good thing,” Kelly said.

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