Hocking Co. Group Raising Money For Homeless Shelter

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Folks organizing under the Hocking Hills Inspire Shelter want to start a homeless shelter in Hocking County.

People who are homeless can’t get any assistance from organizations like Job and Family Services because they don't have an address, organizer Susan Burgess said.

Burgess and others have been raising money so that the homeless will have an address to get monetary help from the government.

“(The rule) shuts the door on everybody’s face that needs the help,” Burgess said. “It’s not just in our county; it’s all over the United States. These people make these rules. I wish that they would think what they are doing… because it’s damaging people’s lives even further.”

Organizer Teresa Downs says right now, the homeless have nowhere to go.

“Where are they living? Under a bridge, right here in Hocking County… It just takes your breath away to know that someone in this small community can be living under a bridge and with hardly anyone noticing,” Downs said.

Burgess shared the story of a family of five living in their car. Because the mother, father and three very small children don’t have an address, they can’t get any help from the government.

“Since we had the storms, I’ve lost contact with them, and now I can’t reach them to continue on helping them… If we had a shelter, we would have somewhere to immediately put them, and then we would be able to get them integrated within the system here in Hocking County,” Burgess said.

It will take at least several weeks to get the paperwork done before the homeless can get assistance from the government, according to Downs.

“That’s where we can fill in," Downs said. "They would have shelter until that was approved."

For the past few months, the group has been holding events to raise money for the shelter. They are still looking for a location.

“We really want to have something before the weather turns again,” Downs said.

The Inspire Shelter has been receiving help from the Smith Chapel Food Pantry and Thrift Store. The group receives monetary donation at P.O. Box 1108, Logan, OH 43138. People can also be involved with the organization as volunteers by participating in their events. The upcoming events will be posted on their Facebook page, Hocking Hills Inspire Shelter.