GREENVILLE — Though it may often go unnoticed, homelessness exists, even in rural Darke County.
The Darke County branch of Community Action Partnership (CAP) is continually working to help people without housing get back on their feet.
CAP Darke County reports that area residents and businesses have responded to the agency’s recent call for help to improve and renovate its emergency homeless shelter in Greenville, but more still needs done.
The organization had sent a letter to the community requesting help with a number of urgent needs at the shelter. Among these were appliances, beds, paint and flooring. CAP Office Manager Carol Littman reports that many of these needs have been fulfilled through the generosity of local groups and businesses.
“A retired gentleman at the Brethren Village donated two bedroom suites,” said Littman. “Francis Furniture donated mattresses. And a group of young people in Ansonia that held a homeless benefit gave us $400 which will be used to buy a new baby crib and mattress.”
Littman also says that area businesses are chipping in with supplies and labor to renovate the structure’s floors and walls.
“The carpet in the house has to go. It has so much wear and tear. There is someone who has agreed to do flooring for us. Rural King is donating Killz for the walls, but we still need paint,” she said.
Littman says the agency’s goal is to temporarily shut down the house for a few days and get the needed work done all at once, as quickly as possible, so it can get back to the business of helping people.
The shelter, in operation since 1988, houses homeless people on an emergency basis. The maximum stay is two weeks for a single person and up to a month for a family. Littman says the people typically receiving assistance are single women with children and single men.
From the beginning of 2015 to December 1, the home has provided shelter to 87 individuals, 30 of whom were children. This represents an increase over those who received aid in 2014.
She says the house is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week and does not accept sex offenders. Persons staying in the home are first vetted by local law enforcement.
Though the agency receives funding from a Homeless Crisis Response Grant from the state, it does not do much more than cover the most minimal of expenses.
“It is a very small grant,” says Littman. “It pays the bills. That’s about it.”
CAP Darke County is also reliant upon help from Darke County United Way, but even more importantly, from private donors.
“Our most vital need right now is money. With this, we can buy whatever we need to get but don’t have,” Littman said, noting that donations to CAP Darke County are tax deductible.
For more information on the work being accomplished by CAP Darke County, contact the agency by phone at 937-548-8143 or email Littman at Carol.Littman@cap-dayton.org.
Erik Martin may be reached at 937-569-4314. Join the conversation and get updates on Facebook search Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.