Dayton homeless shelter sees increase in clients

Miami Valley News

DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – St. Vincent de Paul has recorded seeing an increase in homelessness for the past three years.

“To say we’re busy would be an understatement. The last three months we have served the highest number of shelter guests for a three month period in our history,” said St. Vincent de Paul Executive Director David Bohardt.

The 24/7 shelter is averaging 100 children, 50 families, 85 single women and 190 single men, according to its website.

“We wish we had some answers and we wish we knew why so many people were coming to us but we’re thankful we’re able to be here for them,” said Bohardt.

University of Dayton student Cheyenne Palmer is working at the campus ministry raising awareness about homelessness. Thursday she and dozens of other students will be sleeping outside as a call to action.

“It’s important because of that record number of children and people in general going homeless,” said Palmer, a graduate student.

She hopes the public will move to action too.

“When you see someone on the side of the road don’t just turn your head and give them the side of your face. Look at them, say hello to them and if you have something to give, do it,” said Palmer.

Despite unemployment numbers improving, Bohardt says it’s still not benefiting the poor.

“The skill sets required for employment in the modern economy are technology based. A lot of the clients we serve, a lot of poor and challenged families elsewhere in the community have difficulties finding employment. That’s got to be part of it,” said Bohardt.

St. Vincent de Paul is looking for volunteers and donations. For ways to help and to see their wishlist, click here.

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