Montgomery County pledges action as homeless population increases state-wide

Local News

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Ohio (WDTN) – Statistics from the Department of Housing and Urban Development show homelessness is increasing in Ohio.

“What’s amazing to me is that we’re at the peak of prosperity in this country yet our homeless shelters are overflowing,” said Steven Duvol, a worker with Mary Queen of Peace House.

The Mary Queen of Peace House is a peer-supported sober living organization. Duvol says 80 percent of those who come through their program stay sober for at least a year. However, space and funding can be a challenge.

“We get a dozen calls everyday from people who are homeless and half the time St. Vincent DePaul is filled up. It’s just sad to tell them that there’s no room at the inn,” said Duvol.

In Montgomery County, more than 3,000 households were reported homeless in 2018.

The statistics for 2019 are scheduled to be collected on the 4th Tuesday of January. Annually, communities throughout Ohio conduct a one-night count of homeless persons. The 2019 Point-in-Time (PIT) Count includes persons residing in emergency shelters – Daybreak, Gettysburg Gateway for Men, Holt Street, St. Vincent Gateway for Women & Families, and YWCA Domestic Violence shelter – or sleeping unsheltered or in places not meant for human habitation.

Ahead of the PIT Count, Montgomery County Commissioners reviewed a five-year strategic plan that includes decreasing the homeless population.

Montgomery County officials say their five-year, five-point plan is a continuation of the work that’s already been in done for at least the last decade.

READ MORE: Montgomery County announces 5-year strategic plan

Joan Schiml, the Chief Development Officer with Daybreak Dayton says they’ve been working closely with the county for years to off everything from emergency services to job placement for the homeless youth in the area.

Schiml says she believes the goal is lofty, but might be possible.

“Dayton is a perfect-sized community to solve problems. We are big enough to have resources and we are also small enough to have the relationships that really make that work,” said Schiml.

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