DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Springfield city commissioners held a meeting Wednesday to find solutions to homelessness in the area.
In 2020, city officials named homelessness a public health crisis, and it’s worsened with the recent closure of a couple of local shelters.
The biggest concern is over 400 students in the city school district are categorized as homeless, according to the federal government.
In February, a Springfield-based non-profit announced it was closing two of its three shelters after Clark County cancelled its $700 thousand contract. This put Springfield into overdrive to fill the gaps.
According to a memo from the Clark County Department of Job and Family Services, they terminated the contract for the nonprofit Sheltered Inc. after a monitoring visit found issues with documentation.
In response, the city of Springfield bought two properties to fill the void.
“What they’re doing is good for the community, but it’s just, you know,” Springfield resident Otis Williams said. “They should’ve been doing it a long time ago because homeless has been an issue in Springfield for a while, and I myself have been in several meetings expressing the need for more shelters, more funds and different things to help the city prepare for the influx.”
First, the city bought the villager located in the western part of the community in 1700 block of West North Street for $1.7 million through American Rescue Plan Act funds.
Second came the Executive Inn on Columbia Street for $2.2 million. The Executive Inn is expected to open up sometime in June and will be a short-term shelter before The Villager opens up.
City officials said they are hoping to create multi-services in The Villager to tackle not just a place to stay for those in need.
On Wednesday, commissioners discussed what the villager could look like once fully operational, with bids coming next month to determine the possibilities.