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New homeless shelter coming to Steubenville

Updated: Thursday, August 14 2014, 05:20 PM EDT
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio -- After several years of trying to open an additional homeless shelter – plus one very harsh winter -- the Urban Mission in Steubenville is moving forward, giving a new use to an old facility.
While the current homeless shelter -- the Hutton House along 7th street in downtown Steubenville -- provides a place to get off the streets for about five-to-10 families, it hasn't been enough.
“We don't want to have another winter like we did this year in trying to find folks homes," the Urban Mission’s Ashley Steele said.
Despite several setbacks, and a few deals falling through, folks at the Urban Mission didn't have to look far for the new facility. The ‘Joshua House’ is just a few blocks up the street.
“It houses youth groups that come in and do volunteer work around our community,” Steele said. “And we realized that house is empty during the winter."
But before they can open the doors, there is plenty of work to be done.
“We need to get the plumbing fixed,” Steele said. “Also, we need to make sure the outside is equipped and safe. (And we will be) bringing in furniture and other items that make a house a home.”
Organizers will also be looking for things like couches, refrigerators, and microwaves.
But when all is said and done, “they'll be able to have their own room, bathroom, they will have some shared space, but for the most part they'll be living in a separate area,” Steele said.
Steele said it does cost around $100,000 to run a shelter with staffing and helping families get back on their feet.
“It's going to be a tremendous blessing to open this new shelter and doing it in a way that's manageable for us (and) also brings dignity for the families that we're serving,” Steele said.
All of the transformations should be complete in time for the shelter to open in October. It will remain open through March.

New homeless shelter coming to Steubenville

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