[Hpn] Homeless Shelters Plan For Big Crowds

William C. Tinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Tue, 18 Jan 2005 08:22:14 -0500


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http://news.enquirer.com/


Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Homeless shelters plan for big crowds

The low was expected to be at or near zero

By William A. Weathers
Enquirer staff writer

People gather around the entrance to the Drop Inn Center on 12th Street in
Over-the-Rhine. Temperatures near zero would result in many of the city's
homeless spending the night there.
The Enquirer/Steven M. Herppich
Zoom
With the temperature expected to drop to near zero early today, homeless
shelters on both sides of the Ohio River were expecting capacity crowds.
"We were at full capacity last night. We expect to be at full capacity
tonight," Buddy McNeil, a staff member at the Emergency Cold Center in
Covington said Monday.
"We're expecting to be full," said Steve Knight, shelter team coordinator at
the Drop Inn Center in Over-the-Rhine in Cincinnati. "It's cold. It's not
the time to even think about staying outside."
The near zero-degree temperature and the expected capacity crowd at the Drop
Inn Center triggered the opening of the Warm Center at the Over-the-Rhine
Community Center. The city of Cincinnati opens the Warm Center whenever the
Drop Inn Center reaches capacity of 250 the night before and the wind-chill
forecast is zero degrees or lower. The Warm Center is open from 10 p.m. to 8
a.m.
The capacity at the Emergency Cold Center in Covington is 33, but no one is
ever turned away, McNeil said. Those needing shelter from the cold are taken
to other shelters, he said.
The Drop Inn Center has a similar policy.
"Our policy is never to turn anyone away," Knight said.
When the Drop Inn Center reaches capacity, people are given space on benches
or on the floor if there is no other shelter space available, he said.
The low was expected to reach zero to 5 degrees overnight, Robin Gerhardt, a
National Weather Service meteorologist in Wilmington, Ohio, said Monday.
"We're getting cold air coming down from Canada," Gerhardt said.
Today's high should be in the mid-20s. Tonight's low will be in lower 20s
with a 20 percent chance of snow.
On Wednesday, the high will be in the mid 30s and the low in the upper 20s.
There's a 50 percent chance of snow Wednesday during the day, with the
precipitation changing to a rain-snow mixture in the evening. An
accumulation of "maybe an inch" is possible, Gerhardt said.
On Thursday, the high is expected to be in the lower 30s with a low of 15 to
20. There's a 30 percent chance of snow.


Copyright 1995-2005. The Cincinnati Enquirer, a Gannett Co. Inc. newspaper.

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