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Church donates land so homeless shelter can expand at current location

| December 14, 2023
An aerial view of the homeless shelter site provided by Friends of the Homeless.

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (Dec. 14, 2023) – It appears Tuscarawas County’s homeless shelter will stay on East High Avenue.

The Friends of the Homeless organization now plans to build and expand at that location after recently taking ownership of the property.

First Presbyterian Church Pastor Joe Svancara says the church has gifted the shelter and the parking area behind it to the Friends of the Homeless, where he is also the board president.

He says the church and denomination agreed the donation aligns with the church’s mission and “true Christian spirit.”

The Friends of the Homeless had been searching for more than two years to find a place to build a new shelter but nothing worked out. Svancara says city officials are on board with the new plan.

“We seem to have reached an agreement that they will be willing to grant their support for the facility and we can move forward with some practical plans and proposals,” he said.

Svancara says building drawings and fundraising plans will be announced in the near future.

Initial plans call for a larger facility to be built behind the existing shelter while the old building becomes the new home for the Pathway-to-Wellness long term recovery facility.


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