menu Home
Local News

Group shifts focus from building new shelter to funding existing one

| June 16, 2023

NEW PHILADELPHIA (WJER) (June 26, 2023) – The group that runs the local homeless shelter is seeking financial support from the community.

The Friends of the Homeless are trying to raise at least $450,000. Board President Joe Svancara says that’s what it costs to care for the roughly 200 guests who stay at their shelter in downtown New Philadelphia each year.

“That includes everything needed to operate the shelter from paying our staff to providing day-to-day needs for many of the shelter guests, all of our utilities, as well as paying for program expenses.”

Homeless individuals who clear the required background check and agree to follow the rules of the shelter can stay there for up to 90 days, although Svancara says many are able to get back on their feet sooner.

“So they check in; they are in the community on a day-to-day basis; they get connected with a case manager; and we work with them individually on what do they need in order to become more stabilized in life and what do they need to do in order to achieve a more secure form of housing that what they’ve had before.”

The group had a separate fundraiser going to build a larger, more modern shelter that’s on hold after New Philadelphia officials rejected yet another proposed site, this one near Brightwood at the intersection of East High and Reiser Avenue.

“So until we can come up with a more suitable solution for that project, we are focusing all hands on just what is going on daily at our current shelter.”

Donations can be mailed to the Friends of the Homeless at P-O Box 466 in New Philadelphia or made online at Svancara says they’re badly needed as they’ve only managed to raise about 5-percent of the goal so far.

Written by