Congratulations To Solomon Dean!

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Congratulations to our very own Solomon Dean.
He received The “Unsung Hero” Award today from the Columbus Coalition for the Homeless.

Solomon has been with us for over twenty years and is currently our Deputy Director of Day Services.

He was presented with the award by Shannan Anderson of The Coalition & by our Director, Kent Beittel

Solomon has tirelessly helped those we serve in many ways.

Well Deserved!
Congrats & Thank You Solomon.
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SING AT HOOT! ONE CANNED GOOD GETS YOU IN!

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This Saturday (3/30) at 10:00 AM, Gateway Film Center provides stimulating activities for families, including games, story readings, Dance Cam where kids and their families can watch themselves bust a move on the big screen and more. At 11:00 AM, enjoy live music by The Shazzbots! and kid-friendly short films. All presentations in the HOOT Family Film Series at the Gateway Film Center are “G” rated and admission to the series is free with a suggested donation of a canned good to benefit The Open Shelter.
This month’s theme is SING!
Gateway Film Center is located at 1550 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43201.

A Fun Way To Help The Open Shelter!

Here’s a fun way to help our agency! 
We are having a fundraiser on May 18th that includes a silent auction. 
Why not have your workplace, school, church or group put together a gift basket for us?
All ideas are welcome.
Make it fun!

Need more info?  Give us a call at 614-222-2885 or shoot us an email at openshelter@att.net
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Thank You From A Friend

We received an email from someone who stayed with us many, many years ago.  Michael grew up as a foster child in Southeastern Ohio.  Due to multiple acts of childhood abuse, he dropped out of High School.  He moved to Columbus at the age of 15 and lived in parks and on railroad land.  During that time, he began drinking heavily and experimenting with recreational drugs, mainly crack cocaine.

 

In 1990 at the age of 18, he stumbled upon The Open Shelter where he had the fortune of meeting Linda White, Director of Emergency Shelter Services at that time.  Michael explained to her what he was going through and she accepted him into The Open Shelter without judgement.  He was able, at that time, to beat his crack cocaine habit but continued drinking.  Linda talked to him a lot to comfort him and give him support.  He stayed with us for a year before leaving The Open Shelter.  He then met members of his biological family where he experienced even more problems.  In 1996, he broke the law and while being pursued by the Police, he was involved in a serious automobile accident that left him paralyzed.  Doctors said he would never walk again.

 

Michael became so frustrated with his doctors he decided to leave Ohio the following year.  Before he left, he spoke once again to Linda who told him to “keep his head up and to never give up”.  She believed that one day he would improve on his life.  One thing she said that stuck with him was, “A man may be down but that does not mean he is out.”  He did not understand those words at first, but they never left his mind.  Eventually Michael ended up in St. Louis where he found the Salvation Army.  He became heavily involved with a Church and received treatment for his alcohol issues.

 

In 2005, Michael battled the odds and regained the ability to walk again.  He also sought out psychiatric care.  It was at this time the words Linda White had said to him finally made sense.  He spent the next two years preparing for the GED.  He passed the GED in 2008.  He enrolled in a community college but due to financial difficulties, he was unable to complete his studies at that time.  Still holding onto those words from Linda, he got a job and began saving money for college.   In 2016 he received an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts from Johnson Community College.  He then was accepted into the University of Kansas and will graduate with a BA in Psychology, a BA in communication and a minor in African American Studies.  He also applied to Kansas’ Law School and was accepted to study International Law.

 

Because of The Open Shelter and people like Linda White who believed in him, he has decided to write an autobiography and will share his story with others.  Michael finished his email with the following, “I know there are people who have suffered as I have or are still suffering.  Hopefully my story can give them comfort in knowing anything is possible when we believe.  Without those words from Linda, I would not have anything to lean on and my life probably would not have ended up the way it has.”

        

Thanks To Those Who Supported Us For The Nationwide Championship Tournament

The Open Shelter thanks the 2018 Nationwide Children’s Championship Tournament for making available an unlimited number of free charity tickets to the Tournament for distribution by The Open Shelter, and donating $10 to us for each of our tickets redeemed at the Tournament.


We also thank Paul Gelpi, President of Swan Cleaners, for agreeing to have five Swan branches distribute the tickets and the managers and employees of Swan’s Kingsdale, Henderson Rd., Fishinger Rd., Riverside Drive, and Fifth Ave. branches for assisting in the distribution.


We likewise thank the Gahanna Golf Course, the Raymond Memorial Golf Course, the Heritage Golf Club, the Columbus Country Club, the Golf Club of Dublin, One More Time, and their managers and employees for assisting in the distribution of our tickets.

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“Veg Out” At HOOT!

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This Saturday (1/26) at 10:00 AM, Gateway Film Center provides stimulating activities for families, including games, story readings, Dance Cam where kids and their families can watch themselves bust a move on the big screen and more. At 11:00 AM, enjoy live music by The Shazzbots! and kid-friendly short films. All presentations in the HOOT Family Film Series at the Gateway Film Center are “G” rated and admission to the series is free with a suggested donation of a canned good to benefit The Open Shelter.
This month’s theme is VEGETABLES!
Gateway Film Center is located at 1550 North High Street, Columbus, Ohio 43201.

Thank You To Alex, Teresa, Nathan & Boy Scout Troop 298!

Thank you to Teresa, Alex & Nathan for bringing 100 backpacks filled with survival items for those we serve. Alex raised over $3000 as part of his Eagle Scout Project to put this together. Teresa (Alex’s mother), Nathan & members of Boy Scout Troop 298 helped put them together!