The Open Shelter opened on December 6, 1983 as the first 24-hour emergency walk-in shelter in Ohio. Since that time, over 40,000 men, women and children have been helped. However, in July 2004, The Open Shelter itself joined the hundreds of homeless persons on the streets with nowhere to call home.
Today, thanks to a partnership with St. John’s Evangelical Protestant Church UCC, our address is: The Open Shelter, Inc., 61 E. Mound St., Columbus, Ohio 43215-5121. This partnership-in-service enables The Open Shelter to continue our advocacy efforts on behalf of our homeless and marginally housed neighbors. This facility serves as the hub for our Outreach services, which are desperately needed. There are hundreds of persons each day who are forced to live “in the open”, on the streets, in abandoned buildings, on railroad land and under bridges. Cut off, excluded and left behind they turn to The Open Shelter.
This partnership-in-service also allows us to respond to the needs of our most vulnerable neighbors, working with the Social Security Administration processing applications and appeals, continuing to provide payeeship services and assistance in securing and then retaining housing. Through the generosity of our supporters, we also provide the basics of survival – hot meals, sack lunches, food, clothing, personal hygiene items, tarps and sleeping bags.