The Open Shelter


The Open Shelter is an Advocacy Center & Day Services Shelter for homeless and marginally-housed people in Central Ohio. We provide crucial needs directly to those in crisis.  Coordinated, supportive services are also provided, directly or by referral.


We want to thank everyone who not only matched a $5000 gift that was up for grabs but SLAM DUNKED that goal and pushed it to a total of $8097.00!!!

A very special thanks to our new friends Jeff, Jason, Chris, Pat, and Amy from Eldorado Scioto Downs powered by Caesars Entertainment who came through at the buzzer with a $2500.00 donation!!! YOUR support of Match Madness continues The Open Shelter’s mission of “Staying Behind With Those Left Behind”. Homeless and marginally-housed men, women, and children have turned to The Open Shelter for over 40 years thanks to the grassroots giving YOU provide.

Thank you to the over 70 individuals and businesses who came through in the clutch for our most vulnerable neighbors.

Thank you to Diana Alexander, Kathleen Anderson, Frederick Andrle, Tony & Jennifer Bavry, Sandra Booth, John & Akemi Bowman, James Loucks & Susan Brekelmans, James Bressman, Emma Burger, Thomas & Kathy Couruer, Katherine Cull, Sarah Devine, Suzanne Devine, Thomas & Priscilla Dobies, Margo Dorn, Jean-Pierre Dujardin, Chelsea Francis, Sharon Gillivan, Anne Grunden, Marsha Hamilton, John Hartung, Bill Hedrick, Larry Henson, Marty Hicks, Marilyn House, Seth Kantor, Colleen Kelley, Heather Keltner, Nan Klempnauer, Peter & Kristina Krier, Veronica Leahy, David Lee, Patrick Madrid, Barbara Main, J. Daniel & Mary McCabe, Michael McKinney, Matthew Metka, William Mitchell, Edward Morrow, Priscilla Olabisi Ofei-Manu, Kamilah Owens, Becky Paul, David & Kristine Plisga, Brian & Laura Powell, Alyssa Quinn, Karen Robertson, Paul & Kathleen Rowley, Robert Rupert, Catherine Scott, Richard & Barbara Shramo, Steve Skovensky, Jamie Smith, Dave & Melynda Snider, Ron & Donna Solove, Rebecca Sullivan, David Thomas, Rolanda Washington, Nick Webb, Caitlin Weiss, Andrew Welter, Jim & Lynn Wheeler, Louise White, and Bob & Shirley Carpenter.

We and those we serve are so grateful and appreciative of your support!


The Open Shelter & YOU assisted 1162 homeless and marginally-housed persons in 2024 as of April 1st; 394 of whom were “living on the streets”. 

14,686 sack lunches and 29,090 ‘to-go’ meals were provided.  32 men and women participated in our “Payeeship” program, which helps homeless and recently homeless persons who need third-party money management. 

415 instances of outdoor item assistance were provided in addition to 1,470 instances of clothing assistance. We also provided 519 hygiene kits. 

We also helped guests with acquiring State IDs, Drivers Licenses, and Birth Certificates.

There is also access to phones, copiers, faxes, and computers in addition to providing a mailing address.
This is only possible because of YOUR support.

We look forward to your continuing support this year.
Thank You.  

Thank you to the Columbus Metropolitan Club for having Open Shelter Director Sheli Mathias as part of their “What Would It Take To End Homelessness In Columbus?” forum.

We are grateful to have the opportunity to share our story and participate in a great conversation about advocating for those in need in our community.


Volunteers can help in a number of different ways.
Preparing and serving food.
We can always use food groups to serve a hot meal in the mornings and also need volunteers.  Taking in and sorting donations.  Organizing and sorting our Material Assistance Room.  Cleaning and sprucing up our agency.  Clerical and office duties.

We are willing to work with YOU and YOUR GROUP in regards to donation & pledge drives. Need more info? Want to help? Please give us a call at 614-222-2885 or email us at

The Open Shelter, Inc.   
1037 Parsons Ave. 
Columbus, Ohio  43206   

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