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.


The Open Shelter & YOU assisted 683 homeless and marginally-housed persons in January 2024; 251 of whom were “living on the streets”. 

5,020 sack lunches and 10,915 ‘to-go’ meals were provided.  33 men and women participated in our “Payeeship” program, which helps homeless and recently homeless persons who need third-party money management. 

217 instances of outdoor item assistance were provided in addition to 740 instances of clothing assistance. We also provided 69 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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