The Open Shelter


On December 6th, 1983 The Open Shelter was born thanks to the efforts of Kent Beittel. It was the first 24-hour emergency walk-in shelter in Ohio. Kent was described in many ways; “fierce advocate for the homeless”, “relentless and stubborn champion for social justice”, “maverick”, “Don Quixote of the city’s homeless” and unfortunately, in other ways, we can’t share here.

Kent eventually was joined by his wife Mary, who made sure things ran smoothly at the agency while Kent continued to be the “face of The Open Shelter”; making sure the community’s homeless were not ignored.

Kent and Mary are no longer with us but their spirit remains at the very core of The Open Shelter’s mission, “Staying Behind With Those Left Behind”.

Kent described The Open Shelter as a “covered piece of the sidewalk”; meaning that we are there on the ground floor with our guests, helping them with the crucial needs to survive and the next steps to get off the ground. And yes, those we serve are our guests, not clients. We have invited them to come to us to feel safe, to feel comfortable, and to feel respected.

Each weekday at our Day Services Shelter and Advocacy Center, we strive to make sure the hundreds of guests that come to us are fed, clothed, and healthy with hygiene products and care from partners like Mt. Carmel Street Medicine, Southeast, and Mid-Ohio Food Collective.

#GivingTuesday is on November 28th. It is a Movement that Unleashes the Power of Radical Generosity Around the World. YOUR support of The Open Shelter’s mission of “Staying Behind With Those Left Behind”, homeless and marginally housed men, women, and children is a perfect example of radical generosity.

It is only because YOU support our grassroots efforts that we can provide CRUCIAL NEEDS such as food, clothing, hygiene products, and even camping equipment so that the thousands we serve SURVIVE.

We use that as a ‘stepping stone’ to build trust and help our guests with the next step, whether housing, employment, or assistance with benefits.

We are asking YOU to make #GivingTuesday 2023 one to remember for The Open Shelter & those we serve. In years past we have raised as much as $8000 on #GivingTuesday. It would be great if we could exceed that this year and raise, say,……$10,000!

It is our 40th Year Of Service, so if you could give $40, $400, or even $4000 on November 28th, it would be a great way to honor the legacy of Kent & Mary Beittel which continues today at The Open Shelter. Thank You.

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