The Community Shelter Board unveiled on' Friday "One Day to End Homelessness," a campaign to raise money to house homeless adults and families who are swelling Franklin County shelters beyond capacity.
The campaign will urge Columbus-area residents to contribute the equivalent of at least one day's rent or mortgage payment to the One Day to End Homelessness Campaign. All money raised will support the Community Shelter Board's nationally recognized programs, including prevention and rapid re-housing.
WBNS-10TV and other members of the Dispatch Media Group are teaming with the Community Shelter Board to promote the event through its vehicles, including The Columbus Dispatch, WBNS-10TV and others. Promotional stories and ads were to begin appearing on Friday and culminate in a telethon during news programming on Jan. 31. Donors will be able to contribute over the phone or online.
DONATE NOW: One Day To End Homelessness
"As the recession rages on, Franklin County residents are seeking shelter in alarming numbers," said Michelle Heritage Ward, executive director of the Community Shelter Board. "Our vulnerable neighbors, pushed to the brink by a harsh economy, cannot wait out the recession before our community acts. Nor will area residents tolerate make-shift 'homes' on our city streets and in parks. One Day to End Homelessness will open hearts throughout Franklin County to find permanent homes for men, women and children."
The Community Shelter Board has never before appealed to individuals on a mass scale and approached 10TV and the Dispatch Media Group to lead the public promotion.
"As soon as we learned that this unprecedented crisis was unfolding in our community, we committed our resources to helping the Community Shelter Board raise money to get people back in stable housing and back on their feet as quickly as possible," said Tom Griesdorn, WBNS-10TV and ONN president and general manager..
Last month, the Community Shelter Board formed a Faith Leadership Council to encourage the faith community to engage their congregants in One Day to End Homelessness. Franklin County and the City of Columbus have responded to the surge in homelessness by approving emergency funding for the Community Shelter Board. Heritage Ward said that she is reaching out to corporations and foundations to increase their funding during this time of critical need.
The cost to the Community Shelter Board for overflow shelter for families has already reached $212,000 which is a 4,100 percent increase compared to last year.
"One Day to End Homelessness is an opportunity for neighbor to help neighbor," Heritage Ward said. "The reality is that a disturbing number of people are one medical bill, car repair, or pink slip away from losing their apartments or homes. Homelessness is a community challenge and One Day to End Homelessness will bring the community together to address this unprecedented crisis."
The Community Shelter Board, established in 1986, is a public-private partnership organization that creates collaborations, innovates solutions, and invests in quality programs in order to end homelessness in Columbus and Franklin County. CSB allocates more than $13 million annually to support homeless programs and services. Last year, these programs served more than 8,000 individuals. CSB is funded by the City of Columbus, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, the United Way of Central Ohio, The Columbus Foundation, Nationwide, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the State of Ohio and other public and private donors.