The Clermont County James Sauls Homeless Shelter opened its doors Dec. 9.
To mark the occasion, Clermont Community Services held a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the new facility Dec. 8.
“This feels so great,” said CCS executive director Billie Kuntz. “We are all very relieved and excited to have this finally done.”
In fact, it took many county agencies, community members and community leaders, in a united grass roots effort, to see the James Sauls Homeless Shelter finally come to fruition.
The new shelter, which is located directly behind the Batavia Township Central Joint Fire Department on Old State Route 32 and was built by Gordon Construction, was leased to the CCS by the Batavia Township Board of Trustees in January of this year.
The homeless shelter, which was built over the summer at an estimated cost of $524,000, of which $440,000 was privately donated, still needs an additional $84,000.
"So we still have a little more to bring in," Kuntz said.
Donations can still be made to the homeless shelter at Clermont Community Services, 3003 Hospital Drive, Batavia, Ohio, 45103.
The shelter has 4,600 square feet of space and can accommodate 37 people a day.
Kuntz said that the new shelter was needed because the old one is horribly dilapidated and inadequate to fulfill the needs of the hundreds of homeless that seek shelter every year. Kuntz said that hundreds are turned away every year.
Batavia Township trustee Lee Cornett said that he was very moved by the effort and the ultimate completion of the homeless shelter.
"I am thankful to be from a community that is concerned about those less fortunate," Cornett said. "This is a wonderful day for Clermont County.
Kuntz, on behalf of the CCS Board of Directors, said that they will forever be grateful to those who gave of their time, their effort, and their money.
The grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony attracted about 75 people.