Ideastream Public Media ideastream.org 23 Jan, 2023 17:30 am

Proposed youth drop-in center in Ohio City generates heated debate

Proposed youth drop-in center in Ohio City generates heated debate
A conflict has been brewing over the last year over the location of a drop-in shelter for youth experiencing homelessness in Cleveland’s Ohio City neighborhood, pitting some neighbors against each other.

Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, which would operate the center, is hoping the drop-in center – proposed for 4100 Franklin Boulevard - will provide a welcoming space for people ages 16-24 to rest, shower, eat and receive support services.And the facility would be the first of its kind in Cleveland, while Ohio’s other major urban centers have at least one youth drop-in center.However, some immediate neighbors of the project have raised concern at community meetings over the last year about the center’s location, arguing the drop-in center could make the neighborhood less safe and disrupt its residential nature.They said the Ohio City site is an ideal location for the drop-in center and is appealing to other young people they’ve interviewed.

Ronald O’Leary, a neighbor of the proposed drop-in center and former Cleveland Housing Court judge, said he supports the idea of a youth drop-in center and it being located in Ohio City, just not one being located on his street.Advocate Shajuana Gaston said there’s serious need for a youth drop-in center in Cleveland.

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