ASHTABULA — As Ashtabula County emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Samaritan House is asking residents to help the homeless shelter get back on track.
The county’s only homeless shelter, at 4125 Station Ave., provides a temporary home for men, women, children and families.
Since March 2020, the Samaritan House has been open 24/7.
Executive Director Steve Sargent said the needed donations are vital to the shelter’s daily operation.
“Being open 24/7 during the pandemic is a good thing, but it also causes us to use a lot more items,” he said. “The community has always been receptive to our needs and I’m confident that they will continue to do so. I’d like to thank everyone in advance for their kindness.”
The shelter needs paper towels, tissues, spray disinfectant, cleaning products for kitchens, bathrooms, windows, floors and common areas, along with coffee/powder creamer, coffee filters, new pillows and bath towels.
Items can be brought to the shelter.
Before the pandemic, the Samaritan House was open 24 hours during the winter, with intakes beginning every day at 4 p.m., offering the homeless a 30-day stay and food for three meals per day, though residents do their own cooking.
The five-bedroom, three-bath, brick home houses up to eight people at a time. Before the pandemic, it housed 14 people. Last year, it provided shelter to 100 people — 55 males, 33 females and 12 children, Sargent said.
The average age range was 25-45, he said.
About 90 percent of the people who stay at the Samaritan House stay 90 days of less. The average stay is 67 days and 94 percent found permanent or temporary housing, he said.
“There are a battery of reasons why people come to us, but it’s almost always their economic status,” Sargent said. “We do have a large number of folks battling a substance-abuse problem. We work with local counseling agencies to help them get whatever services necessary to overcome their battle.”
The Samaritan House is funded by several sources, including the Ohio Department of Development, United Way of Ashtabula County and the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Local contributions from churches, companies, citizens and fundraising events support the shelter.
In the future, Sargent hopes to expand the facilities.
Ashtabula City Council President John Roskovics said the Samaritan house has been doing great work for many years.
“Those shared statistics show how effective they are and how their concern and efforts are changing lives,” he said. “I hope they can receive their grants to continue and expand and their wonderful works.”
For more information on Samaritan House or to donate items or money, call Sargent at 440-992-3178.