Friday August 1, 2008

Serving the Community

Already known for its broad community engagement, the University of Dayton will contribute $250,000 to create a better shelter system to will help the region's homeless adults and families.

The University of Dayton has pledged $250,000 to a new community effort to create a more effective "gateway" shelter system to help homeless adults and families in Montgomery County.

"We teach our students to lead through service to others," said UD President Daniel J. Curran. "The University of Dayton is proud to affirm our Catholic Marianist identity by contributing our resources to serve those in need in our community."

In Dayton and Montgomery County on any given night, more than 800 people are considered homeless, and more than 70 people are considered to go unsheltered, according to Montgomery County Homeless Solutions.

UD joins Miami Valley Hospital, Montgomery County and the cities of Dayton and Kettering as partners to fund the $5-million project that will create two new 24-hour shelters. The shelters are scheduled to open mid-2009 and will offer services to help the homeless make rapid transitions into permanent housing and jobs.

Curran is a trustee on the community-led Homeless Solutions Policy Board, which approved the plan.

"Dayton, like so many urban areas, is affected by the struggling economy and the problems that contribute to homelessness," Curran said. "We are pleased to join our community partners in moving quickly to improve access to these needed services."

Under the new shelter system:

Homeless men will be served 24 hours a day in a new Men's Gateway Shelter located in the former Dayton Human Rehabilitation Center on South Gettysburg Avenue.

Homeless women and families will be served 24 hours a day at the St. Vincent Hotel on Apple Street.

The Other Place will provide housing-focused case management and referrals to community resources and employment opportunities. It will close its daytime shelter on Patterson Avenue.

UD's contribution to the new shelter system continues the University's long history of engagement and leadership in community improvement efforts that include community and economic development, support for neighborhood community schools, service internships and stewardship of the Great Miami River and surrounding environment.

In a national ranking issued in 2006, the University of Dayton ranked third in the "extraordinary efforts" it makes to the renewal and revitalization of its surrounding community. The "Saviors of Our Cities" list recognizes the top 25 universities and colleges that are "exemplary examples of community revitalization and cultural renewal, economic drivers of the local economy, advocates of community service and urban developers, both commercially as well as in housing."

For more information, contact Meagan Pant, assistant director of media relations, at 937-229-3256 or mpant1@udayton.edu.