More than a decade after the closing of the Queensgate Jail, part of the eight-story former correctional facility will be transformed into a day center for those experiencing homelessness, the nonprofit Maslow’s Army announced.
The lease for the property was signed Dec. 2.
The homeless center’s planned opening, set for Dec. 15, comes at a time when otherwise available refuges from the winter cold, like libraries and stores, are being shuttered to the public amid the pandemic.
In a press release, Susan Landis, board chair and co-founder of the nonprofit, said that people living on the streets often have few places to find warmth during the day.
“Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a lot of these temporary reprieves are closed,” Landis said in the press release. “This day center will fill in the gap's services for those in need during the daytime hours.”
Landis and her husband, Samuel Landis, co-founded Maslow's Army after each spent years experiencing homelessness first-hand. The center will use 20,000 square feet of the 140,000-square-foot jail that once housed low- and medium-security inmates. Hamilton County closed the facility in 2008 amid budget cuts.
The nonprofit says the center will officially be named The Maslow’s Army Todd B. Portune Memorial Winter Day-Center, after the late Hamilton County Commissioner, "because of his very close relationship with Maslow’s Army and his deep and committed work to humanity."
Located at 516 Linn St., the center will be open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week. According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the center will be able to hold up to 350 people with social distancing.
For more info, visit maslowsarmy.org.