Community Impact

CareSource Funding Assists More than 10,000 Ohioans Struggling with Homelessness

February 2nd, 2022 | 3 min read

Family in front of home smiling at camera

In January 2021, CareSource made a $1 million grant to the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO) to redistribute the funding to dozens of local agencies that were battling the dual crises of COVID-19 and homelessness. The goal of the grant was to support community organizations that were struggling to continue providing shelter and housing services due to increased need stemming from the economic recession.

“CareSource really came through for Ohioans who didn’t have a safe place to live during a time of dire need. Their generous donation helped thousands of people survive the dual crises of homelessness and COVID-19,” said Bill Faith, Executive Director of COHHIO. “We appreciate CareSource for recognizing that safe, decent, affordable housing is a prerequisite for wellness and a healthy future for Ohio’s families.”

Funds could be used to help local shelter programs obtain masks, gloves, sanitization supplies, cleaning services, and staffing they need to continue operating safely. Funding was also used to pay for hotel rooms for at-risk populations, day shelter and warming stations, and outreach workers.

COHHIO distributed the money to help local homeless agencies, housing providers and domestic violence shelters obtain critical supplies and cover increased costs associated with the pandemic. More than 10,000 individuals without housing were assisted because of the grant.

“This funding was generously offered at a critical time, said Jenna Van Laningham, Donor Relations & Grants Manager at Strategies to End Homelessness in Hamilton County. “The traditional Winter Shelter was opening but at a lower capacity due to COVID-19 social distancing requirements. And the locations in the Cincinnati city center where people experiencing street homelessness usually go to escape the cold, had very limited hours or were closed altogether. These flexible funds allowed the community to open a Day Shelter so people could stay warm and dry during the winter months. Additionally the funding allowed us to divert more people away from needing shelter and directly into stable housing. We appreciate the generosity of CareSource for supporting this critical work.”

While the numbers are compelling, individual stories illustrate the effectiveness of this grant as well. The Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry in Cleveland, Ohio shared that Alan came to the shelter in March of 2020. He had lost his job due to the COVID-19 pandemic. He did however find employment at a local factory and works many odd hours. Because of his work schedule, it was difficult, if not impossible, to find suitable housing because time off searching for housing could result in termination. With funds and their program, the Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry located a unit for Alan to be able to lay a foundation and he successfully moved into housing.

“Ohio is fortunate to have a large network of tireless, dedicated housing assistance providers across the state,” said Steve Ringel, CareSource Ohio Market President. “From homeless prevention services to emergency shelters and supportive housing, these community champions have provided shelter and kept people safe during the pandemic. CareSource is proud to partner with COHHIO to provide support for shelters to continue serving the most vulnerable Ohioans.”