Nonprofit started by Beavercreek woman helps caregivers care for homeless cats

Chris Banks (bottom left) and volunteers with the Dayton Community Cat Project in front of over 20 cat shelters built on Nov. 13. LONDON BISHOP/STAFF
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Chris Banks (bottom left) and volunteers with the Dayton Community Cat Project in front of over 20 cat shelters built on Nov. 13. LONDON BISHOP/STAFF

For volunteers with the Dayton Community Cat Project, their work is just as much about people as it is about animals. The organization, launched by Chris Banks in December 2020, is a community cat resource for people taking care of homeless cats in Dayton and surrounding communities.

Chris Banks launched Dayton Community Cat Project out of the knowledge that hundreds of people were already feeding thousands of homeless cats in Dayton, and that there was an unmet need to provide for those caring for them. Dayton Community Cat Project gives food, supplies, and resources to 35 caregivers who feed and provide for 427 cats across the region.

“Our caregivers are the heroes,” Banks said.

In addition to providing food, traps, and cat shelters, the organization also points people in the direction of adoption centers and preventive services such as Trap, Neuter, and Release programs.

“Our primary focus is providing food, but we also get calls about taking cats in,” Banks said. “We give information for organizations that do that, and some avenues they maybe didn’t consider before.”

Volunteer Donna Morrow said that Banks’ work goes beyond what happens with Dayton Community Cat Project, as she once helped a homeless caregiver and her two cats find housing.

“She has a heart of gold,” Morrow said. “She takes care of God’s little creatures and the people who take care of them.”

Linda Fuller-Crosa and her husband Gregg taught Banks when she was at Beavercreek High School.

“I think the program that she’s started to help cats in Dayton is phenomenal,” Fuller-Crosa said. “She was an outstanding student and an outstanding young lady, and it doesn’t surprise me she would be involved with something like this.”

“I think about this work every hour of my day,” Banks said. “I don’t know how to explain it, but there’s no way I could ignore it. It’s stressful, but it brings me an immense amount of joy.”

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