Troy seeks federal funds to renovate struggling homeless shelter

The Buckeye House homeless shelter for men in Troy.

Combined ShapeCaption
The Buckeye House homeless shelter for men in Troy.

A pre-application the city submitted to state officials was approved, opening the door for next steps.

TROY — The city of Troy and the Miami County Family Abuse Shelter are combining efforts in hopes of securing COVID-19 response money to do nearly $500,000 in renovations to the Buckeye House homeless shelter for men.

The shelter, located at 411-413 S. Market St. in Troy, is operated by the Family Abuse Shelter and Barb Holman, its executive director. The Buckeye House shelters 200 homeless single men and families each year.

Holman reached out to the city for help with the renovations at the Buckeye House after hearing about the Targets of Opportunity CARES Act funding through the Ohio Department of Development, said Nikki Reese, city of Troy community development director.

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The grant money is designed to help reduce the spread of COVID in congregate settings. The proposal is for $488,000 for the project and $5,000 for administration.

The Buckeye House had been housing up to 15 people at any time but, because of tight quarters inside, the number of residents was reduced to eight to meet CDC guidelines.

“When we saw this funding, we thought this might be the answer, so we can get back to being responsive to the community,” Holman said.

Holman contacted the Community Development Block Grant program representative at the Ohio DOD and reviewed the proposed Buckeye House Renovation Project to see if it would qualify. A pre-application submitted by the city was approved, opening the door for the city to submit a full application.

The city was not approached by any other Troy organizations about this grant, Reese said, and the Troy City Council is expected to approve the application this month.

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“At the Buckeye House, everything is so enclosed, the kitchen is so narrow. We are really struggling,” Holman said. “We thought this would be an opportunity for us to get repairs to be able to create some separation in the shelter.”

Projects proposed include replacing a “very, very dated” HVAC system, adding filters for better air quality, moving a wall to add more open space and moving the laundry room to a new space that would be added to the house. Electricity would be run to a garage so a freezer can be relocated, again creating more open space within the house’s walls.

All three restrooms, which Holman said are “in very poor condition,” would be renovated for better accessibility and easier cleaning.

“It is a big project. If we can get this done, we can get our capacity back up as well,” she said.

Holman said she appreciated the city’s support of the grant.

“We both have a vested interest in making sure that services stay open for the homeless. We don’t want to have people out there potentially getting or spreading the virus because they don’t have a home,” she said.

The shelter is ready to move forward if the grant receives final approval and once bids are received. The grant would be administered by the city.

Contact this contributing writer at nancykburr@aol.com

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