The Ashland Angle: ACCESS
Originally Published 1/11/22 by WMFD
This week, Host (and Mayor) Matt Miller talks about the Ashland Church Community Emergency Shelter Services with Executive Director Cathy Thiemens and Guest Liaison Sunny McCarty.
In the City of Ashland, homelessness isn't always visible - some people may sleep in their cars, in unoccupied buildings, or even couch-surfing with friends or relatives. To address this issue, the ACCESS (Ashland Church Community Emergency Shelter Services) program serves as a way to help improve people's lives within the City of Ashland.
In 2008, the Ashland County Homeless Coalition developed a program that began in Medina County called "Operation Homes." In this program, homeless guests would stay at a church for one week before moving to a different partner-host church. In 2015, Cathy Thiemens was giving a presentation on the subject when a community member who saw her presentation gifted the ACHC with four apartments that were purchased within the City of Ashland.
Guests are able to access the program through the Ashland Salvation Army Kroc Center and are required to call in and fill out a housing form. On average, a guest will stay up to three months in temporary housing arrangements as they work on employment and housing budgets.