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Community Shelter Board announces progress with the homeless

Estimates are there are between 100 and 300 people living on the streets or on the land in Columbus. The Community Shelter Board said it's made progress in helping to place many of these people in permanent housing.

Since August of last year the Community Shelter Board has assisted 107 people with getting a place to stay. And 66 of those are in permanent housing.

Executive director of the Community Shelter Board, Barbara Poppe, said the initiative helps those without access to shelter the get the help they need.

"Our newest work is really focused on those truly down and out, on the streets, living under the bridges and along the river banks with absolutely no place to go," Poppe said.

It's called Critical Access to Housing or CAH. Poppe said surprisingly many homeless people do have some kind of steady income. But they just have not been able to save enough to get their own place. Other people have issues, like criminal records, that have prevented them from renting. She said CAH can help them do that.

"They just haven't been able to save up enough money for first month's rent, and security deposit and to get the furnishings together to move into their own place. So sometimes it's just a matter of short term assistance. In some cases these individuals have more long-term challenges that they're facing related to a history of domestic violence, a history of addiction or mental illness or long-term health problems. And for those individuals they are at a greater need of what we call permanent supportive housing," Poppe said.

Poppe said CAH housing is located throughout the community near jobs and bus lines. Funding for the program comes from the city, Franklin County Board of Commissioners and private donations.