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Anonymous Donor Pledges Match For Shelter Board

In an effort to help the homeless and encourage others to give, an anonymous donor has offered to match Columbus City Council's emergency funds for a local homeless shelter. Council is expected to vote on the legislation at Monday's meeting.

An anonymous Columbus Foundation donor has pledged to match - up to $300,000 - the emergency legislation Columbus City Council is expected to pass to help the Community Shelter Board.

Columbus Foundation President and CEO Doug Kridler says a donation of this size is rare.

"It's remarkable because how nimble and quick acting this effort is. It's remarkable because of the size of the contribution. And it's remarkable because no credit is being sought for standing up for the less fortunate in our community in this extraordinary way," Kridler said.

Kridler said the donor hopes to inspire others to give. The donor has stipulated the money be used for the Shelter Board's repaid re-housing program.

Last week, Columbus City Council President Mike Mentel proposed $300,000 in emergency funding be directed from the city's General Fund to the Shelter Board.

The Shelter Board said it has spent nearly $200,000 this year on overflow housing. That's compared to a mere $5,000 last year. The number of overflow shelter nights for families, so far this year, has increased more than 3,700 percent.

While the winter weather may propel the need for housing, Shelter Board Executive Director Michelle Heritage-Ward says the economy has caused the increase in demand.