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Emergency Shelter Finds New Home in Covington

The Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky (ESNKY) announced Wednesday that it has found a new home in Covington.

The shelter will move from its current home on the 600 block of Scott Boulevard to 436 West 13th Street.

According to Kenton County property records, the building at that site was purchased by St. Elizabeth Healthcare for $650,000 from Steffen's, a tool rental company.

The shelter made the announcement with St. Elizabeth and Kenton County, which owns the shelter's current home on Scott.

The new location is expected to open in late 2020.

The Emergency Shelter opened on Scott in 2008. The new site will offer shelter guests access to local partners to help assist the homeless population.

“We’re extremely excited about our new home, because a newer and better designed facility is exactly what ESNKY needs to more effectively address the problem of homelessness,” said Kim Webb, executive director of ESNKY, who will also oversee ESNKY’s new home. “Our mission is to continue saving and changing lives, while also being the best corporate citizen and neighbor we can be,” added Webb.

The new ESNKY shelter will provide:

·24-hour sheltering during extreme temperatures (hot and cold).

·Onsite medical clinic, provided by St. Elizabeth Healthcare.

·A Mental Health Court Diversion Program partnered with Northern Kentucky Regional Mental Health Community Corrections.

·Daytime restroom, shower and laundry services.

·Locker storage that will hold clothing, IDs, birth certificates, Social Security cards, medicine and other personal belongings.

·Mail services, including use of street address, as allowed by Kentucky statute for job applications, ID’s, benefits, social security cards, tax records, and health care enrollment.

“This is the culmination of over 10 years of effort to find a location that works best for the shelter, and we have many people to be grateful for in seeing this come to fruition.  However, this is not the end of the effort, it’s just the beginning,” said Kris Knochelmann, Kenton County judge/executive. “We want zero weather-related deaths, and pathways to long-term housing and personal stability for our residents, so, as we begin a new year, I hope others in our community will join us in this effort. We can work together to give people a means to get beyond homelessness and become productive members of our community,” added Knochelmann.

“This new shelter is the result of months of productive discussions among all the groups involved, including the City of Covington,” said David Johnston, Covington city manager. “The new location is slightly larger than the current facility and will provide far more services than just overnight stays. This facility and expanded programs is a first step in dealing with a significant homeless situation on a regional level. We are glad to continue sitting at the table using the data from the Regional Task Force, for more dialogue and more service locations developed throughout Northern Kentucky,” Johnston added.

“St. Elizabeth Healthcare is proud to partner with Kenton County and the Emergency Shelter of Northern Kentucky to serve the immediate health needs of homeless guests who otherwise would not have access to these resources,” said Garren Colvin, president and chief executive officer of St. Elizabeth Healthcare. “Having an on-site health clinic will allow us to perform certain screenings and immunizations, provide early intervention and treatment options for specific health concerns, and connect guests to community resources for ongoing and follow-up care.”

Webb, the shelter director, said ESNKY will partner with agencies that will help guests reduce time spent in shelter and end their homelessness. Current partners of ESNKY include:

·Brighton Center

·Center for Independent Living

·Fairhaven Rescue Mission

·KY Career Center

·Legal Aid of Bluegrass

·Life Learning Center

·Mental Health of America

·NorthKey Community Care

·Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission

·Sun Behavioral Health

·Transitions, Inc.

·VA Hospital

·Welcome House

·Women’s Crisis Center

-Staff report

Photo via Kenton PVA