York Street Shelter FAQs

May 31, 2019

 

Welcome House of Northern Kentucky, Inc. is developing a long-term shelter for men at 601 York Street in Newport, Kentucky – a site occupied by Transition’s drug and alcohol rehab center and halfway for more than a quarter century. It will serve men who have health issues or are disabled, young men between 18-24, men who struggle to keep up with employment in today’s changing economy, and veterans. These men have asked for help and are already working with Welcome House staff to find employment and permanent housing. Although they will sleep at the York Street location, they will consistently commute to Welcome House’s Covington headquarters for case management, healthcare and employment assistance. The facility will be staffed 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and residents will be expected to follow a set of rules.

For nearly four decades, Welcome House has provided sheltering services for the homeless in Northern Kentucky. Our facilities are well run by full-time staff and we pride ourselves in being good neighbors. We will bring the same professionalism to our York Street location.

This facility is needed in Newport, which already has 13 of Campbell County’s 15 homeless camps. In 2018, a homeless man in Newport died because he couldn’t find housing – a death that was completely avoidable.

Here are some frequently asked questions about this project.

 

What, exactly, is the Welcome House proposing for the York Street building?

Welcome House’s York Street location will NOT be a flop house or night-by-night shelter. It will serve men who have health issues or are disabled, young men between 18-24, men who struggle to keep up with employment in today’s changing economy, and veterans. They have asked for help and are already working with Welcome House staff to find employment and permanent housing. Although they will sleep at the York Street location, they will consistently commute to Welcome House’s Covington headquarters for case management, healthcare and employment assistance. The facility will be staffed 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and residents will be expected to follow a set of rules.

 

What business was previously located in this building?

For more than a quarter century, the building housed Transitions, a drug and alcohol rehab center and halfway house.

 

Why is the York Street building so important to Welcome House?

The York Street building is already set up for congregate use, with numerous bedrooms, a commercial kitchen and fire system. This type of use, including individual bedrooms and gathering areas, is the best-case scenario to helping these vulnerable men get back on their feet. It is on the bus line. And it has already housed the same type of use.

 

Will the Welcome House building on York Street lead to additional activity in and around the building by homeless people seeking shelter or other services?

Absolutely not. The York Street building will ONLY house men who have asked for help and are already working with Welcome House on employment and permanent housing. They will stay at York Street between 30 and 90 days. When they are staying at the York Street facility, they will be inside, not on the street or sidewalk.

 

Isn’t this facility better off locating in Boone County or elsewhere?

No. These services need to be offered where public transportation is available so the men can access services, employment and housing. That is not to say similar facilities aren’t needed elsewhere; they are. But that doesn’t mean they are NOT needed in Newport – which has 13 of Campbell County’s 15 homeless camps and where a homeless man died in 2018 because he couldn’t find housing.

 

Didn’t Welcome House consult the zoning regulations before it bought the building?

Of course we did. Transitions was permitted for a quarter century as a “nonconforming use.” We are proposing the exact same use, so zoning should not be an issue.

 

Aren’t there similar services for veterans available elsewhere, like the VA Hospitals?

The Veterans Administration and other agencies who help veterans work hard to fill this need, but they simply cannot serve every veteran who needs help. Welcome House’s York Street building will fill this gap, particularly the need for affordable housing and wrap-around services.

 

Will locating the Welcome House building on York increase crime or lower property values in the neighborhood?

There is absolutely nothing to suggest that it will. That has not been the case in any of the other Welcome House facilities and, to our knowledge, was not an issue in the quarter century that Transitions operated there. On the contrary, providing homeless men with the help they need to find a job and permanent housing, while providing a place for them to live, would improve Newport’s economic situation by lessening the need for City services and turning these men into taxpaying members of the workforce.