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A dozen individuals seek emergency shelter

BY SHARON BARDONNER - sbardonner@ftimes.com

Twelve individuals found relief from the recent bone-chilling temperatures by seeking haven in the temporary shelter offered at the First Church of the Nazarene in Frankfort. 

Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes and Center Township Trustee Kevin Evans, working with other local officials such as Clinton County Central Dispatch Director Renee Crick, Police Chief Troy Bacon and Fire Chief John Kirby, developed a plan so local people without someplace safe to get out of the cold could take shelter at the church.

Evans told members of the Frankfort City Council Monday evening that all but one of those served were Center Township residents. Another person was offered shelter but refused it, he noted.

The process was set up so that a call to 911 triggered Clinton County Central Dispatch to deploy the appropriate local public safety authorities (police, fire, EMS) to connect individuals with emergency housing placement.

Those sheltered also could take a shower and receive a meal through the Center Township Trustee’s Office.

“The plan worked magnificently,” Evans told the council. “As soon as I got a call they immediately were connected to a place to stay.”

But Evans hopes to find a long-term fix for homeless Center Township residents.

“Frankfort has a situational homeless problem caused by eviction, often multiple times and family member issues,” he said.

McBarnes noted that he plans to meet with the Clinton County Commissioners and a couple of faith-based leaders as well to discuss possible remedies.

Providing emergency relief is one of the township trustee’s roles and an issue that should be addressed immediately when it arises, said Evans. 

“No other trustee in the county has done this nor any other township in the state,” he said of the improvised plan.