New Homeless Shelter Coming to Parkersburg

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Tucked away under a bridge with nothing but the clothes on their back. Shad Martin and his family have been lending food and clothing to these people without homes for the last two years.

"And as we were doing that we started to realize we were really just enabling that situation to stay, we weren't really giving them a hand," explains Martin.

That's when Martin decided to do something a little different. Martin found people representing different churches throughout the community, starting a non profit foundation.

And the dream began... "What we're looking at is going to be the future home of an emergency shelter and a an emergency drop in shelter you know for residents to come in and just stay over night," describes Martin.

The shelter will start with 25 beds, donated by Marietta College. The shelter located just off of Lynn Street Church of Christ.

Martin says those won't house everyone who needs it, but will support some during the harder times.

"The last count we had we actually had about 40 to 50 people living out on the river and that's the current count that we know of," says Martin.

The shelter doesn't stop there. Martin says they're looking at long term goals, the shelter plans to expand into a yearly program, housing people to help get them out of their current situation.

"Just to really help them out, to plug them in with all the different resources in the community, to really just get out of those situations, we call it more of a hand-up instead of a hand-out," explains Martin.

They also hope to develop the shelter to have clothing recycling and thrift store, they say there is also room for a domestic abuse and battered women abuse shelter.

There will be a benefit dinner August 23 with food donated by local restaurants, all proceeds will go towards the shelter. Tickets are on Sale at the Christian Book store.

For more information, ways to donate and volunteering visit:

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