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Northeast Ohio Homeless Shelters Prepare for Christmas Crowd

photo of Haven of Rest logo
Haven of Rest is a homeless shelter located in Akron Ohio that was founded in 1943.

Homeless shelters in the area are preparing for what may be one of their busiest day of the year: Christmas.

According to a report by The Continuum of Care, nearly 900 Summit County residents were homeless in 2014. This number has risen by nearly 10 percent in the past decade.

The Rev. Jeff Kaiser, executive director for The Haven of Rest, says the increase might be due to the more complex issues he sees affecting visitors at the homeless shelter.

“It used to be, we were dealing with most people -- men that would come in that were just dealing with alcohol. Today, the issue is a lot more complicated. There’s mental health; there’s multiple addiction issues; there’s the issue of lack of motivation to work.”

Kaiser says that dealing with these issues is the shelter’s biggest challenge.

The Haven of Rest will be offering three meals, chapel services and personal care bags this Christmas.