Haven of Rest

a photo of Jeff Kaiser from Haven of Rest Ministries
SARAH TAYLOR / WKSU

Bitter cold weather can be the worst for those who have no home. One of Akron's homeless shelters is doing what it can to help them. 

"Right now the men are on overflow," said Jeff Kaiser, executive director of Haven of Rest Ministries."

Haven of Rest has 100 beds for male guests. Its facility for women and children, Harvest Home, can normally accommodate 59. Kaiser said they're currently serving about 230 people. 

"Any time we get a cold spell like this we’re always prepared for the extra amount of people."

Mark Arehart / WKSU

With temperatures expected to plummet in the next few days, warming centers are extending their hours throughout the region. But in Akron, options are limited for those who need to get warm in the middle of the night.

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photo of Paul Herman and Paul Hays
KABIR BHATIA / WKSU

Tonight, Ohio cities will be conducting their annual count to determine how many homeless people are out there. It’s the first count since Akron and Youngstown each considered legislation aimed at reducing panhandling. Opponents said they were actually thinly veiled attempts at criminalizing homelessness. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports on where each city is at today in helping its homeless population.

photo of Haven of Rest logo
HAVEN OF REST MINISTRIES

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.