Bethany Center opens up Wilma’s Place, a men’s shelter


PIQUA – With the winter storm fast approaching, homeless individuals may be seeking places to shelter away from the storm.

The Bethany Center, located at 339 South St. in Piqua, recently opened up the Wilma’s Place at Bethany Center, a men’s shelter, on Friday, Dec. 16. Any male individual is invited to stay safe and warm while the storm passes through the Miami Valley. Individuals are allowed to stay as long as necessary. According to Shawn Rickert with the Bethany Center, the shelter will be open until April 1.

Individuals with unstable housing situation are invited to stay the night at the shelter. The shelter will take in individuals between 8 and 9 p.m. daily. Individuals stay throughout the night and leave after 7:30 a.m.

Rickert stated, “We have connections with many other local agencies and shelters. We can connect women and children who need assistance with these agencies and other shelters.”

Rickert mentioned the Family Abuse Shelter in Troy and St. Vincent De Paul Shelter in Dayton as connections and other locations individuals could stay.

“We have protocols in place to make sure children are not left on the streets,” said Rickert.

Rickert thanked the community for their support in creating the shelter.

“There’s been so many people and organizations that have helped. We’ve had help at a county-level and city-level then we have local area philanthropists, churches, and other supportive groups, including local law enforcement,” said Rickert. “We thank the community for making it happen, but we could still use their continued support to keep it open. We could use volunteers and monetary donations”

Since its opening last Friday, the shelter has already been in use and has helped several people. Wilma Earls founded the Bethany Center before her passing.

“This has been a vision of Wilma’s from almost the beginning of the Bethany Center. People from this community have come together to help create this,” said Rickert.

The Bethany Center can be contacted at 937-615-9762.

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