Safe House Ministries establishes new rules after stabbing incident

Published: Oct. 25, 2023 at 5:45 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - It is an open door for the homeless in the area, but neighbors near Safehouse Ministries in Columbus are concerned that residents are causing problems after the shelter closes each day.

A stabbing took place three weeks ago, and officials at Safe House Ministries laid down some ground rules for those who frequently visit the facility.

Safe House is open from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. and after 2 p.m., no one should be on the property. Leaders of the facility held a meeting this morning with those who use the shelter, urging them to abide by the rules and stay off the property when the shelter is closed.

Being a good neighbor means having respect for the people who live near Safehouse ministries says the Director of the Homeless Shelter Neil Richardson.

‘’We talked about trash pickup hanging around when we’re closed and around the neighborhood when we don’t need to be. You know the problem with a handful of people might be drinking and drugging from time to time or somebody just might be having a bad day and maybe their behavior could be better,’’ said Richardson.

With a rise in homelessness in the Chattahoochee Valley, many need someplace to go during the day. News Leader 9 spoke with an organizer of Point in Time, an organization focused on helping the homeless.

Community Case Director Terricka Barnes said there has been an increase in homelessness in the last year.

‘’In general, just for homeless men whether they are in a shelter or unsheltered it’s a 17% increase, and for females whether shelter or unsheltered it is a 5% increase,’’ said Barnes.

Safe House Ministries is still open to anyone who needs help between the hours of 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. They will also have extended hours once chillier weather arrives.