MIDDLETOWN, Ohio — Buses could be running as the next homeless shelter in one Cincinnati-area town, but as advocates are pushing for the money to do it, those in the streets say it can’t come soon enough. 

What You Need To Know

  • The Coalition for a Healthy Middletown is trying to bring in three buses to the town that will serve as homeless shelters

  • Each bus would have 20 beds inside that would be used as an overnight emergency shelter

  • Advocates are asking the city for $360,000 to pay for the buses

When Leslie Graves left an abusive relationship she lost everything, she said.

“Currently we sleep under a canopy... down by the flood wall,” said Graves. 

She lost her home and lost custody of her four kids, but she still has a pet cat. 

“My animals make me feel like I didn’t fail as a mom, if that makes any sense. So I look at it as a do-over,” said Graves. 

She’s been living with cats in the streets of Middletown for the last year but the streets aren’t always safe. 

“My cat Socks got poisoned two weeks ago, and she died last Sunday,” said Graves. 

One group is hoping a bus turned into a homeless shelter will help change that. 

“We’re looking for housing for people who are un-homed so that they can get a safe sleep where they don’t have to worry about anybody stealing their merchandise or harming them in the night,” said Graves. 

Adriane Scherrer is a community advocate with the group Coalition for a Healthy Middletown. They’re trying to bring in three buses, each one with 20 beds, along with toilets, a shower, a place for pets and room for luggage. 

“We would go to four different places to pick people up to be a part of it, all of those places would be in close proximity to where they have gotten food for dinner. We’ll pick them up, they stay overnight in the bus, we take them in the morning to a facility where they can get a hot breakfast,” said Scherrer.

She estimates the group will need more than $360,000 to make it a reality. So far they’ve asked city council for the money, but don’t know yet if they’ll get it. 

If they do, they estimate the buses could be here in six weeks.

Leslie Graves said she’ll be on board. 

“Stuff like the buses being turned into a shelter would be very appreciated so we can not only make sure we’re protected, but our whole family,” said Graves.