Caring Kitchen receives grant for shelter operations

The Caring Kitchen received a $110,000 Ohio Development Services grant to help fund its homeless shelter operational costs.

The two-year Homeless Crisis Response Program Ohio Development Services Agency grant will pay for operations costs, such as staffing, and some maintenance needs, Caring Kitchen Executive Director Marilyn Cohn said. The grant does not cover other programs at the Caring Kitchen, which include the food pantry and soup kitchen.

The grant has been awarded to the Caring Kitchen for decades, Cohn said.

The Caring Kitchen has a $280,000 annual budget, Administrative Secretary Edith Kastl said. The center has nine employees; two of them are full-time.

Much of the work done at the Caring Kitchen comes from volunteers, and many of the funds come from donations. The center also has community service workers helping out from the Department of Job and Family Services, and has some workers coming through the court system, Cohn said.

“We are blessed with our volunteers,” she said. “And we couldn’t make it without donations.”

The Caring Kitchen served 159 clients in 2015 at the homeless shelter, with an average stay of 26.8 days, according to its records.

For more information about The Caring Kitchen, visit

By Casey S. Elliott

Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.