SIDNEY — Sidney couple Donald and Jane Kemp were presented an award from the Sidney mayor’s office at the FISH charity organization on Wednesday for the donation of their home to the Bridges Community Action Partnership.
City Councilman Ed Hamaker gave a brief proclamation on behalf of the mayor and declared Feb. 14, 2018, Donald and Jane Kemp Day in honor of their noteworthy donation.
Married for 64 years, the Kemps made the decision to donate their home of 47 years after moving into Ohio Living Dorothy Love retirement community two years ago.
“We didn’t want to bother selling it,” Jane said. “Our first thought was helping with the housing for the drug problem, then we found out they already had houses (for that).”
The Kemps soon learned about the Bridges Community Action Partnership and the work the organization does to aid those affected by poverty and felt their home could go toward assisting families in need.
Rochelle Twining, executive director of BCAP, said the Kemp’s home will be called the Path Shelter and will be the second of its kind in Ohio.
“We opened a similar shelter in London,” Twining said. “It’s more of a family home (and) more transitional.”
“We have a waiver from the state to allow us to operate in a more family atmosphere and less of an institutional atmosphere,” Twining continued. “So, because of the success of that first shelter, because of the generosity of the Kemps, we’re now able to offer that service to Shelby County.”
The home will be used to house one family at a time with a focus on families with children. A requirement of staying in the house is that residents must be making an effort to improve their situation.
“They have to show that they’re making an effort to find stable housing (and) to find work,” Twining said.
“They’re not going to come in and sit around,” said Lynda Lukey, manager of Shelby County BCAP. “We really work on self-sufficiency.”
BCAP will work closely with the families to ensure they have all the resources necessary to aid in their housing and job searches, Lukey said.
Each family is allowed a maximum of 40 days within the home, but may leave sooner if their housing needs are met prior to the deadline.
“It is our hope that those families who come to the Kemp house will never find themselves in a position again where they need a place to stay,” Twining said. “We cannot guarantee everybody’s future, but we can certainly guarantee, for the time that (the families) are with us, they will be well-treated and they will be given the tools to find a better future.”
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