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Cuyahoga County men's shelter unveils newly renovated addition with more beds and more space

Bunk beds in cubicle-like spaces line a green and white hallway.
Gabriel Kramer
Ideastream Public Media
The newly updated space has 114 beds.

Cuyahoga County unveiled a newly renovated 14,000 square foot addition to the Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry men’s shelter on Lakeside Avenue in Downtown Cleveland Tuesday.

The building, purchased by the county in 2021, was renovated using a $4.5 million investment the county made to the shelter using American Rescue Plan Act funding in 2022. The addition, which includes 114 beds, is at 2020 Lakeside Ave., down the street from the already existing part of the shelter at 2100 Lakeside Ave., which has 365 beds.

The county plans to renovate and reconfigure the original space and will likely eliminate some of the beds at 2020 Lakeside Ave. The ministry said it will still have about 415 beds total when those updates are complete.

Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne at the Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry men's shelter addition unveiling on March 5, 2024.
Gabriel Kramer
Ideastream Public Media
Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne at the Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry men's shelter addition unveiling on March 5, 2024.

The goal of the extension is not just to serve more people, but also to provide more comfortable, spacious, private spaces to those staying in the shelter, said Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne.

“It is a space that gives dignity, gives some privacy. It gives the men an opportunity to reflect,” Ronayne said. “This is all the building block toward more permanent housing.”

The addition has semi-private rooms with personal lockers, power outlets and lights for each bed. Michael Sering is Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry’s vice president of housing and shelter. He said the design of the new space will be appreciated by residents who had issues with sharing amenities in the original location.

“We’ve had little USB charging stations, and then people gather around for three charging stations,” Sering said. "Or somebody’s worried they don’t want to take a shower and get their phone stolen, so really the thoughtfulness of this design is really much improved."

The new building is also better suited for those with Americans with Disabilities Act needs.

For many people staying at the shelter, there’s a period of the day when they need to leave the shelter. When they come back after the shelter reopens fully, getting a bed for the night is dependent on availability.

The increased number of beds is beneficial to people like George Glassmeyer, who said he’s been staying at the men’s shelter this week.

“It would help me out a hell of a lot,” Glassmeyer said. “Sunday night was my first night here. They gave me a temporary bed for last night, and then we can go back in and get another bed if they have any. The big word is ‘if.’”

The space also has brand-new showers and shared community spaces with televisions. People staying at the shelter can also receive wrap-around services including job assistance, permanent housing help and healthcare services.

Corrected: March 6, 2024 at 9:03 AM EST
An earlier version of this story said the renovated shelter was unveiled Monday. It was Tuesday.
Gabriel Kramer is a reporter/producer and the host of “NewsDepth,” Ideastream Public Media's news show for kids.