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Local Mission Works to Help Homeless Left Out in the Cold

Jeff Kaiser is executive director of Haven of Rest Ministries in Akron
Jeff Kaiser is executive director of Haven of Rest Ministries in Akron

Bitter cold weather can be the worst for those who have no home. One of Akron's homeless shelters is doing what it can to help them. 

"Right now the men are on overflow," said Jeff Kaiser, executive director of Haven of Rest Ministries."

Haven of Rest has 100 beds for male guests. Its facility for women and children, Harvest Home, can normally accommodate 59. Kaiser said they're currently serving about 230 people. 

"Any time we get a cold spell like this we’re always prepared for the extra amount of people."

Kaiser says Haven of Rest has been collaborating with the city and other organizations to help those displaced by the recent shutdown of the tent city where homeless had been living in Akron's Middlebury neighborhood.

"I think the city and the collaboration that went on um the outcome obviously some people agreed with it some people didn’t, but we really don’t want anybody staying outside. "

Haven of Rest is open 24/7. With demand unlikely to decrease soon, Kaiser said they welcome donations of food or warm clothing. 

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A Northeast Ohio native, Sarah Taylor graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she worked at her first NPR station, WMUB. She began her professional career at WCKY-AM in Cincinnati and spent two decades in television news, the bulk of them at WKBN in Youngstown (as Sarah Eisler). For the past three years, Sarah has taught a variety of courses in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Kent State, where she is also pursuing a Master’s degree. Sarah and her husband Scott, have two children. They live in Tallmadge.