A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Welcome House celebrates its 40th anniversary, poised to grow; announces campaign for new shelter

Since 1982, Welcome House’s mission has been to provide a continuum of services that will end
homelessness and promote stability for each person the non-profit serves.

Started by a coalition of churches in Covington, Fr. William Henry Mertes from Mother of God noticed an uptick of homeless women and children throughout the city. With his help and other local churches, they started a homeless shelter for women and children on the corner of Russel and Pike St.

In 1982, Welcome House was incorporated and started to provide other homeless services along with the shelter for women and children. Forty years later, Welcome House has served over 90,000 local men, women, and children experiencing homelessness.

Welcome House has accomplished its mission by providing services through two specific areas: Homeless Solutions and Housing Services, which has 11 programs and three shelters: Women’s and Children’s Shelter, Veteran’s Shelter, and Family Promise. These programs play an integral part in finding those in need of homeless services, assessing what their exact needs are, and then strategizing how we are able to respond to their needs.

Welcome House also owns 93 affordable housing units in total.

The new Shelter for Homeless Women and Children is on its way at the corner of 12th and Greenup in Covington.

Each of these programs is designed to help program participants remove barriers to find and maintain stable housing through various resources such as financial assistance, benefits acquisition for those experiencing mental and/or physical disabilities, and find housing for families with children.

“It’s pretty amazing to think that 40 years ago we started with a staff of one and today we have grown to a staff of over 50, over 600 volunteers, and services expanding to the southern-most part of the state,” says Danielle Amrine, CEO. “Our continual growth not only shows the need for these services, but also the unwavering support from the community that we are fully capable of helping those experiencing homelessness.”

After 40 years in the community Welcome House has embarked upon an $8 million capital project to build a new shelter for homeless women and children as well as a center for all programs and services.

Welcome House has started the foundation construction to their new 20,000-square foot facility that will double its capacity to serve the homeless. The state-of-the-art Homeless Services Center will allow Welcome House to provide safe, clean, and dignified care while easing the transition into permanent, sustained housing.

In addition to providing more room for women and children, the Center will also increase capacity for two-parent families – a population only Welcome House serves – as well as elderly and transitional age youth. Significantly, the center brings all Welcome House services – currently offered at eight different locations – under one roof, making it easier for clients to access them.

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“Welcome House is always aggressive about helping address Northern Kentucky’s homeless challenges,” said Amrine. “This Center will give us the needed capacity, flexibility, and efficiencies. It can’t come online soon enough.”

Welcome House will be back this year with its 31st Annual Mardi Gras for Homeless children on “Fat Tuesday,” March 1 at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center. Join in for a culinary celebration with live music, silent auction, and an evening of fun and entertainment — all to support its mission to end homelessness.

See more information here.

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