A History of the Pitino Shelter
The Daniel Pitino Shelter, Inc., began with the vision of Father Ed Bradley, then pastor of Saint Stephen’s Cathedral. In his longtime work within the Cathedral’s soup kitchen, Fr. Bradley saw past the physical hunger of the homeless to the many hungers of the human heart. The Shelter was the natural outgrowth of trying to meet the abundant needs of the body and the spirit among the homeless.
The Daniel Pitino Shelter was the natural outgrowth as a result of trying to meet the abundant needs of the body and the spirit among the homeless. The Shelter was organized in 1993 with the expressed purpose of creating emergency and transitional housing for the growing number of homeless persons in Owensboro-Daviess County region. The three-story Daniel Pitino Shelter located at 501 Walnut Street, near the heart of downtown Owensboro, consists of 22,000 square feet of space. Built in 1959, the building originally served as the Walnut Street Baptist Church’s educational building until the Sanctuary burned in 1992. The Shelter Board of Directors entered into negotiations for the building in the fall of 1993 and took possession of the property in April, 1994. Upon receipt of a HUD Supportive Housing Program grant November 1, 1995, the vision of providing transitional housing became reality.
Today, the Daniel Pitino Shelter is a non-profit, non-denominational, privately-supported organization dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness through a community collaborative approach, by addressing the needs of homeless or housing insecure individuals and families through emergency shelter, transitional housing, and permanent supportive housing. We additionally offer both prevention and rapid rehousing programs, and have successfully moved homeless persons from emergency shelter through transitional housing and into permanent residency, all the while supporting their needs and providing essential services and resources.
The Daniel Pitino Shelter properties have the capacity to serve 65 emergency shelter guests in the main emergency shelter; four families in the 3BR/1BA transitional homes; and 12 individuals or couples in the 12 units of the 1 BR/1BA Nicky Hayden Apartments. In addition, our onsite St. Stephen Cathedral Soup Kitchen provides nutritional meals not only to our shelter guests, but also the community 365 days a year with the assistance of its volunteers and donations. This additionally provides volunteer opportunities for community members on the business and personal level.
The Daniel Pitino Shelter provides a one-stop service location through the cumulative efforts of several agencies, thereby reducing duplication of services, a trend unique to a community of this size. The success of this unique program is also evident in the widespread community support of not only local social service agencies but also businesses, industries and individuals. Their donations provide systematic support enabling the shelter to meet the needs of the homeless that otherwise, due to financial strain, could not be met. This successful, cumulative effort of the entire community serves as a template for other areas focusing on providing supportive services to the homeless. We have engaged with local agencies and initiatives including the Homeless Council of Ohio Valley (HCOV), partnered with other local shelters providing resources, food, and support, and worked with Kentucky Housing Corporation (KHC) and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) during our 26 years of operation in the community.