Open Shelter Inc.
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61 East Mound Street
Columbus, OH 43215
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CEO/Executive Director
Mr. Kent Beittel
Chief Executive Officer
Mrs. Mary Beittel
Chief Operating Officer
Board Chair
Mr. Shawn Redman
Real Estate Agent

To provide emergency shelter and assistance, supportive services, transitional, and permanent housing for homeless, marginally housed persons, and the most vulnerable in central Ohio, either directly or through referrals, to help them achieve maximum participation in the community.

Organization Overview

Impact Statement


  • We became the distribution hub for campers mats, which are crocheted grocery bags, and crazy quilts (hand-made sleeping bags), and have three groups in Ohio who make them for us; the coordinator for that project now volunteers two days a week, coordinating our material assistance program.

  • We served 2,465 homeless and marginally housed men, women, and children; our four full-time staff persons, along with volunteers, helped respond to the needs of 150 people each day.

  • We served 96 persons, who were determined to be incapable of handling their own funds, through our payeeship program and utilizing our social security partnership program.

  • We responded to the basic needs of nearly 2,500 homeless and marginally housed persons by providing 55,800 sack lunches; 67,420 to-go meals; and 14,512 hot evening meals. We provided clothing 4,867 times, 4,502 toiletry items, and 5,133 hygiene kits. We also provided 1,501 camping items, such as tents, bed rolls, and backpacks for those living on the streets.

2012 GOALS

  • We will continue to maintain and expand our relationships with the businesses and faith-based groups whose financial support is critical to the survival of this agency through presentations, newsletters, and encouraging their participation on-site.

  • We will maintain and expand our relationships with schools, colleges, youth groups, faith-based groups, businesses, and individuals who provide the in-kind donations that enable us to respond to the basic needs of our most vulnerable neighbors.

  • We will become actively involved with several groups who are struggling to coordinate different aspects of service delivery to the homeless.

  • We will respond to the needs of those who are least likely to get their needs met in their current situation, specifically those individuals living on the land, in abandoned buildings, and huddled against buildings.

Background Statement

The Open Shelter was founded in 1981 as the collective response of the downtown churches and businesses to the significant presence of homeless persons in the area, after deinstitutionalization dramatically reduced the size of and access to the psychiatric hospital. Receiving 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax-exempt status in 1982, the agency opened the first 24-hour emergency walk-in shelter in the state of Ohio in 1983. Over the next two decades, the Open Shelter created many services for homeless persons, including: material assistance and transitional housing in 1984; on-site medical services and protective services for public inebriates in 1985; on-site banking and financial management in 1986; a temporary employment agency and permanent supportive housing in 1991; voicemail service in 1993; social security income payeeship service in 1996; and full-time outreach services in 1997. In 2001, local government replaced the Open Shelter with a new facility outside of downtown. Despite the loss of government funding, we continued to serve over 100 homeless men each night for nearly three more years as a result of the generous community. In 2004, the City of Columbus refused to renew the shelter's lease and bulldozed the building. At that point, the Open Shelter opened its Day Services and Advocacy Center at St. John's Evangelical Church, its evening meal program at the Broad Street United Methodist Church, and outreach services on the streets. Our current and historical efforts are the result of widespread and effective collaboration with the religious and business community, as well as a broad spectrum of social service providers. The Open Shelter was also one of the founders of the Columbus Coalition for the Homeless and the Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (now COHHIO).

Statement from Mr. Kent Beittel, Chief Executive Officer

In 1983, The Open Shelter was opened by representatives of the downtown churches and businesses that were concerned about the mentally ill persons who were discharged from a state hospital with no place to go, except the streets. The obligation was to stay as close to the streets as possible, offering hospitality and welcome to those who were and felt excluded from the services of the community. We continue to believe that inclusion is the beginning to healing and healing is a prerequisite for growth. Therefore, for almost 30 years, we have focused our program design and efforts on those least likely to be able to access the other service providers. Over time, that target population changed as a result of funding or service restrictions at other agencies. Our efforts have been to pay attention to the needs of persons excluded by such changes.

Statement from Mr. Shawn Redman , Real Estate Agent

Our greatest success is that homeless persons continue to believe that we care about them and want to respond to their immediate needs and their long-term aspirations. Our greatest challenge is maintaining the support of the community, whose financial, material, and volunteer efforts make our responsiveness possible.  This becomes increasingly challenging as the needs and number of persons increases. A major success is that our advocacy voice continues to be heard and sought as we continue to share our perspective with educators, planners, and funders. We have also been able to maintain an experienced, knowledgeable, and dedicated staff.



Mr. Kent Beittel, 
Term Start 2/1984 
Compensated Yes 
Biographical Statement

Kent is the founding executive director of the Open Shelter. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Albion College and master's degree in pastoral counseling and religious education. After seminary, he served as the pastor and program director for Emmanuel Community Center in Cincinnati, Ohio. In Columbus, he was a member of the original Mental Health Board's Drug and Alcohol Committee, a founding board member of Huckleberry House, and the founding director of Worthington Community Counseling Service. He has served on the board of the Legal Aid Society, the Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, and the Columbus Coalition for the Homeless. Prior to coming back to Columbus to serve at the shelter, Kent served Delaware County as the grants coordinator for the county health department and as the budget and allocations director for the United Way of Delaware County.

Mrs. Mary Beittel, 
Term Start 1/1997 
Compensated No 
Biographical Statement

Mary has extensive experience in administrative management in smaller companies. Her background includes working in banks and managing apartment complexes, real estate offices, restaurants, and the Sponsorship Group (event and fundraising.) She attended Ohio Wesleyan University. She began part-time at the Open Shelter to organize the agency's development efforts, after her children were adults. In 1997, Mary officially joined her husband, Kent, as chief operating officer of the executive team. She is the agency liaison with the Social Security Administration and the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority. She is the primary administrator for the agency's payeeship program and is the chief financial officer for the corporation. Mary and her husband, Kent, have five grown children, eight grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.

Mr. Solomon Dean, 
Biographical Statement

Solomon is a high school graduate with one year of college from Trenton (NJ) State College. He served as a personnel management specialist in the Army from 1979-86. He has worked with people in many different capacities: in a nursing home as a cook and supervisor, as a rehab specialist in a rehab center, and in a group home as a habilitation specialist/house manager. He also worked in his family's business as a secretary. Solomon started at the Open Shelter in 1998 on third shift "working the floor." He moved through the ranks to deputy director. He is now the deputy director-day services. Solomon works hands on with the Open Shelter's clients. He is usually the first person anyone who visits the agency comes in contact with. He works with clients helping with food and clothing assistance as well as working with the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority to move clients into housing. He also helps clients access other useful services by referral.

Mr. Ken Andrews, 
Biographical Statement

Ken has been with the Open Shelter for 13 years. He attended the University of Rhode Island studying theatre and business. He is a decorated Vietnam War combat veteran. He and his wife are parents to three children. For 13 years, he was property manager of Apollo Management Company. On a daily basis, Ken visits campers and those living on the land. He tries to establish a relationship and make every attempt to serve their needs, keeping them alive until the best options are available to them. He refers them to resources that provide help with food, medical, legal, and veterans administration assistance. Many times, better options are not available and living on the land becomes a reality. Ken helps and assists those who are in that struggle.

Mr. Harry Yeprem Jr., 
Biographical Statement Harry has been with the Open Shelter since 1998. He came to the Open Shelter orginally seeking help. He eventually began volunteering with the agency's distribution center and donor mail campaign. He worked up to development assistant and, in 2004, became development coordinator. Harry works with dedicated volunteers and donors for the agency's meals program, providing lunches and dinners for approximately 200 persons each weekday. He oversees the agency's donor mail campaign, which produces the agency newsletter "Concrete Expressions." He is the agency's representative for donor programs such as the Combined Federal Campaign. He handles agency administrative duties such as processing donations and data entry and also works with volunteers and volunteer groups who help the agency. Harry is a graduate of Columbus South High School, and is married to Beth, who is a valuable and dedicated volunteer of the Open Shelter. 
Additional Organization Information
Number of Full-Time Staff:
Number of Part-Time Staff:
Number of Volunteers: 400 
Staff Retention Rate: 100% 


Directors and Officers Insurance Policy Yes
Fundraising Plan No
Management Succession/Training Plan No
Organization Policies and Procedures Yes
Strategic Plan No
Additional Organization Information

We partner with Health Care for the Homeless, Mt. Carmel Outreach, and over 60 churches and civic groups to provide medical services, food, clothing, and hygiene items.

National Affiliations Feeding America (formerly America's Second Harvest) - Affiliate
United Methodist Association


Local Governing Board
Board Chair Mr. Shawn Redman,
Board Chair Term 3/2011 -  3/2013  
Board Members
Mr. Kent Beittel,  
Mrs. Mary Beittel,  
Mr. John Boyer,  
Ms. Marcia Brehmer,  
Lance Cunningham,  
Mr. Ben Davis,  
Mr. Bob Furbee,  
Ms. Mary Howard,  
Mr. Gary Klempnauer,  
Mr. John Nimmer,  
Ms. Joanne Roots,  
Additional Organization Information
Board Meetings Annually
Board Meeting Attendance 90% 
Board Member Monetary Contributions 100%
Board Member In-kind Contributions 100%
Gender Female 33%
  Male 67%
Race African-American/Black 25%
  Asian-American/Pacific Islander 75%
  Caucasian 0%
  Hispanic/Latino 0%
  Native American/American Indian 0%
  Multi-Racial 0%
  Other 0%
Advisory Board
No members in the Advisory Board.


Housing Options Services

We provide advocacy and assistance for those securing supportive and public (subsidized) housing. We offer landlord and tenant mediation and advocacy for those who are recently receiving housing. We also provide advocacy and referral services for those needing shelter access and those in need of alcohol, drug, and mental health residential treatment services.

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Our outreach team provides the linkages necessary for inclusion into the broader community for over 400 people living each day on the streets, in woods, parks, railroad land, abandoned buildings, and under bridges all across the city. Outreach provides direct referrals to detoxification treatment, medical care, entitlement benefits, and housing options. Due to the limitations of the shelter system, outreach efforts include providing food, clothing, sleeping bags, and more to help them survive until they are able to access shelter or housing options. Outreach provides followup services for those who have recently moved off the streets and into housing.

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Lunches are prepared off-site and are transported by dedicated volunteers to 200 people on a daily basis. Dinners are also prepared off-site, transported, and served by dedicated volunteer groups. Meals are served on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings at Broad Street United Methodist Church.

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Financial Management Services

We assist those who are currently in the social security payeeship program, which assists homeless and recently homeless persons needing third party money management for federal entitlements. We assume responsiblity until a permanent agent and support system is in place. We also help those in the entitlement coordination program, which assists homeless persons applying for disability benefits. As an Ohio Benefit Bank site, we help process applications for food stamps and Medicaid.

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Day Services and Advocacy Center

Our Day Services and Advocacy Center provides access to a legal mailing address, food pantry, clothing room, telephone, copier, and fax machine. These basic services enable individuals to gain confidence, gives them resources to contact relatives, and helps them make plans for their future. We also provide material assistance, which collects, sorts, and distributes material goods, free of charge, to homeless and marginally housed persons in need.

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Data reflects three most recently completed fiscal years.

Current Fiscal Year 01/01/2012 - 12/31/2012
Projected Revenue $212,300
Projected Expense $212,255
Endowment Fund No
Current Capital Campaign? No
Anticipate a capital campaign in next 5 years? No

Revenues by Source

  2011   2010   2009  
Total Direct Support $195,999  $174,462  $209,059 
Direct Support Foundations
Direct Support Corporations
Direct Support Individuals
Direct Support Unspecified $195,999  $174,462  $209,059 
Indirect Public Support $973  $2,642 
Earned Revenue $17,094  $34,112 
Interest and Dividends
Membership Dues
Special Events
TOTAL REVENUE $214,066  $211,216  $209,059 

Expense by Type

  2011   2010   2009  
Programs $144,340  $151,498  $155,498 
Administration $21,417  $12,514  $82,377 
Fundraising $48,608  $48,102 
Payment to Affiliates
TOTAL EXPENSES $214,365  $212,114  $237,875 

Assets and Liabilities

  2011   2010   2009  
Total Assets $195,925  $197,502  $209,920 
Current Assets $194,343  $193,567  $209,920 
Total Liabilities $105,888  $106,466  $118,810 
Current Liabilities $105,188  $106,466 
NET ASSETS $90,037  $91,036  $91,110 


TCF Staff:

Revenue from foundations and corporations may include individual contributions.

Mr. Kent R. Beittel

Every dollar and item donated to us supports housing and reintegrating the homeless and marginally housed in our community. We are a truly grass roots organization; we recieve no government assistance of any kind. We assure our generous supporters and donors that they can trust us to make sure their gifts are used wisely.

Documents Form 990 2011 Form 990 2010 Form 990 2009

All portrait information is provided voluntarily by nonprofit organizations. An organization may decline to participate. At a minimum, information is updated annually--sometimes more frequently. Documents indicated as available by an organization are verified by Foundation staff. The financial section is completed by Foundation staff based on available documents for a three-year period.