Ronald McDonald House, Schuster push for funds in massive state spending bill

$28M expected for 39 Montgomery County projects

Credit: Jim Noelker

Credit: Jim Noelker

Four Montgomery County organizations testified in an Ohio Senate committee last week in support of Ohio’s recently unveiled blueprint of how the state plans to spend a $700 million pot of money that has been set aside to fund local projects across the state.

Montgomery County projects are set to receive $28 million from Senate Bill 288, which gave the House and the Senate $350 million each to portion out. Since the final bill was unveiled last week, Democrat and Republican legislative leaders in both chambers have expressed support. It’s expected to move by the end of the month.

Here are the plans for the four projects expected to be funded by the bill whose organizations testified last week.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Dayton; $1M

For the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Dayton, a charity that CEO Rita Cyr testified is dedicated to providing temporary housing for families receiving care at Dayton Children’s Hospital, a $1 million investment is the final piece of funding needed to build a new house.

“The funds designated in S.B. 288 will be instrumental in constructing a new house to meet the massive increase in demand for rooms by families with children receiving care in the region,” Cyr testified. “The new house will provide 42 right-sized rooms (from the 14 rooms the house currently has) that will be able to properly accommodate children and their families, ensuring they have the necessary medical and storage capabilities.”

Dayton Live; $1M

For Dayton Live, a $1 million investment would go toward major repairs and updates that are needed in downtown Dayton’s Benjamin & Marian Schuster Performing Arts Center, according to Chief Development Officer Mike Rogers.

“This will significantly impact our community by ensuring the future of the arts will continue to grow and continue to be impactful to the region and its people,” Rogers testified.

Rogers told the committee that the work is particularly important as Dayton preps to host the NATO Spring Parliamentary Assembly next year.

“All eyes of the world will be on this important international event, and it is imperative that we are able to put our very best foot forward,” Rogers said.

East End Community Services; $500k

For East End Community Services, a nonprofit working with children and families to break the cycle of multi-generational poverty, a $500,000 investment will allow the charity to move forward with its plans to remodel and renovate its existing facilities at 624 Xenia Ave.

The total project is expected to cost about $5.9 million, according to previous reporting by the Dayton Daily News.

Jan Lepore-Jentleson testified that the current facility has been in use for 26 years and has become too deteriorated, and small, to accommodate the services her organization strives to provide.

“This (funding) will also allow us to add important partners such as Sinclair workforce training and Community Action Partnership, enhancing our ability to provide comprehensive support to families,” she said. “This will greatly enhance our efforts to break the cycle of generational poverty by providing a stable, supportive environment for children and families in east Dayton.”

Clothes That Work; $250k

For Clothes That Work, a Dayton-based charity that provides professional clothing, job counseling and training for job seekers, a $250,000 investment will help purchase a new mobile outreach unit and establish a new headquarters, according to Executive Director Cindy Garner.

Garner told the Senate Finance Committee that the funding is especially necessary now as Clothes That Work aims to amp up its output to meet a growing demand, as Dayton has one of the highest functional-unemployment rates in the country.

“This investment will enhance our ability to provide professional clothing, coaching, and soft skills training, ultimately helping our clients secure and retain employment, thereby fostering a sustainable workforce and reducing reliance on government programs,” Garner said.

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Avery Kreemer can be reached at 614-981-1422, on X, via email, or you can drop him a comment/tip with the survey below.

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