Be part of the meal program!: Sign up to donate and serve lunch or dinner to the shelter! We are in urgent need of meal assistance at this time!

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History of Our Organization

ACCESS, Inc. was formed as a grassroots effort in 1983 to meet a need in Akron, Ohio that was not being adequately addressed by existing agencies.

An Akron Catholic Commission survey conducted in the early 1980's reported that emergency shelters in Akron received approximately 625 requests for shelter each month, with only 150 available beds. As a result of this survey, the Akron Catholic Commission organized concerned members of the community to form the core of the Akron Citizen's Coalition for Emergency Shelter Services. ACCESS was incorporated in the State of Ohio in March of 1983. The vision of ACCESS was to be an independent, non-profit organization that would provide shelter services for homeless single women and homeless women with children.

The original ACCESS emergency shelter opened in November of 1984 in the former convent buildings of St. Bernard's Church in downtown Akron. Shelter availability was increased by 43 percent in 1996 when ACCESS moved into a new facility on West Market Street. The agency further expanded in 1997 to include a transitional housing program called Step II for eight single women, located in the previous emergency shelter facility. Step II is now located close to the emergency shelter on West Market Street.

A voluntary Board of Trustees manages ACCESS, Inc. and is responsible for furthering the purposes of the agency and for the proper and effective conduct of its business. The Board is also charged with the hire of the Executive Director who is responsible for implementing agency policies and procedures.

Make A Donation

Big or small, every donation to ACCESS and the homeless women and children it serves will be greatly appreciated.

  • $25 feeds 25 women and children
  • $100 provides 50 days of school transportation for a child
  • $500 provides health care for 10 children


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