Morrison House donors honored at dedication

The Tiffin community dedicated the Morrison House, a transitional housing facility, to the Morrison family at a ceremony Saturday.

The Morrison House, located at 107 W. Perry St., was functioning as a bed and breakfast before transitioning into the housing service that it offers today.

Site Manager Ronele Myers of New Housing Ohio Inc. said the house had been for sale, and with the help of the Morrisons, the Community Task Force and New Housing Ohio CEO Scott Boone worked together to negotiate a price for the house.

“Quite a bit of it was donated for the cause,” Myers said.

She said that much of the help came through the Community Task Force.

“None of this would be possible without the Community Task Force,” she said. “They’re designed to look for gaps in services in the community, and starting in 2009 they started discussing the need for housing and supports for individuals in the community. Without them, this never would have happened.”

Individuals and families who require housing or have lost their income are welcome at Morrison House, Myers said. The house can hold up to 20 individuals at a time.

She said individuals can apply for housing through First Call for Help.

“They will work with them through the application process and discuss our program,” she said. “If they feel the individual may be appropriate for the program, they will contact us.”

Myers said the process usually occurs within 24 hours.

She said that before opening in December they had already received applications. They decided to open immediately.

“We didn’t want to go another day with people not having housing,” she said. “We very quickly put together an open house.”

“We don’t consider it a shelter, because we offer so much more than that,” Myers said. “We offer the opportunity to work with our staff and also community agencies to try to wrap services around the folks who are here.”

She said the staff has directed people to GED programs and the United Way office.

Myers said that they also develop a service plan. “If it’s going back and acquiring the GED, if that’s the main goal, it all varies per person. Then we figure out how we guide them in the right direction to make that happen.”

Myers said that all individuals in the house prepare meals, clean, complete job searches and do volunteer work in the community.

“Not only do we have volunteers who come to us, but we also try to give that back to the community as well,” she said.

Since its opening, the house has had 33 residents. 13 individuals who have moved on to successful employment.

The Morrison House is named after Kenneth and Anna Morrison, who originally provided a home for 50 children from the Junior Home Orphanage. After graduation or following military service, the children stayed with the Morrison family.

The Morrisons also assisted individuals and families from the community and abroad.

Myers said credit also had to be given to the Morrisons’ grandson, Jeff Morrison, and his wife, Katherine Morrison. With the assistance of the Community Task Force of Tiffin and the Morrisons, Myers said that New Housing Ohio was able to acquire the property and create the now functioning Morrison House.

At Saturday’s dedication, Myers revealed two plaques honoring Jeff Morrison and Kenneth and Anna Morrison.

“(One) plaque is dedicated to Dr. (Jeff) Morrison and his family for his generous part in making this happen,” she said. “The other plaque that we are hanging will hang alongside a photograph of Anna and Kenneth Morrison.”

The new plaque states that the Morrison House mission “is to provide transitional housing, support, stability, and nurturing for individuals and families as they prepare to acquire and maintain permanent housing”.

She said that the house was named after them due to their “community spirit.”

“We’re trying to mimic that idea,” she said.

Jeff Morrison said he was happy to have the opportunity to share the house with those needing transitional housing.

“Our family had the chance to live here, and it was … like a peaceful sanctuary for us. We envisioned that that’s what it could be for New Housing Ohio,” said Morrison. “If people could come and stay here and get that sense of peace and get their lives together, that this could be a transition to jump off into something spectacular.”

Myers said that in the future, she is to hold an event to commend local supporters to mark the first anniversary and discuss the success stories they have had throughout the first year.

“(The community’s) been so supportive,” she said. “It’s been rewarding.”