In The Media
Thanks to 13ABC for this coverage on Connecting Kids to Meals!
Connecting Kids to Meals is one of Ohio’s biggest summer food programs. The summer program feeds about 6,000 children every day. During the school year, the Toledo-based operation feeds about 1,400 children every day.
Thanks to the Toledo Blade for covering the important working being done in our community for our most vulnerable residents.
Family House Executive Director Renee Palacios said she sees a lot of families and children at the shelter, and many of the adults lack education, job skills, and opportunities to get back on their feet.
She said she’d like the group to work toward streamlining wrap-around services such as job training, mental health care, and food access, but cautioned nothing will be effective unless the team also builds relationships within the homeless and impoverished communities.
“You can throw money at them, and you can create programs, but if there is not a relationship to support these families. … Without hope, you’re not going to move forward. We need to remember that these are human people,” Ms. Palacios said.
What to do with your costumes of Halloween Past? Donate them! Levis Commons is accepting gently-used Halloween Costumes during this first-ever Costume Clean-Out on Sunday, October 1st!
Your donated costumes and accessories will help the families at Family House have a happy Halloween!
Donations will be accepted from Noon-6pm at Blue Pacific Grill. You can also meet & greet local characters from Toledo Party Princess Productions from 3-5 pm at various locations around Levis Commons.
Learn more about the event here and share it with your friends!
Thank you to WTOL-11 for this coverage!
A recent Toledo Blade story highlights the epidemic of student housing insecurity in Toledo Public Schools, citing a report from the Ohio Department of Education that says more than 1 in 10 students in the district are classified as homeless.
Blade staff writers Nolan Rosenkrans and Valentin Ornelas, Jr. tell the beautifully sad story of one Toledo teen who’s moved 10 times in five school years – often staying in a motel with his mother or crashing with relatives – and is currently living on his own. He plays football and hopes to play for a MAC team after graduating. And nearly no one knows he’s homeless.
This number of homeless students in Toledo has steadily risen over the past few years – 37% since 2014 – but many haven’t noticed.
In a follow-up story, WTOL11 reporter Dane Sazenbacher notes that it’s is a problem hiding in plain sight, largely due to the stigma that comes with being homeless, but there’s no hiding the numbers.
Toledo has the smallest population of Ohio’s four largest cities, yet we have the highest number of students considered as homeless – a staggering 2,700 youths.
The Ohio Department of Education defines homeless students as those who lack a fixed, regular night-time residence. Homeless students may be living in motels, hotels, staying on different friends’ couches or living at a local shelter like Toledo’s Family House – the largest shelter of its kind in Northwest Ohio.
In most cases, their peers, teachers and school administrators are unaware of a these students’ circumstances, often by design. Family House Executive Director Renee Palacios sheds light on why with WTOL.
“You want friends, you want to be accepted, and a lot of the time homeless kids aren’t accepted. So they keep their situation a secret to protect themselves and their families from whispers and sideways glances. And mom and dad keep their situation a secret to protect their kids,” she says.
Thanks to the McKinney-Vento grant from the Ohio Department of Education, Family House is able to provide the students living there with shelter, food, school supplies and clothes. But this grant has been absent from the TPS operations budget for the last two years. Family House leadership hopes that help is on the way.
TPS leaders said they’ve already reapplied for the grant and have been approved. They’re just waiting to hear the exact dollar amount. TPS leaders also said that the funding will go into effect for the 2017-2018 school year.
Family House and other local shelters also rely heavily on community support to provide for the students they serve throughout the year. Family House receives a lot of crayons, paper, glue, folders, etc., but they’re most in need of non-traditional school supplies, such as:
• Antibacterial wipes and gel
• Plastic baggies in sandwich, quart and gallon sizes
• Paper towels
• Gently-used uniform pieces (navy, black or khaki pants & plain, solid color polo shirts)
• New underwear (boys & girls, all sizes)
• Flash drives
• Dry erase markers
Post-it® notes and copy paper have also appeared on some classroom supply lists. Click the links below to find school supply lists in Toledo and surrounding areas, and consider picking up a few extras to donate to the students at Family House. (Some TPS schools don’t have lists posted yet, but you can contact them directly for information.)
We want to thank Charity Freeman of NBC24’s Better Living show for having us on their program and supporting our mission to help homeless families.
- NBC24 and Meijer are partnering to make Emergency Alert Weather Radios available for sale at northwest Ohio Meijer stores through July (2016). (source)
- And NBC24 is donating their profit from each sale ($2) to Family House.
In case you missed it, you can watch the full clip below…
Check out Chris Watson’s article “Movers, Shakers & Doers Building Toledo’s Future” in the latest issue (January 2016) of Toledo City Paper @ http://www.toledocitypaper.com/January-Issue-1-2016/The-Big-Idea-Issue-Building-Community/#Arts#Arts & Entertainment#Arts & Entertainment.