Upcoming Events


We have a few big events coming up, including the Glass City Marathon, the Marathon Golf Classic and our 2nd Annual Family House Open!

Check out our events page for details on how you can get involved and help raise funds for Family House!

Hunger & Homlessness Awareness Week

November 11-19 is National Hunger & Homelessness Awareness week, and what a great start we’re off to!

We had an incredible fundraising breakfast hosted by the Homeless Services Partnership and sponsored by Mercy Health where representatives from Family House, Aurora House, Bethany House and La Posada spoke about the families they serve and discussed the unique circumstances affecting the homeless in our community.

Today, November 14th, WTOL will be hosting a telethon to benefit Family House from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Our goal is to raise $60,000 to meet urgent needs for our families. SSOE has generously donated $10,000 toward this goal as a sponsor of the first Hunger & Homelessness Awareness week in Toledo.

“SSOE agreed to help us during Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week by issuing a challenge to the individuals and businesses in our community to help raise money,” said Reneé Palacios, Executive Director of Family House Toledo. “We cannot thank SSOE enough for their donation and for proactively stepping forward to issue a challenge to our community.”

“We are extremely honored that Family House has asked SSOE to be a part of their first local Hunger & Homelessness Awareness Week. This week, we call upon other community members and businesses across the area to come together to not only raise funds for Family House, but also raise awareness about the pressing issues of hunger and homelessness in our community. We can’t keep the promise that ‘you’ll do better in Toledo’ until we ensure even the most vulnerable among us will do better in Toledo!” said Bob Howell, CEO of SSOE Group.

Catch us tonight on WTOL, and make your gift online here.

Giving Tuesday 2017


Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving to kick off the charitable giving season.

The Toledo Community Foundation and The Blade have partnered to support local nonprofits by promoting #GivingTuesdayNWO and encouraging donations through a matching grant opportunity. And, for the second time, they’re awarding an additional $5,000 grant to one area nonprofit that participates in the event!

This year, Giving Tuesday is November 28th. Be sure to mark your calendar and make a donation to Family House!

Your support makes a difference in the lives of the families we serve.

EVENT: Stocking Stuffer Soiree

UWEL event

Did you know that Family House is one of the only family-friendly shelters in our community? Imagine having nowhere to live and trying to find a safe place for your children. Emerging Leaders is supporting Family House this holiday season by collecting paper products at their Stocking Stuffer Soiree.

Join United Way Emerging Leaders for a festive evening and help those in need at Family House.

Thursday, December 7, 2017
Toledo Club – Centennial Room
5:30 – 8:00 p.m.

This is a FREE event, but donations of goods or financial gifts are encouraged.

If you don’t have time to shop or attend the event, you can make a donation online here or make arrangements to drop off your donation of paper products at Family House. Items we’re collecting at the event include:

  • Paper plates
  • Paper towels
  • Toilet paper

5:30 p.m. | Network & enjoy complimentary hors-d’oeuvres and a cash bar
6:15 p.m. | Program: Helping the Homeless in Our Community
7:00 p.m. | Networking continues

RSVP Deadline: Thursday, November 30th at 10:00 p.m.

You can register to attend the event here.

Add the event to your Facebook calendar here.

Space is limited. Please reserve your place as soon as possible. If you RSVP and can no longer join us, please let us know.

United Way is a proud partner of Family House.


Holiday Giving

thankfulGiving back is a holiday tradition for many families and organizations. This time of year, our cup runs over with toys, coats and blankets, and we’re so grateful!

There are dozens of coat and toy drives this time of year, so if you’re thinking about hosting a collection event for Family House, a paper product and cleaning supply drive is a great alternative.

Family House goes through a LOT of cleaning supplies and paper products at a cost of more than $700 a month, so it’s a HUGE savings when these items are donated to us. We were blessed to benefit from a few of these supply drives last holiday season that “raised” enough paper products and cleaning supplies to last us 9 months!

Contact Executive Director Renee Palacios at 419-242-5505 if you’re interested in hosting a supply drive for us this holiday season.

If you’re thinking about purchasing gifts for our families this holiday season, here are a few suggestions.

  • Bus tokens
  • Gift cards for Wal-Mart, Meijer or Target
  • Gas cards
  • Personal toiletries, such as body wash, nail care items and shaving products
  • Laundry soap

Thank you so much for your generosity! Best wishes for a blessed holiday season from all the families at Family House.

Homeless Services Partnership Breakfast


Family House is proud to be a part of the collaborative Homeless Services Partnership (HSP) with Aurora Project, Bethany House and LaPosada Family Emergency Shelter.

After nearly 4 years working together, collapsing back-office costs, sharing expenses and staff training, we are hosting our 1st HSP fundraiser!

The 1 in 5 Breakfast & Collaboration has four objectives.

  • Increase awareness of hunger and homelessness in the community
  • Raise resources to bolster HSP growth and current initiatives
  • Garner support to increase local impact
  • Illustrate the value of partnerships and collaboration to combat homelessness.

Join us as we work together to provide more effective and efficient service delivery by sharing resources, eliminating redundancies and building on each other’s strengths.

November 13, 2017
Mercy Health – St. Vincent Medical Center
2213 Cherry St. | Toledo, OH 43608

Tickets are $30 each. Register to attend here.

Community Leaders Meet to Discuss Homelessness Solutions

TB meeting

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.

Read the full text of the article here.

Costume Donation, Character Meet & Greet at Levis Commons

costume cleanout

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!

Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Student Homelessness in Toledo

upset boy against a wall

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:

• Tissues
• 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.)

Toledo and surrounding areas
TPS Elementary Schools
TPS High Schools