Family House Agency Summary
Located at 669 Indiana Avenue, Family House was established in 1985 by the African American ministers of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance (IMA). Known as the Toledo Community Service Center in the early years of the organization, the ministers and their congregations were very actively involved in providing money for the annual budget, obtaining furnishings and remaining in the shelter overnight with individuals sleeping there. Over the years, much of that involvement shifted to staff and churches now supporting the shelter through volunteer efforts, financial support, and donations to families. Currently, one founding minister sits on Family House’s Board as an Honorary Board Member.
When established, Family House accepted single women as well as families. However, in 1998, in keeping with the mission statement, the decision was made by the Board of Directors to focus solely on the needs of family units, recognizing that there were other shelters in the Lucas County community that addressed the needs of single women. Thus, Family House became dedicated to preserving the family unit during a time of crisis.
Over the years, the Board and staff recognized that many families were trapped in a cycle of poverty and that additional services were needed to successfully move families from homeless- ness to self-sufficiency. Comprehensive programs and services were developed to address the root causes of homelessness.
Family House provides not only for the immediate needs of families but gives families the tools to become self-sufficient. A facilitator of alliances with other service providers, Family
House dedicates efforts to creating an environment that is compassionate, valuing all individuals and treating them with respect regardless of the factors contributing to their homelessness.
Family House is involved in multiple collaborative efforts throughout the community. As active members of TAAEH (Toledo Area Alliance to End Homelessness), Family House shares and participates in leadership and collaborating efforts with other members of the community that are concerned about Toledo’s homelessness problem.
Collaborations with independent and agency Mental Health Counselors will help families with mental illnesses to be assessed and receive mental health services they need in order to move forward with housing plans.
In addition, Family House is involved in the Homeless Services Partnership (HSP), comprised of four homeless service providers who have come together to consolidate costs of services and staff. Notably, the HSP has secured a grant and purchased a bedbug machine that is shared in the community. Also, the HSP has written collaborative grants and received funding for resident housing barriers. The HSP has created a community model of collaboration that will be shared throughout the non-profit and for-profit sectors.
Family House staff, board, and volunteers truly aim to provide families experiencing homelessness with safe temporary housing and supportive services to empower them to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency. Family House continues to establish meaningful relationships and collaborations with the community in order to reduce costs and obtain the best programs for families to achieve their housing goals.