Toledo homeless shelters face uncertainties

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Homeless shelters in Toledo are facing uncertain times, as the City of Toledo is making some changes to the way federal neighborhoods funding gets allocated.

Family House on Indiana Avenue is the area's largest shelter for homeless families. Tom Clark and his wife are among the 90 people currently calling it their home:

"The facility has really helped us out, a way of getting us housing and stability."

A plan from the mayor's office calls for Family House to lose more than $80,000 in funding allocated by the city, which has its leaders planning to cut 12 percent of its operations next month.

"We're looking at everything, from reduction in people served to the food we give them," says Family House Executive Director Renee Palacios.

She says what's upsetting for her is a meeting with Toledo Neighborhoods Director Lourdes Santiago, about boosting funding from the Emergency Solutions Grant fund, to make up for funding through the Community Development Block Grant being eliminated:

"When she came to Family House she and I had a face to face conversation here in my office and she assured me Family House, being we're the largest shelter, we serve so many people, will be able to make up those losses."

Santiago says no such guarantee was ever made:

"That was never said, if you look at the transcripts of our public hearings as well as any communication that we provided to city council."

Family House Board President Dino Peluso says there's hope council will alter the administration's funding plan:

"To have to look at other families and potentially turn them away, that hurts."

Clark is also asking council to reconsider:

"I don't think Family House is necessarily a donation. I believe it's an investment in the community."

Other shelters also face cuts in funding. Council is holding a committee hearing on the issue, Wednesday, June 13 at 2 p.m.

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