Tent City aims to improve life of Toledo's unhoused - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Tent City aims to improve lives of Toledo's unhoused

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Tent city is once again rising in downtown Toledo's Civic Center Mall.

Nearly one thousand members of Toledo's homeless community will come here over the weekend to receive free health and dental care, as well as food, clothing and a variety of other services.

This year, emphasis is being placed on women's health care, which includes mammograms and pap smears.

"And a pap is very important test for a lady because it can prevent cervical cancer if you have the test," said volunteer Chetti Smith.

The Lifeline Bus was staffed by volunteers who administered the pap smears.

Jessica Thirkill came in for one.

She's typical of most homeless patients.

"It makes me feel good that they have staff like this available because some people don't have the necessary insurance to get it done," said Ms. Thirkill.

Results of the test are known within minutes.

Volunteers say more free services like this are necessary to keep the homeless healthy.

"Because I think we all need to help each other. We can't count on other people to take care of people's needs. We need to do what we can where we can," said volunteer Vickie Hill.

The group 1 Matters has sponsored Tent City since 1990.

The goal is to move the homeless off the streets, into housing and connect people like Ms. Thirkill to the services they need.

On Saturday, 20 women were given pap smears inside the bus.

All came back with a clean bill of health.

Tent City runs through Sunday.

Copyright 2013 Toledo News Now. All rights reserved.

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