TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Tent City is once again rising in downtown Toledo's Civic Center Mall.
Nearly 1,000 members of Toledo's homeless community have come to receive a variety of free services and they're being led by a very special woman.
The group 1 Matters sponsors Tent City.
The goal is to move the homeless off the streets and into housing.
Among other things, there's health screening, help for homeless veterans and a clothing handout.
"I disagree with the people who think they can ever end homelessness because you can't until you end mental illness and all the things that cause it. But what we can do is build a system that can end homelessness for everyone who becomes homeless," said Ken Leslie of 1 Matters.
LaVette Miller took advantage of that system and this year has been proclaimed mayor of Tent City.
The double leg amputee says she used to have a bad attitude and evil disposition.
"I was homeless because of the choices I made. I chose to do drugs. I chose to smoke my rent money and that caused me to be homeless,” said Mayor Miller.
1 Matters turned Mayor Miller's life around because of events like Tent City.
Friend Shawn Kellerbauer says Miller is an awesome woman who's not afraid to speak her mind.
"It was all mental. She really had to see how other people behave and that's what taught her the most coming down. Watching people serve people was the only way she got it," said Shawn.
Today, Mayor Miller says she works for a foot doctor, lives in an apartment, pays taxes and wants to attend college.
She says it's important for people to be kind to one another because everyone matters.
"Perform a random act of kindness. You never know who you'll be helping out and as they go they might pull somebody else up also," said Mayor Miller.
It's yet another success story from 25 years of Tent City.
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