Local leaders blast proposed federal cuts to community development block grants

Local leaders blast proposed federal cuts to community development block grants

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - While President Donald Trump was only an hour away from Toledo, in Ypsilanti, Michigan, people in Toledo spoke out against possible cuts he's planning.

Family House on Indiana Avenue is the second largest shelter for families in the whole state of Ohio.

But leaders there said keeping those doors open could be threatened by cuts from President Trump.

"This is a huge fear for Family House," said Renee Palacios, Executive Director of Family House.

She is one of several people asked by Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson to speak out against the proposed elimination of community development block gr ants.

Local organizations have relied on federally funded CDBG gr ants since the early 1970s.

"That $60,000 keeps afloat our case managers. Our case managers are human people that connect with the human people who live at Family House, who have no other place to go for a variety of reasons," Palacios said.

Deb Vas, Executive Director of the Toledo Seagate Food Bank, said, "Devastation. That's a hard word. But it hits the heart. They will go without. And
we can't allow that to happen."

President Trump has not made the cuts public but could release limited details of his first budget on Thursday.

But the community leaders want local and federal legislators to stop the cuts, especially if it's an elimination.

"We would have to cease that collaboration with the city and the city would fail to affirmatively further fair housing, something that is almost 50 years old next year," said Michael Marsh of the Toledo Fair Housing Center.

There is also concern community health care services would be lost and that the Trump administration would abandon the fight against blight in the city.

Bonita Bonds, Acting Director of the city's Department of Neighborhoods, said at the press conference that they are currently going through the process for this year's CDBG gr ants, and that "To have this information at this point, is heartbreaking. It is. It's heartbreaking.

Renee Palacios of Family House also said they are needed to help local families through the ongoing heroin crisis.

She called on the community to rally around Mayor Hicks-Hudson as she fights for the funding.

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