Community organizations requesting help from the city

Community organizations requesting help from the city

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Toledo City Council is considering giving two local organizations in need $75,000 each.

One of those is Grace Community Center, a resource that has been a presence in Central Toledo for almost 50 years.

Executive Director Elaine Page admits they have been struggling recently.

They lost their funding from United Way and few years ago because the organization decided to change the way they invest in the community.

She thanked Toledo City Council member Yvonne Harper for stepping up and requesting this money from the city.

"We're always looking for different types of investors, that's how our community center survives especially in times like there where it is hard to find funding," said Page.

Grace leaders believe they would be able to help twice as many people with more money, and make a difference in the neighborhood.

Page said that they could have more kids in their Edu-Camp program with more funding so they could strengthen their staff.

"I don't believe that any generation is lost, there are gems and talents out there but they are waiting for a place. I see the Grace Community Center as a pipeline," said Page.

Page said that these kids needs to have a place to learn how to carry themselves, how to dress, and how to solve problems in the workforce.

"These doors of a community center should be open 24/7 if possible, we can do that with additional staffing to make sure there are safe places for young people to be so they aren't just on the street," said Page.

Bryce Harbaugh, the President of the Grace Community Center Board believes the city would get a return on it's investment with this money.

"A lot of neighborhoods that are viewed as being in trouble or having difficulty have assets, they just don't have a force there to help them organize, coordinate and get everybody moving in the same direction," said Harbaugh.

In their efforts to be sustainable, and cultivate hard workers, they have developed a 10,000 square foot garden.

This is becoming a co-op program where neighbors can come learn new skills, eventually selling the more than 20 kinds of vegetables.

"We're going to be able to transform with that program and others like it, transform the conditions here, not simply maintain, but make real changes," said Harbaugh.

The money has been referred to the neighborhoods committee within City Council.

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