TOLEDO (WTOL) - Tent City is underway in downtown Toledo.
The goal of the event is to get the homeless back on their feet. It’s sponsored by the group 1 Matters and was first held in 1990.
Jaylin Surprise will sleep in a tent this weekend, a reminder of her homeless days but thankfully, 1 Matters turned her life around. She now has a job and a roof over her head.
“I live in the west side of Toledo in a beautiful one bedroom apartment," she explained
You’ll find Tent City in the Civic Center Mall at the corner of Spielbusch and Jackson Street.
But on this one weekend of the year it turns into what they like to call the corner of Love and Compassion and not everybody there is homeless.
But everybody is eligible to receive medical and dental help, food and clothing as well as employment and housing advice.
“Once you start re-building your life and you can return to autonomy, financial and domestic autonomy, you start re-building your life,” according to Ken Leslie of 1 Matters.
Tent City even has a mayor and this year it’s Maddy Dudek who’s never been homeless but is a longtime volunteer.
“For me it’s about knowing people. I just love talking to people., the guests, volunteers. It’s home. It’s family," Maddy said.
The volunteers make Tent City run. Member of the University of Toledo Catholic Student Association like Daniel Patricio-Agosto came to serve meals.
“When I smile and they smile back that’s the biggest gratification I can ask form" he said.
And until everyone has a home 1 Matters will carry on it’s mission of breaking the cycle of homelessness.
Tent City wraps up Sunday morning with a free pancake breakfast.