TOLEDO, Ohio — If you had $180 million to spend on your neighbors, classmates and city, how would you utilize the funds?
This isn't a hypothetical for Ka'Trice Perry.
She came to the American Recovery Plan meeting with her researched proposal and handed it right to Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz.
"He definitely made himself available, we had a chance to sit and talk for a second and he took a quick look at the proposal," Perry said.
Thursday is the first of six listening sessions where Toledoans can tell the mayor how they would like to see the $180 million federal dollars the city was given for COVID relief spent.
Perry runs Gateway Youth Development, a non-profit focused on serving foster youth, and says these funds could be life-changing for those in her program
"Our main focus of the whole entire program is life skills; basically teaching all the kids everything they need to know to live on their own independently," Perry said.
For Celeste Smith, she believes this money coming out of a health crisis should go to treat health concerns in the Black community
"We were very greatly impacted by COVID-19 and a lot of it had to do with underlying health issues that are prevalent in the African-American community," Smith said.
Smith says the pandemic highlighted just how vast the disparities in treatment are across Toledo.
If you didn't make it to this listening session but would like your input to be heard, here's when the next sessions are scheduled:
- Aug. 4 - 12 p.m.to 1 p.m.
- VIRTUAL: Aug. 10 - 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Whitmer High School
- Aug. 17 - 6 p.m. 7 p.m. at Toledo Lucas County Public Library
- Aug. 24 - 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Waite High School
- Aug. 31 - 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Scott High School