TOLEDO, Ohio — Toledo city leaders are relaunching its mediation service after the COVID-19 pandemic caused the program to be suspended.
Parking over property lines, a neighbor leaving their garbage can outside for too long, or teenagers playing their music too loud are all examples of neighbor disputes the mediation service can handle. Instead of calling the police for help, the Toledo Human Relations Commission mediation service will be available to step in, free of charge.
"There are, you know, a thousand and one different things that can sometimes make living in a neighborhood challenging, but having a system in place to address those differences is also a key part of making the city livable," Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said.
The program was put on hold because of COVID-19, but Kapszuckiewicz said that in 2019, 225 individuals reached out to take advantage of the service. He noted that 30 of those occasions resulted in a successful mediation and the neighbors' differences were worked out.
"We'll do some of the dirty work, right? We'll reach out to people that you might not feel comfortable talking to and hopefully be able to engage some of our local programs that already exist within the city," Human Relations Commission Chairperson Raina Dawson said.
Kapszukiewicz said the service is important to the community.
"As the temperature warms, sometimes tempers can warm, and that's human nature and we understand that, but fortunately we have a system in place that we think can provide a resource to help people, it certainly did in the past," he said.
You can contact the mediation service by phone at 419-245-1518 or email at HRCMediation@Toledo.ohio.gov.
You can also contact the program's partner, Engage Toledo, at 419-936-2020.