New grant to assist Toledo Homelessness Board sort out points worsened by pandemic

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During the pandemic, shelters had to reduce capacity to be safe, while the need for their services increased.

TOLEDO, Ohio – A new grant addresses the issue of homelessness in Toledo.

The Toledo Lucas County Homelessness Agency received the new low-risk grant from the Ohio Coalition for Homelessness and Housing. The board chairs say this will help with longstanding problems that the pandemic only made worse.

When you walk downtown Toledo or across the city, people without a home roam the streets even in the dead of winter. According to Rachel Gagnon, executive director of the board, 2020 has caused big problems. Shelters had to reduce their capacity to be safe, and at the same time the demand for their services increased.

“When we’re trying to put in social distancing measures and make sure people in a community are safe, it’s a huge challenge,” Gagnon said. “So we got creative and used hotels wherever we could.”

In response to the increased need for shared accommodation, the Homelessness Agency received a $ 34,000 risk reduction grant. Officials say it will help prevent evictions and attract private landlords to more housing in the cost of moving in costs for the homeless by ensuring rent and costs are paid even when the tenant gets into tough times.

“To encourage landlords to serve people who are more difficult to accommodate due to barriers they have from previous living situations,” said Candace Bishop, manager of the Board Grant.

Gagnon adds that many grants usually come with conditions, but not, and allow them flexibility in solving specific problems.

“Rental subsidies may not cover the full cost of an available unit for a given customer, so that can cover the difference,” said Gagnon. “We also intend to recruit new landlords because we know we don’t have enough low-income housing in our community.”

Gagnon says this new fund will help them be proactive and prevent families and individuals from losing their housing and stability.

“If you’re in a stable dormitory right now and maybe you’ve reached a tough point and just need a little help,” she said, “these funds can help keep this at bay and keep you in a stable environment.” . “

The board has the opportunity to receive more funds from this grant and include it in a larger program. Gagnon believes it could be important if the eviction moratorium comes to an end due to the pandemic.