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Published: Tuesday, 5/6/2014 - Updated: 2 months ago

Shelter renews promise

Homeless-family center reopens after hiatus

BY FEDERICO MARTINEZ
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Linda Hoover, president of the board of trustees of Family Promise of Greater Toledo, walks through the living room at organization’s shelter. The shelter reopened Monday after it halted operations in December, 2011. Linda Hoover, president of the board of trustees of Family Promise of Greater Toledo, walks through the living room at organization’s shelter. The shelter reopened Monday after it halted operations in December, 2011.
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A charity that had served homeless families in Toledo since 1993 has reopened its doors after a 2 ½-year hiatus.

The Family Promise of Greater Toledo opened Monday when program officials welcomed its first family that will be housed at a Toledo area church in the evening and stay at a day center at 4850 Flanders.

“We’re excited to be open,” Family Promise Director Heather Allen said. “This is definitely needed in Toledo. We’re glad we can keep families together.”

The organization closed operations in December, 2011, after running out of money. At that time officials were optimistic they could reopen in a couple of months. However, months turned to years.

A new group of people rallied, replacing the old board and raising money through public and private donations. Most of the churches that originally supported the organization recommitted themselves.

Mrs. Allen has the only paid position. Community members handle other duties, Board President Linda Hoover said. The board consists of several people with strong financial skills. A finance committee is responsible for raising funds, such as through grants, she said.

The day center is located in a three-bedroom, brick ranch house with a full basement. It is being leased to Family Promise for $1 per year by neighboring Trinity Church of the Nazarene, Ms. Hoover said.

The home, which also will house Mrs. Allen’s office, includes a TV room, kitchen and dining area, a bedroom for children who need naps, several play areas, and a computer room for adults.

Twenty churches of various denominations throughout greater Toledo will take turns hosting families overnight and providing a hot supper and other amenities, Ms. Hoover said.

The program can house up to four families at one time.

Families can stay in the program up to three months. During that time, they will work with the director to find employment and/​or enter programs that provide them skills to find employment, Ms. Hoover said.

School-aged children will be enrolled at their home schools during their families’ participation in the program, Ms. Hoover said.

Marilyn McAfee, who was a volunteer with the charity the first time around, has been named president emeritus of the board. She still volunteers and handles such tasks as cleaning furniture as it arrives at the day center and hauling boxes of toys to the playroom.

Mrs. McAfee admits that for awhile she had lost hope that the program would ever be restored. When she saw the renewed efforts, she was eager to lend her experience.

“I don’t like to go with a loser, and I wasn’t going to let them lose,” Mrs. McAfee said. “I love kids, and parents out there have so many needs. But I think we’ll make it this time.”

The group will host its a golf scramble May 16 at Bedford Hills Golf Club. For details, contact Craig Thistlethwaite at 419-350-3469.

For more information about Family Promise, contact Mrs. Allen at 419-517-5544 or visit toledofamilypromise.org.

Contact Federico Martinez at: fmartinez@theblade.com or 419-724-6154.



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