County leaders address homelessness problem - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

County leaders address homelessness problem

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"If you want something good to eat, come down to Cherry Street Mission," recommends Robert Miller.  He's been homeless for the past ten years.  "They got good food down here."

Miller moved to Toledo after being a baker in Scranton, PA.  Now at 60 years told, finding employment is tough.    "At my age, nobody's hiring," he says.

That means more mouths to feed at the Cherry Street Mission Ministries.  The Toledo-Lucas County Homelessness Board is working to help people like Robert by finding funding dollars and creating services to help the local poor.  Board leaders met on Friday to discuss preventative efforts like creating more services to help the mentally ill and those on the brink of financial collapse or needing a job.

"Us working together as a preventative model will hopefully help reduce the number of people from reaching one of our doors," says Cherry St. Mission CEO, Rev. Dan Rogers.

Rogers says it takes longer for the positive economic gains to reach those at the very bottom. Some at the Mission are optimistic local and national leaders will make a difference.

"I feel President Obama and Mayor Bell are going to work something out to help these people get up and utilize the talents and skills that they have," says 53-year-old Michael Parker who is also homeless.

"It's going to be 12, 18 maybe 24 months before the increase in economy begins to catch up with the number of people who are homeless, hungry, or in trouble," Rev. Rogers tells 13abc.

Serving over 900 meals a day, the Cherry Street Mission continues to be a blessing to those who need it most. Robert says it's his lifeline until he's back on his feet and has a place to lay his head.

"It gives me a place to live, and it's better than being on the streets."

To get more information on homeless services, visit http://www.refersoftware.com/211toledo/ .

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