St. Paul’s Community Center and Shelter reopens with better facilities and services for those in need
After weeks of renovations, staff with St. Paul’s Community Center and Shelter in Downtown Toledo re-opened their doors Thursday afternoon.
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Executive Director of St. Paul’s Community Center Joe Habib is welcoming dozens of community members back inside their downtown Toledo shelter following what he says was a much-needed upgrade to the existing space.
“I always say it’s a shelter yes, but if this shelter is not clean enough and good enough for a family member of mine it doesn’t meet my standards,” says Joe Habib.“We shoot at proving a clean safe environment for individuals who come in. So as you see we started with the floors, we are going to give this a good painting as well, so it will be as homey as possible.”
Staff with St. Paul’s say they’ve served a record number of those in need during the pandemic, but they’ve also seen an overwhelming display of generosity. The shelter used grants made available during the pandemic, as well as local donations, to install new adhesive floors, industrial washers and dryers, and better resources.
“Yes it is an investment not only just in the looks but its an investment in the quality of services, it’s a reflection of the quality we offer our clients.”
Director Habib emphasizes that staff want clients’ stay at the shelter to be as short as possible. The renovation also allows them to expand the shelter’s ability to assist individuals with landing a job, finding a long-term place to live of their own, and the confidence to believe in themselves.
“If we can’t instill hope in them what are we really doing?” said Habib. “The objective is not to keep people here, the objective is to give them the hope that they need. We want to link them, hook them up with our case manager, so we can put them on the housing track and then provide them support once at a home.”
According to St. Paul’s Community Center website, 80% of funding for its food programs comes from monetary donations from individuals, churches, and businesses. Shelter staff also explain building operations depend on donations of money, in-person volunteer services, and goods donated to be used within the shelter. St. Paul’s Community Center is hosting a virtual Awards Ceremony on Thursday, September 16th from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM, as a fundraiser in order to continue to supply and serve those who use their space. You can find more information on how to assist St. Paul’s Community Center and shelter on their website.
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