Greenbelt Place resource fair

Greenbelt Place resource fair
Published: Oct. 31, 2021 at 12:58 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - For months, 13abc has been reporting the stories of those living in the Greenbelt Place Apartments. The complex has been declared a public nuisance by the City of Toledo. But thousands still live inside.

Back in August, a resident of Greenbelt Place contacted 13abc asking for help with getting her carpet replaced after her building flooded. Since then, 13abc has come back time and time again to document the stories of those living inside as they fight for habitable homes. Saturday morning, the community came out in droves.

“Over time, it’s become Hell on earth,” says Greenbelt Place resident Brandi Townsend, describing living in the low-income complex.

After the city declared the buildings a public nuisance, the complex failed an inspection by the federal department of Housing and Urban Development, scoring only a 36 out of a possible 100 points. Residents say they feel helpless.

“Very ignored, like a lot of people have said, I’ve put a lot of maintenance orders in, they don’t want to fix anything,” says resident Kayla LeMay.

On Saturday, community partners came together to make sure that Greenbelt Place residents know they’re not alone. Services like food, vaccinations, and addictions services were available on the community’s doorsteps at a resource fair focused on families.

“A lot of kids come into care because of the consequences of poverty, things out of their control. This is a situation that the families have no control over and we’re here today so say we are a helping agency. We are here to help you get through this situation,” says Robin Reese, executive director of Lucas County Children’s Services.

Kayla LeMay has lived at Greenbelt for nearly a year and says the fair makes her feel good.

“It’s exciting, because you brought everybody out here,” she says.

But her sister, Brandi Townsend, says that has lived at Greenbelt for four years and is still skeptical.

“It makes me feel good, but at the same time they should have done something sooner than this, you know what I mean?” she says.

Community organizers hope that events like the fair can help rebuild trust and create bridges out of poverty for thousands of Toledoans.

“All of us want to know that we are loved and we belong, don’t we? So if we can bring resources out here to let them know, if you need a car seat, Children’s Services was here to provide it,” says Lisa McDuffie, President and CEO of YWCA of Northwest Ohio.

At the fair there were medical services, music and a raffle for household items. McDuffie even shared the story of a family of 15 who all got COVID vaccinations at the fair.

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