Toledo homeless shelters deal with dropping temperatures and rising COVID-19 cases

Shelters are trying to come up with ways to keep everyone warm, fed, and COVID free
Published: Jan. 12, 2022 at 5:00 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Temperatures are dropping, COVID-19 cases are rising, and the city of Toledo is still seeing extremely high rates of homelessness. All these issues have been hard on local homeless shelters.

Leaders at St. Paul’s Community Center say they are using all their resources to come up with some solutions.

“We’ve been dealing with homelessness like we’ve been dealing with homelessness since day one, but now add on it COVID and the cold,” says Joe Habib, executive director of St. Paul’s.

Habib says they’ve come up with a plan: people who need shelter have may have been exposed to COVID-19 will be put up in hotels.

“We will be diverting individuals to hotels, motels if necessary for isolation, and even though we are down on staff and so on, we will go the extra mile and provide food for them, provide the necessities so that they can make it,” says Habib.

And with temperatures below freezing, Habib says even more people are looking for shelter. He says if you find yourself homeless to call United Way 211. But there are still options for those who don’t have access to a phone.

“We don’t want to make it very hard on the homeless individual because we know they don’t have transportation and they’re carrying their whole house on their back. So if they happen to come to a shelter, the shelter staff will facilitate placement of that phone call,” says Habib.

Habib says they are doing everything they can to take in people in need and keep them warm and fed, but funs are running low.

“So right now the biggest need is really money. I hate to say it, I hate to be blunt but it is. It’s costing a lot of money for us to pay for staff, to come up with the food and transportation, even if you want to put them in a taxi cab, the cost of the hotel. So if I want to make any appeal. we definitely need those dollars to come in so we don’t leave anybody in the cold.”

If you want to donate to St. Paul’s Community Center, you can do so at their website.

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