Rental Assistance Programs for Homeless Toledo Public Schools Students Announced

Thursday, February 11, 2021

The City of Toledo – partnering with the Toledo Lucas County Homelessness Board, Toledo Public Schools, Lutheran Social Services of Northwest Ohio, and financial opportunity centers – has launched two new safety net grant programs to assist homeless families of students currently attending the school district, Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz announced today.

Up to $2 million of Emergency Solutions Grant CARES Act funding will be used to help approximately 300 families with rent payments for up to three months, rent deposits, and utility payments. Families at or below 60 percent of the area median income may qualify and will be rapidly re-housed into permanent living situations.

The Tenant Based Rental Assistance program will use $100,000 provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, HOME Investment Partnership funding, to provide 12 months of rental assistance, rent security deposits, utility payments, and utility security deposits to an additional 10 homeless families that have household incomes at or below 60 percent of the area median income. A case worker will work with grant recipients on the benefits of a financial opportunity center, and provide resources such as budgeting, credit repair, job searches, and educational opportunities. The funds will be paid directly to landlords and utility companies. The housing unit must be safe, decent, and sanitary, and successfully pass the City of Toledo’s housing quality standards inspection.

“Toledo is a compassionate city that seeks to help those in need, and the goal of this collaboration is just that,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said. “We want to help decrease the percentage of TPS families who are in shelters while providing housing stability and wrap-around services.”

Toledo Public Schools has approximately 23,000 students. Of those, about 1,700 are identified as homeless.

“TPS is proud to partner with the City of Toledo, Department of Neighborhoods, and the Lucas County Homelessness Board to serve our students,” said Heather Baker, TPS executive director of student intervention services. “As many know, roughly 1,700 of our students are challenged with homelessness. During the pandemic and remote learning, all of our students have needed more support. Through this partnership, we can provide them with the resources they need. We are grateful for this opportunity."

“We are proud to partner with the City of Toledo and Toledo Public Schools on this important initiative to help bring stability to local families,” Rachel Gagnon, Toledo Lucas County Homelessness Board executive director, said. “We know the effects of homelessness on children are lasting – social and emotional development are threatened, academic progress can be halted, and physical health is jeopardized. Safe and secure housing with appropriate supports provides the foundation necessary for a successful future for our children and community.”

City of Toledo Neighborhoods Department Director Rosalyn Clemens said more funding is needed to address the needs of homeless students in Toledo.

“This is just one of the city’s multiple housing programs, within the Department of Neighborhoods,” Ms. Clemens said. “This grant program addresses yet another housing challenge – this one for homeless students and their families – with the hope to raise attention to the issue and also find more funding each year.”

Mayor Kapszukiewicz, Ms. Baker, and Ms. Gagnon made the announcement during a news conference at Jones Leadership Academy of Business, 430 Nebraska Ave.