Victims of domestic violence need a sustainable network of support and resources to live a life safe from abuse, and achieving this takes time ("Housing the homeless," editorial, April 17).
Bethany House gives victims that time by providing safe, transitional shelter for a year, or more if needed. Supportive services are also provided. These include client-directed goal planning, life skills education, financial literacy training, safety planning, on-site counseling, and children's programming.
Since 1984, Bethany House has been committed to providing services to domestic violence victims in our community. We will continue to do so despite possible funding cuts.
Executive Director Bethany House Tremainsville Road
Homeless shelters get short shrift
Toledo Mayor Mike Bell and Lourdes Santiago, director of the city's Department of Neighborhoods, have given limited time to the distribution of funds to homeless shelters and neighborhoods ("Shelters beg council not to cut their funds," April 19). The time is too short to make appropriate and educated decisions.
Our leaders are making uninformed decisions about more than $6.5 million, and openly failing to communicate their objectives to anyone outside One Government Center.
I sympathize with change; I do not sympathize with a lack of basic skills to communicate that change.
Family House faces uncertainty
The Department of Neighborhoods seeks to cut funding to several organizations that provide homelessness services. My concern is for the homeless children and families served by Family House.
The cut in proposed Community Development Block Grant funds to Family House is just over $82,000. That is 10 percent of its organizational budget but a small percentage of the $6 million pool of CDBG funds allocated to Toledo. This cut will allow Family House only until June 30 to make up the loss of these funds.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's new philosophy of service delivery for the homeless places priority on immediate re-housing. Emergency shelters such as Family House must revamp their missions and service delivery systems to be eligible for Emergency Solutions Grant funds.
Providing empowerment programs with the goal of strengthening families prior to re-housing historically has been Family House's focus. Changing the priorities of an emergency shelter to emphasize rapid re-housing, rather than the safe environment of a shelter, is a significant change for Family House.
Family House is the largest homeless shelter for families in northwest Ohio. It is entitled to fair communication from the city, as their common mission should be service to the residents of Toledo.
Editor's note: The letter writer is executive vice president of the National Exchange Club headquartered on Central Avenue.
Posting video of killing necessary
I strongly disagree with the Readers' Forum letter writer who disapproved of The Blade posting on its Web site the video of the killing of Matthew Dugan ("Posting video goes too far," April 15).
It was evidence to substantiate the death penalty for an obviously unremorseful Anthony Belton. There was no reason for this senseless and heartless murder.
I wonder whether the writer who criticized The Blade has ever had a family member gunned down in cold blood. Sadly, I have. If the posting of this video assisted in persuading people who oppose the death penalty to change their views, then it served its rightful purpose.
It has been 24 years since a cousin of mine was murdered in California. There was no recorded footage to assist rendering a justifiable death penalty.
My prayers go out to the family of Mr. Dugan.
Ann Romney likely has help
I doubt Ann Romney, wife of GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, ever took care of a home or her five children unless she wanted to ("No-work remark draws outrage," Readers' Forum, April 18).
She is rich, likely has housekeepers, nannies, cooks, and the like, and can come and go as she pleases. Anyone can have five kids and keep up the house with the help she has.
Train column is on the right track
I support Dr. S. Amjad Hussain's observations in his April 16 op-ed column about taking Amtrak to Chicago ("Once and future strangers share stories on a train"). I have been taking the train for several years.
Toledo is fortunate to have good rail connections, despite the views and actions of Gov. John Kasich, and has a nice train station. Parking is free and safe. I have left my car there many times with no problems.
As Dr. Hussain writes, traveling by train is pleasant. You talk to people, especially in the diner, who are fascinating. You can watch the scenery go by instead of a ribbon of pavement or the seat back in front of you.
You are relaxed and have time to read or to work on your laptop. There is plenty of leg room and you can easily get up and move about.
It is my preferred way to go to New York or Washington, where you really do not want to have a car, and to Chicago and other points west.
And from my observation, the passenger trains are full, even though some people say that nobody takes the train anymore.