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Published: Thursday, 9/19/2013

Full Toledo homeless shelters asked to use floors because of backlog

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Nearly every bed at the four federally-funded homeless shelters in Toledo -– which had funding cuts this year -– is full but the facilities have been asked to accommodate even more people in common areas and on floors.

Additionally, many at the homeless shelters say there is still a backlog of people waiting to be seen by “coordinated assessment counselors” and an even greater backlog to subsequently get shelter residents moved into transitional or permanent housing -– both of which are handled by the United Way of Greater Toledo.

Tom Bonnington, executive director of the Toledo Lucas County Homelessness Board -– the quasi public-private agency that oversees area shelters -– confirmed that he recently asked shelter directors to make more room and that is aware of the backlogs.

“We have people calling for service who we are unable to place in shelters,” Mr. Bonnington said. “We are like always battling housing problems, funding, and the economy so we are trying to get people into places.”

The affected shelters are Family House, La Posada, St. Paul's Community Center, and Beach House.

Officials at United Way denied that homeless people at any of the four shelters have to wait more than a week to see a coordinated assessment counselor, which is the first step in moving people into other housing.

Jamie Brubaker, United Way's coordinated assessment program manager, said those face-to-face meetings always occur within a week.



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