Lutheran Social Services picked by City of Toledo, TPS to handle distribution of stabilization funds
It's time to roll up our sleeves and get to work helping more families in Toledo.
After successfully helping nearly 500 children in the Toledo Public School system with rental and utility assistance, Lutheran Social Services of Northwestern Ohio is proud to once again partner with the City of Toledo and TPS for a new round of the TPS Family Stabilization Program.
The city has agreed to partner with LSS for an additional $2 million in funding for rental and utility assistance for TPS families in 2023. The city is using federal money from the Department of Housing and Urban Development to fund the program.
"We are proud that the city and TPS have chosen our agency to be their partner in distributing these funds," LSS Vice President Traci Jaksetic said. "It just shows the effort and dedication of our employees in the Financial Stability Program -- Megan Pickering, Jill Hunt and Katie Ramirez.
"Helping families with TPS students get on stable ground really is an investment in our future. We're ready to get to work helping even more families find their footing."
The program started in July 2021 as a partnership with the City of Toledo Department of Neighborhoods, TPS and LSS to help TPS families at risk of homelessness and those who were already homeless.
Since the beginning of the program, more than 300 families have stabilized their housing in 2021 and '22, with $1.8 million in rental assistance and an additional $465,000 in utility assistance.
"We have children in our family who are hurting, and who wouldn't do everything he or she could to help a child when a child is hurting," Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz said. "It's hard enough to learn algebra, the periodic table or the rules of grammar and where you're supposed to put commas, that stuff is hard enough. Now imagine if on top of that you didn't know where you were going to sleep tonight. It's a real problem in our community."
Kapszukiewicz had nothing but praise for the city's partner in this program, Lutheran Social Services.
"Lutheran Social Services is a fantastic organization," he said. "This is an organization that has been in our community for over 110 years. You think about all of the things that has changed in our community over 110 years, yet one of the constants has been Lutheran Social Services.
"They just constantly do the hard work that lifts up a community, and they've been doing it for 110 years.
"This program would not have been possible without the leadership of Mrs. Jaksetic and her team at Lutheran Social Services. They are really stepping up where there is a need."
While in programming, clients were offered free financial counseling services, and they were linked with other resources at LSS, including mental and behavioral health counseling, the Emergency Choice Food Pantry and the personal needs pantry.
Clients were also referred to other agencies for additional services, such as food pantries, furniture referrals through Epworth United Methodist Church, HEAP and PIPP programs, Christmas Assistance through the Salvation Army, employment referrals and training through Cherry Street Mission, Owens Community College and the Catholic Charities Opportunity Kitchen.
FACTS AND FIGURES
- 166 families came into the program while already housed and received assistance with rental arrears and/or paying future months of rent.
- 54 families came into the programming unhoused and were assisted in finding housing. They received a security deposit and 12 months of rental and utility assistance to have services turned on at their new address.
- 201 families received utility assistance. One family received nearly $12,000 to settle a balance with Toledo Edison and more than $5,000 for a balance with Columbia Gas.
- 482 children were stabilized while in programming, including 396 being of school age.
- 805 additional TPS families reached out after the program had closed. Those are families who are continuing to struggle with rent and utility payments.