June 30, 2014—TOLEDO—Beginning July 1, four local shelters will begin implementing efforts to reduce barriers for homeless families moving into permanent housing.  The efforts are made possible by a $60,000 grant from the Toledo Community Foundation through the ProMedica Advocacy Fund. 

Recipient shelters include Catholic Charities’ La Posada Family Emergency Shelter, Family House, Aurora Project and Bethany House.  Of the 381 families that were housed in these shelters last year, more than 150 faced barriers that delayed their transition into permanent housing by over a week.  Over 80 percent of the families had children under the age of 18.

The grant will be used to assist with utility costs, first month’s rent and other challenges that may hinder families from moving into permanent housing.

“This is an example of agencies coming together to find a way to best serve people in our community while reducing redundancies, cost and inefficiencies,” said Rodney Schuster, executive director of Catholic Charities.  “We are very excited for this partnership and look forward to success and positive results.”

June 30, 2014—TOLEDO—Catholic Charities’ Helping Hands of St. Louis will open its doors to a new client choice food pantry on Tuesday, July 1.  The pantry will be open every Tuesday and Thursday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Previously, clients who came to the Helping Hands’ pantry received pre-packaged bags with the same food items for each family.  “A lot of clients would receive food they wouldn’t use or their family didn’t need,” said Sue Shrewsbery, staff member at Helping Hands.  The food pantry provides an average of 200 bags of groceries each month.

The new format will provide clients with a grocery store atmosphere and allow clients to choose food based on their individual or family’s needs.  The pantry will be divided into nutritional categories: grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, meats and combination foods/miscellaneous.  Clients will also have the opportunity to pick items dependent on household size.

Helping Hands has partnered with the Toledo Lucas County Health Department for the creation of the client choice pantry.  The Health Department donated shopping carts, nutritional pamphlets and recipes. 

Catholic Charities also operates a client choice pantry in Mansfield, called the H.O.P.E. Pantry.  “The client choice format provides people with dignity because they are able to choose what is best for themselves and their family,” said Catholic Charities Executive Director Rodney Schuster.

Our Mission

Catholic Charities makes real the love God has for each individual regardless of faith or background, by serving the poor, speaking for and assisting the neglected and forgotten, respecting and promoting life from beginning to end, and nurturing and supporting individuals and families.

Catholic Charities Northwest Ohio