When deep funding cuts to Community Development Block Grants shuttered the kitchen at Toledo’s largest family homeless shelter, the community lost a valuable resource. Today, thanks in part to the Northwest Ohio Piping Industry, Family House has a new kitchen, and shelter residents no longer have to wonder where they will get their next meal.
With the capability to house 107 community members, Family House is Ohio’s second-largest homeless shelter. Not being able to serve meals to residents presented a heartbreaking challenge to the shelter’s leadership. Without a kitchen, families only had access to a bin for refrigerated food and a locker for dry goods.
Family House plays an integral role in ensuring the health of Toledo’s homeless community by providing many families with their only source of nutritious food. Located in an area of Toledo called a food desert, a spot where healthy, affordable food is difficult to obtain, most families at the shelter were forced to walk long distances to the nearest carryout for groceries, usually with young children in tow.
In the face of great need, Toledoans banned together and donated money, time, and goods to make sure Family House resources would be available to any and all in need. Members of the Piping Industy volunteered their time and donated an estimated $10,000 in labor, helping with construction, and ensuring the newly built kitchen is functional and successful.
Matt Armstrong, Don Lee, Mike Lee, Eric Osborne and Darryl White removed all the old plumbing in the kitchen. They also installed new plumbing, waste and water service to all three of the sinks and the dishwasher.
Members of the Piping Industry who worked on this project understand its significance. Armstrong, Lee, Osborne, White, and Lee all live and work in the Toledo area. They care deeply about the community and residents because it is where they call home. They can take pride in their work in a way out-of-town contractors could not; knowing that their friends, families, and neighbors are impacted positively as a direct result of their hard work and volunteerism.
With an entire community’s support, Family House was able to re-opening their kitchen on October 20, 2015.