Twenty volunteers with the Toledo Lucas County Homelessness Board spent three hours late Tuesday night into early Wednesday morning looking for homeless people on the streets of Lucas County. It was part of the National Street and Shelter Point-in-Time Count. During the day on Tuesday, volunteers visited local shelters to find out how many people were staying at that shelter. At night, volunteers drove throughout Lucas County looking for people sleeping in parks and abandoned buildings.
Steven North has participated in the count for several years. "The idea that there is somebody outside on a night like this is unconscionable," Mr. North said. Volunteers had clothing, blankets and food to give away. A team of volunteers met Michelle Smith at a hospital emergency room and gave her a coat and a sack lunch. "This nice lady gave me a brand new coat; I am blessed," Ms. Smith said.
Volunteer John Whitlow saw a man walking on a North Toledo street who appeared to be in distress. "We met a young man who had a frostbite condition and really, really cold, so we gave him a blanket, put him in the car and transported him to St. Paul's Community shelter," Mr. Whitlow said.That young man, Maurice Brown, says the volunteers came when he needed them the most. "It feels good; it's like angels just came down and took me out of this cold," Mr. Brown said.
Last year the Toledo homeless count was pegged at 900 people. This year's tally will be revealed by the homelessness board in a few days.