Greenbelt Place Resource Fair
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) – For months, 13abc has been reporting the stories of those who live in Greenbelt Place apartments. The complex has been declared a public nuisance by the city of Toledo. But thousands still live inside.
In August, a resident of Greenbelt Place contacted 13abc to ask for help getting her carpet replaced after her building flooded. Since then, 13abc has returned time and time again to document the stories of those who live inside as they fight for habitable homes. Saturday morning, the community came in droves.
“Over time it became hell on earth,” says Brandi Townsend, resident of Greenbelt Place, describing life at the low-income complex.
After the city declared the buildings a public nuisance, the complex failed an inspection by the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, scoring just 36 out of a possible 100 points. Residents say they feel helpless.
“Very ignored, like a lot of people have said, I have placed a lot of maintenance orders, they don’t want to fix anything,” says Kayla LeMay, a resident.
On Saturday, community partners came together to make sure Greenbelt Place residents know they are not alone. Services like food, immunizations and addiction services were available at the community’s doorstep during a family-focused resource fair.
“A lot of children are in care because of the consequences of poverty, things that are under their control. This is a situation over which families have no control and we are here today, so say we are an aid agency. We are here to help you overcome this situation, ”said Robin Reese, executive director of Lucas County Children’s Services.
Kayla LeMay has lived in Greenbelt for almost a year and says the fair makes her feel good.
“It’s exciting, because you brought everyone here,” she says.
But her sister, Brandi Townsend, says she has lived in Greenbelt for four years and is still skeptical.
“It makes me feel good, but at the same time, they should have done something sooner than that, you know what I mean?” ” she says.
Community organizers hope events like the fair can help restore confidence and build bridges out of poverty for thousands of Toledo.
“We all want to know that we are loved and that we belong, don’t we? So if we can bring resources here to let them know if you need a car seat, Children’s Services was there to provide it, ”said Linda McDuffie, President and CEO. of YWCA of Northwest Ohio.
At the fair there were medical services, music and a raffle for household items. McDuffie even shared the story of a family of 15 who were all vaccinated against COVID at the fair.
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