October 18, 2018 – Tent City, the annual health and social services fair for the area’s homeless and otherwise underserved, returns to the Civic Center Mall in Downtown Toledo this weekend.
The three-day event, which began in Toledo in 1990, offers food, clothing, haircuts, and medical examinations to people in the area without secure housing. But beyond goods and services exchanged, organizers say it’s the relationships formed that have a lasting impact.
“For years I’ve talked about the compassion of this community,” said Ken Leslie, homeless advocate and founder of 1Matters and offshoot group Veterans Matter, who called Tent City a “living example of that compassion.”
Among the events during the jam-packed weekend is a one-mile walk to honor veterans that begins 6 p.m. Friday. Musicians will perform Friday and Saturday evenings.
Attendees on Saturday can also obtain a state identification card and copy of their birth certificate if they were born in Ohio.
“That critical piece of paper opens a gateway to everything that one would want out of life,” Mr. Leslie said.
Michelle Isaacs, president of the Toledo Lucas County Homelessness Board, said lacking those documents can hinder “the most vulnerable population we have,” keeping them from getting housing, public assistance, or employment.
“We want to eliminate as many barriers as possible,” she said.
Registration for services begins 3 p.m. Friday. Donations of children’s clothes are still needed and can be dropped off 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at the Civic Center Mall. For more information, visit 1matters.org/tentcity.
Jackson Street will be closed between Erie and Michigan streets from 6 a.m. Friday until 3 p.m. Sunday during the event.