Friendly Center assistance programs in Lucas County Ohio.

Partnering with local churches and charities, The Friendly Center can help the less fortunate, working poor, and struggling families in Lucas County. Most of the support they offer is for so called basic needs, such as food, clothing, and similar items. However, they also offer referrals to government benefits and run an innovate service known as Bank on Toledo, which provides financial services to residents.

An emergency food pantry is available for income qualified families and individuals. The center operates a couple days per week. Most of the groceries and food passed out comes from donations or other non-profits. They include the Friendly Center Service Guild, local charities and churches across Toledo Ohio.

Social services, referrals, and family programming was created in an effort to address the many needs within the community, including of the unemployed, seniors, and other low income families. Most of this includes referrals to government benefits such as SNAP food stamps or HEAP heating bill assistance. Other resources in Lucas County include shelters, food pantries, and job training. These programs are designed to help people in North Toledo access the benefits they need for stability.

Many of these programs are offered in partnership with the Maumee Watershed District, United Methodist Women’s Organization, the West Ohio Conference, the United Way of Greater Toledo, local Lucas County United Methodist churches and other generous members of the community.

Federal Government Commodities, such as surplus food, canned goods, and groceries are available. Countless individuals and families in the county need special assistance from the government, whether the state of Ohio or federal. The Friendly Center helps accommodate the individuals by offering various services.

The Personal Hygiene Closet can help ensure low income or the homeless get the items they need. The Friendly Center and local churches are all committed to providing basic hygiene products to the community. This may include free toilet tissue, toothpaste, soap and deodorant and other personal hygiene items.

Financial literacy and savings are addressed from Bank on Toledo. This resource was established as a collaborative effort involving the United Way of Greater Toledo, private lenders, the City of Toledo, area financial institutions and various non-profit community partners. This county initiative is focused on assisting the so called under-banked as well as the unbanked. Many of them, including immigrants, need help in obtaining access to financial services.





Some of what is offered from Bank on Toledo includes classes to teach consumers the benefits of having a bank account. Local banks will offer income qualified residents with the opportunity to open low-cost, starter accounts so they can build credit. The center will also hold financial education courses to help residents save money, access low interest loans and prepare for the future

Help for senior citizens in North Toledo is available. The Friendly Center works with other local non-profit organizations, including agency on aging offices, to provide seniors with important services and programs.

Examples of what is coordinated for seniors, regardless of income, includes a free hot lunch, fellowship activities, and workshops on issues that are important to seniors, such as medical care. This may be addressed from occasional Health Fairs, which provide an opportunity for free health screenings and distribute information on community resources.

As noted, many local churches and faith based groups contribute to the Friendly Center. These groups, including United Methodist Women, and the Maumee Watershed offer financial support and other services for qualified applicants. Staff will help empower the less fortunate. The main address is 1324 N. Superior Street, Toledo, Ohio 43604. Call 419-243-1289.



By Jon McNamara

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