Programs from Helping Hands Center.

Regardless of background or religion, the Helping Hands agency of St. Louis Outreach Center provide assistance. They operate a number of resources, ranging from a Soup Kitchen and Clothing Center to  Emergency Services for paying bills or rent. The agency will first try to solve basic needs, and then move onto more in depth support services.

The goal of the Lucas County agency is to assist clients in any way possible. For example, the Clothing Center as well as Soup Kitchen are open to any from the community who are in need. They offer services and programs, such as hygiene kits, the Food Pantry, and personal hygiene. That can even include hot showers.

Not matter what resource someone is applying for, they will need to show proof of residence in East Toledo. Helping Hands of St. Louis Outreach Center will accept proof of income, valid photo ID or financial support. Other proof may be a current utility bill, or any mail showing a recent postmark and the client’s name and address.

The Helping Hands Food Pantry distributes groceries and more. The location will have commodity foods available, and they are provided through the federal government to qualifying residents of East Toledo. Free food is available for each household once per month at most.

In addition to furnishing food, the Pantry offers basic needs that include personal hygiene kits, free diapers, baby food or formula, and feminine hygiene items. Staff members from Helping Hands are also available on site to provide clients with assistance in applying for benefits. This can include state of Ohio SNAP Food Stamps or HEAP. They will also perform assessments; and make referrals to other programs, as necessary.

A Soup Kitchen is in eastern Toledo. This location serves freshly prepared, hot meals to anyone in need. Breakfast is served and also Lunch is available. At those times, the non-profit will also distribute other items, such as bread, produce, clothing, and miscellaneous household items. All items from the pantry or soup kitchen are offered on a first come, first served basis, according to availability.

Community Emergency Services, or CES, assists qualifying families and individuals. There are grants used for clients who are struggling to manage their finances. Funds will help them cover all of their bills, and/or maintain suitable housing, so there is money for rent and costs such as heating bills.




Participants are required to participate in a Life Skills Workshop that provides information on avoiding payday lending, budgeting, identity theft, credit reporting,, and other information related to personal money management. The goal is to provide knowledge and skills that enable the client to make informed financial decisions. In addition, financial assistance with a portion of back rent or mortgage payments may be available, along with medical or prescription costs.

Supportive Housing may provide Lucas County families with the needed skills and resources that enable them to live independently in Toledo. Specifically, Supportive Housing from Helping Hands is targeted at homeless individuals and families with disabled heads of household and total household incomes at or below poverty level. Physical disabilities, drug or alcohol addiction as well as mental illnesses qualify as disabilities for this program.

Program staff members secure low income housing or apartments. They will also manage government subsidies, and make contact with needed support services to assist the client, according to his or her individual needs. The non-profit also provides case management services to provide guidance and support as individuals set goals as well as they develop plans to achieve the goals. Volunteers from Helping Hands also create strategies to increase household income through employment, education, and training.

Helping Hands of St. Louis Outreach Center case managers also locate appropriate community resources to meet any further need for financial assistance. Whether it is support for obtaining food, furniture, and household items, this can be arranged if it will provide normalcy and stability.





Helping Hands and St. Vincent de Paul Society work together to offer financial assistance or emergency loans. This is a solution for eligible residents of the service area. A representative is available at Helping Hands to review the situation, and they will determine client eligibility for funding. Any funds are sent directly to the vendor or landlord.

Each applicant is eligible for this assistance once per 365-day time period. They will provide funding for the following purposes. There is support for prescription drugs. Energy bills can be paid too, and a recent utility disconnection or shut off notice is required for a grant.

Clients for any form of grant must show proof of income, residence, the original, copy of a lease, hard-copy prescription, and a statement from the pharmacy., if applicable. So proof is always needed. Helping Hands reserves the right to confirm the total cost before issuing any money.

Helping Hands’ eight-week courses on nutrition education are recommended as well. Not only does it help people prepare healthy meals, but tips are given on saving money on food purchases, recipes, and healthy snacks for kids are just a few of the subjects covered in class. As part of the course, each participant also receives a free kitchen appliance or some form of tool each week they attend.

A Clothing Center is operated by the charity. Helping Hands will use the site to stocks free clothing items, shoes, winter hats, boots, and coats. Residents in need are invited to come in to shop for needed items, at no charge. This service is limited to Toledo families once every three months.

For more information, this agency is for eastern Toledo Ohio. Other people can receive referrals as well. The main address is 443 6th Street, Toledo, Ohio 43605, dial (419) 691-0613.



By Jon McNamara

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