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Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio.

One of the state’s largest non-profit agencies is the Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio. The organization has operations across the state and offer income qualified families a number of services. They range from low income housing, homeless prevention, to free food and access to thrift stores. Other assistance is for the homeless, veterans, single parents and general job training programs. Also, if the organization can’t meet your needs, then they may have referrals readily available.

Basic needs

Thrift stores sell gently used goods to anyone from the region. Up to 100 percent of the proceeds from the sale of each item sold at a thrift store will benefit their assistance programs and services. By using these VOA of Ohio thrift stores, you will both get a great bargain on clothes, furniture, and other items. You will also be helping those less fortunate as the money you spend funds the numerous programs. The locations are Aurora, Columbus, Brunswick, Cleveland, Circleville, Mansfield, and North Olmsted, among other cities.

Beds for children are addressed from the Well Rested Child program. It will offer free or low cost, new beds, mattresses, sheets, box springs, comforter and pillows for those that qualify. The child needs to be under the age of 18, enrolled in school, and come from a low income household.

Books from the Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio and partners such as Scholastics are for children. They may have toys, books, games, and craft for families. The goal of the program is to foster and improve literacy levels.

Holiday programs are extensive. Christmas food is offered across the state and in cities such as Cincinnati. Volunteers assist in packing and passing out food baskets, delivering baskets to those who are elderly or disabled, and collecting canned goods. The Thanksgiving Care-A-Van is also for central Ohio, including the elderly, homeless, and unemployed. Thousands of families get free turkeys, stuffing, and all the toppings.

Santa's Workshop is a thrift type store. It operates during the Christmas holiday and allows parent to shop for needed toys, clothes, or goods for their child. Many churches and charities work with Volunteers of America on this.




Food assistance from Food Pantries and also Free Meal Programs are available to thousands of families. Locations may include Aurora, Sandusky, and Mansfield Ohio.

Many restaurants and grocery stores donate goods for the Free Meal Program. This will help ensure the needy have a free or low cost meal served to them.

Shelter and basic needs from Give the Gift of Warmth is for veterans, children, women, and men. Not only do people get a place to stay for a period, but also free hats, gloves, winter coats, scarves, socks, and other clothing items.

VOA Ohio financial support

Rent and ongoing support from the Homeless Prevention and Rapid Re-Housing is for individuals or families. It is administered by Community Shelter Board and its partners, which can be reached at 614.221.9195. The Board can help them exit or ideally prevent homelessness. The agency strongly believes sustaining and paying for permanent housing and that it is critical for the state of Ohio and society at large.





Any funds are offered with self-sufficiency, such as programs like Grounded for Life. Community Shelter Board help clients and the homeless develop the tools for achieving long term success in overcoming any major life change. Get support in managing finances, gain confidence, and access other important daily living skills. Mentors work with VOA in Ohio and also include churches, charities and faith-based ministries.

As noted, a focus of the Ohio volunteers is on housing. They work to both prevent and end any existing homelessness for veterans, individuals and families. They receive funding from the federal government and state of Ohio, offer outreach and social services to those that are behind on their rent or currently homeless. Help from Community Shelter Board or its partners may come in the form of payment for first month’s rent or security deposits to offering permanent supportive housing.

Low income housing is extensive and is located across Ohio. Volunteers of America runs many of these programs for the less fortunate, seniors, and disabled in the area. They may be the largest non-profit housing provider in the state and nation. Some of the main units are below.

  • Parkway Towers is single room or efficiency apartments in Cincinnati.
  • St. Bernard Commons is for seniors age 62 and older.
  • Woodlands in Middletown Ohio is for people age 55 and older. There are one and two bedroom low income apartments available with kitchen, common areas and other facilities.
  • Chestnut Hill is another housing unit for the disabled in Ohio. Case managers will help and try to ensure residents have stable, independent housing accessible to them.
  • Clinton Springs Apartments is for the disabled. Several units provide an affordable, safe, stable and supportive environment. They are also wheelchair accessible.
  • Antioch Manor is a 24 unit Volunteer of America Ohio housing facility
  • Woodlawn Court Apartments is for individuals and residents with a mental illness. There are apartments in both Erie and Ottowa counties Ohio.
  • Sandusky also has scattered site housing for the disabled and those with a mental illness. It is approved by the Ohio Department of Health.

Transitional housing is also available, which is long-term, structured programs. Components of it include life-skills training, case management, employment counseling, assistance with applying for government benefits and referrals for mental health counseling or substance abuse treatment. Locations of Transitional Housing programs are below.
-Crosswoods is for Sandusky
-Walton Avenue Shelter in Cleveland
-Mansfield Transitional Housing is for those that qualify in the city of Mansfield
-Toledo has a site for Ex-Offenders
-Serenity House is for those with a chemical dependency in Sandusky





Veterans programs from Ohio Volunteers of America

They can look into all the resources listed above. In addition, transitional housing assistance will help members of the Ohio military community move into independent, affordable housing. Clients and guests can get clinical treatment, intensive case management and ongoing peer support. The sites are in Columbus, Dayton, Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Sandusky.

VOA also has shelters for the homeless veterans. Basic needs such as meals, clothing, and a bed are all offered. Various assistance programs and supportive services are available. Or a VOA worker can provide referrals to non-profit community resources are also provided to help homeless veterans and their families. Also look into short term rental assistance. There are sites in Cleveland, Columbus, and other cities.

Locations of VOA Centers in Ohio

  • Cincinnati office is at 700 W. Pete Rose Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45203, call (513) 381-1954
  • Cleveland, 8225 Brecksville Road, Cleveland, Ohio 44141, telephone (440) 717-1500
  • Columbus, 1776 E. Broad Street, Columbus, Ohio 43203, (614) 253-6100
  • Dayton center - 4100 W. Third Street, Building 400, Dayton, Ohio 45428, telephone (937) 253-7042
  • Mansfield, 280 N. Main Street, Mansfield, Ohio 44902, main number is (419) 525-4589
  • Sandusky, 1843 Superior Street, Sandusky, Ohio 44870, (419) 626-6505
  • Toledo, 1401 N. Summit Street, Toledo, Ohio 43604, telephone (419) 248-3733


By Jon McNamara

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