OHIO YAB Ambassador Jonathan Thomas and Cloe Cooper of ACTION Ohio in the news...
Old hotel could become apartments for those aging out of foster care
Emma Henderson, WTOL.com, Feb. 2, 2021
TOLEDO, Ohio — The historic Park Hotel in south Toledo currently sits vacant, but LMH has a plan to develop it into transitional housing for people aged out of foster care.
Boarded up with broken windows and peeling paint, the historic Park Hotel needs a lot of work, but the goal is to transform it into apartments catering to people aging out of foster care.
"Apartment complexes want a co-signer and most youth don't have a co-signer, and then many complexes want a youth to earn at least three times income," Kris Kapela-McGuckin with Lucas County Children Services said.
Getting housing is hard. According to Foster.org, half of people that age out of foster care will be unemployed, leading to half being homeless within four years.
It's something Jonathan Thomas from Bowling Green experienced firsthand and wants to prevent happening for others.
"That developmental process of when you're an adult by age, versus when you're actually an adult, is a little hard to pinpoint. Therefore housing like this becomes that much more important," Thomas said.
He and fellow foster care advocate Cloe Cooper both believe services including help obtaining GEDs, driver's licenses and applying for jobs need to be included to help set youth up on the road to permanent stability.
"What's important to that person and then connecting them to the community resources that can point them in the direction of where they can start and where they can begin their path," Cooper said.
The ordinance passed Toledo City Council Tuesday, allowing the project to move forward.