The Truth Staff
On Thursday, May 12, in front of two long-abandoned homes on Homer Street, the Correctional Treatment Facilities (CTF), a community service program, and Councilwoman Vanice Williams announced the re-launch of the “Restoration Toledo Project.”
This project brought both incarcerated offenders and those recently released into communities as a way of working off their fines and financial penalties to clean up areas such as the 1858 and 1860 Homer Street houses that are such a blight to an otherwise neat and orderly Hyde Park Neighborhood.
“This multifaceted project helps Toledo,” said Williams. “But COVID really hit us hard – every facet of our lives. We are working hard to get the project up and running.”
The Restoration Toledo Project was created in 2018 by former city councilmen and Williams has decided to restart it after the pandemic put the project on hold.
Bud Hite, executive director of CTF, echoed Williams’ sentiments about the value of the program.
“How do we contribute back to the community? There are a lot of good people incarcerate, a lot with good skill sets,” said Hite.
Hite explained that his team works with other groups to assist returning citizens increase their chance of success and minimize the impact of being impoverished while helping to beautify the city.
“They work on weekends at $10 an hour to reduce their debts and court-ordered fines. Through collaborating as a system, we are getting people to change.”
Also on hand at the announcement were Judge Ian English, city administrative judge; Jim Hobbs, deputy warden of Administration at the Toledo Correctional Facility and Connie Gulley, a Hyde Park resident for nearly 30 years.
Judge English spoke of the necessity to help citizens return to “the fabric” of society after they have torn that fabric.
Hobbs noted that the “collaboration is a fantastic opportunity for us.”
Gulley said the houses had been cleaned up four years ago but once the pandemic started, the houses and their yards have slipped back into a decrepit state.
“We want to help the individuals … come back to the community, and give back to the community,” said Williams. “Let’s restore Toledo.”