Cherry Street Mission sees impact of inflation

The faces of those walking into Cherry Street Mission Ministries right now are different.

“The biggest increase in guests that we’ve seen are people who are homeless for the very first time in their life,” said Ann Ebbert, president and CEO of Cherry Street.

Rapid inflation and employment stagnation have caused many who were living close to the poverty line to now fall below.

“They can’t believe, right, that they’re coming to a homeless shelter to seek basic services that they’ve always provided for themselves.”

Those walking through the door are hurt, confused and going through the stages of grief.

But Ebbert said by coming to Cherry Street, they can walk through those stages with a trained counselor if needed and begin taking steps toward a new life.

“If you come here for this short period of time and then also get trained, that individual could potentially come to Cherry Street and leave better than when they first came.”

But inflation hasn’t just impacted Cherry Street with a rapid increase in those seeking shelter. It’s affecting their daily services. Serving lunch three times a day. What was once a $14 carton of eggs is now $44 for Cherry Street.

“We pay for utilities and groceries and washing your linens and all of those kind of things like everyone else does. So we’re experiencing the same kind of pinch. On top of that then, right, so we have inflation, on top of that we have higher need.”

While the effects are palpable, from seeing more people in need to helping all of those in need, Cherry Street expects inflation’s impact to last for at least another year.

Despite that length of time, Ebbert says Cherry Street is staying committed to its mission.

“We’re going to have to be super creative and be able to appeal to the folks in Toledo and the Toledo region to stand beside us to be able to just manage this moment.”

If you are interested in donating to Cherry Street during this time, volunteering and donation opportunities are listed at