Real Story - Tom

Tom has been at Cherry Street for under a year. Much of his stay at Cherry Street has been while under “stay-at-home” orders from the governor due to COVID-19. Tom says if he could go back in time, he would tell himself to slow down so he could hurry up now. In the slowing down that COVID has created Tom thinks it has worked to his advantage. “Patience really is a virtue. I slowed down and all the steps that I needed to take to find a place of my own have been falling in place,” said Tom.  He moved out two weeks after he received the keys to his apartment. That time and patience also allowed him to use vouchers he earned while a guest at Cherry Street towards items he needed at Goodwill. He arranged transporting for the furniture and household items to his new apartment. Cherry Street made him up a box of food and hygiene items to see him through. Tom’s next goal is to get a vehicle. “If I wore a pedometer that would be a scary number,” he jokes. Tom says he is a comedian but only part-time. He is friends with everyone and goes out of his way to make people laugh.

Donations to Cherry Street have allowed someone like Tom to find an independent life. Out of the chaos he was able to find safety and dignity at Cherry Street. During a pandemic Tom remained safe and not only got the basics of food clothing and shelter, but also got back on his feet. His independent life and the keys to his home are only possible because he arrived at Cherry Street Hungry For Change. You addressed that need through your continued support of Cherry Street. It is through those efforts that together we are Feeding Futures.

David’s Recovery From COVID-19

Every COVID-19 survivor has a unique story to tell, and some of them are really scary.  Cherry Street Mission guest David’s experience was scary, and he shares it with you in the hope that his story will motivate you to be smart and, therefore, safer.

David’s story started in May, when he woke up feeling “a little tired.” Fatigue and temperature increased throughout the day until going from his bed to the bathroom was a struggle; his breathing was becoming labored, and his temperature was spiking.  Alert CSMM personnel called 911, and David was transported to the hospital.

COVID evaluation at the hospital was a new experience—David talked to a doctor via a computer tablet beside his hospital bed. By the time, a nurse (fashionably clad in a hazmat suit) finished his evaluation, his temperature was 104°, his blood pressure was alarmingly elevated, and his oxygen level had dropped to 83%.  The priority was to stabilize him—oxygen for his breathing difficulties and oral and intravenous meds to bring down his temperature. Lightheaded and “hurting from head to toe,” David nevertheless underwent a chest x-ray and nasal test that hit him, literally, right between the eyes.

It took six hours to stabilize him, after which he was admitted.  From that moment on, COVID protocol was David’s life, for the next six long, scary days. During that time David learned a lot about COVID. Did you know that COVID has mutated 12 times since being identified? That you can be infected by more than one strain? David was infected by two strains. Conversations with the infectious disease doctor about ventilators, double pneumonia, and surrogate decision-makers was bad enough, but when David was told that people with “his” COVID strains had only a 50/50 chance of ever coming off a ventilator, he thought he was not going to leave that hospital.

But God and modern medicine are good. Doctors administered four experimental treatments (remember, all COVID treatments are experimental), including a plasma infusion containing antibodies from recovered COVID patients. On Day seven, David was discharged to a local hotel designated for COVID-19 patients’ quarantine and recovery, where he spent the next 14 days.

Five weeks after first becoming ill, David’s breathing was normal; he still got tired easily when he exerted himself; his eyes were sensitive to bright lights (including TV, cellphone and computer screens); and he  could not grip anything tightly.  However, these after-effects are getting better day by day, and David is hopeful that full recovery isn’t far off. So are we.

What can we learn from this story? As David writes, “Please take this pandemic seriously. Protect yourself, practice social distancing and wearing facemasks when needed.” He should know.  David, thanks for sharing your story.


Each month Cherry Street staff are joining the morning crew at YES-FM to offer what they call the “Morning Munch”.  It is a reflection, a devotion and a prayer starting the listeners day at 7:30am.  Cherry Street uses the same monthly theme for our time on the Morning Munch, for Bible studies and for our weekly worship services.  You are invited to join in this focus for the upcoming month.

In January, we are focused on the concept of communication.  The Bible helps us with this concept in Ephesians 4:29-31 which says:  “29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.”

Communication is defined as containing information, news, advice, and request.  For an example, being able tell others how/where you stand on various topics.  As we explore the concept with ourselves we ask the question: “What truth are you living in? Or Are you living a lie?”

You can listen each month for our thematic focus on various topics by tuning in to YES-FM.

Fill The Pantry

Our pantry has some blank spots you can help fill.

Drop it off  |  have it delivered  |  create your own collection drive

Shop with Amazon or Amazon Smiles to have your donations shipped directly to Cherry Street located at 1501 Monroe St. Toledo OH 43604.

Drop off your donations to Cherry Street’s Life Revitalization Center Monday through Friday from 9am to 2pm.  Come to the 16th Street side of the Life Revitalization Center located at 1501 Monroe St. Toledo OH 43604.

Needs list:

  • Water – another truck load is needed if possible.
  • Gloves – Winter gloves, this was a challenge last year and looks like it will continue.
  • Underwear – Men’s – Small and Medium, Women’s – small and Medium
  • Masks – both homemade and the blue disposable.
  • Water shoes/flip-flops – something for our guests to use in the shower
  • Body Wash – Neutral or Scented for Women
  • Lotion – full size bottle of skin lotion
  • Boots and Shoes for winter
  • Bedding – blankets (twin and full size)
  • Bath Towels
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Women’s hair care products
  • Chapstick
  • Paper towels
  • Nitrile Gloves – Medium, Large and X-Large

Kitchen Items:

  • Coffee – Ground
  • #10 cans of Vegetables
  • Large Lunch Bags
  • Brown Sugar
  • Sandwich Bread
  • Salsa
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Pancake Mix
  • Pancake syrup
  • Spices/Seasoning:
    • Onion powder
    • Garlic powder
    • Pepper
    • Old Bay Seasoning
    • Chili Powder
    • Cumin
    • Paprika
    • Taco seasoning
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Tea bags
  • Oatmeal
  • Snacks – Serving size packs
    • Chips, Cookies, Trail Mix, Cereal Bars, Fruit Snacks, Pretzels, Goldfish, etc.
  • Fresh Eggs
  • 12 oz coffee cups – disposable

A Service Dog At Cherry Street

It’s not often a person experiencing homelessness comes to the doors of Cherry Street with a service dog.  Dakota is a vigilant and dutiful canine companion.  He guards the health and well being of one of our guests.  He is not a dog for everyone to pet and fawn over.  But when he does have “down-time” he has his favorite people and even got a bath at the Life Revitalization Center this summer.  The autumn, Dakota celebrated his 10th birthday with special cookies and singing from his many admirers.

cherry street donor

A Friend Reflects On A Legacy

Recently, we got to speak with a wonderful woman named Jeannie. She came to us on behalf of wonderful friend and donor to Cherry Street who had passed away, Verna.

Jeannie had worked for Verna many years ago and from that relationship it blossomed into a lifelong friendship. Verna served as Jeannie’s mentor throughout her career and later considered Jeannie the daughter she never had. Jeannie says Verna was always a quiet thoughtful giver. She was always generous with her time and with sharing her wisdom. And now after her passing, Jeannie was caring out a legacy of generosity on behalf of her late friend.

Reflecting, Jeannie thinks Verna would really appreciate the Cherry Street of today. She would have loved the use of personal development plan strategies with guests and workforce development programming. In her life Verna was always a woman thinking and planning ahead for the future.

Immaculate with her word, Verna told Jeannie she had been interviewing nursing homes, so she was prepared for the time she chose to leave the house she and her husband had built together. Jeannie thought it was especially poignant that Verna chose the word “choose” to leave rather than have to leave. This is why she included Cherry Street in her end of life plans. When Verna and Jeannie would talk about life’s troubles Verna would ask, “Jeannie dear heart, what are you going to do about that”? Jeannie thinks Verna would appreciate the problem solving and working solutions Verna would see at Cherry Street and at work in the lives of those served at Cherry Street.

cherry street donor

Food Insecurity Increases As Donations Decrease

Cherry Street Mission Ministries is meeting the needs of those experiencing homelessness during the COVID- 19 pandemic.  But it is creating extreme situations as needs soar and donations are significantly down. The effects of the virus are depleting our resources at an alarming rate.  In these extraordinary times we ask that you donate so the care of those living in poverty does not stop.

It’s the MOST wonderful time of the year!

December 10, 2020

And they added to their numbers daily…

“It’s the MOST wonderful time of the year!” For some people it is, and for some of us, it is not.

When you think through the things that make the holidays have such high expectations, I am sure some of the thoughts you have center around the people with which you share those special days.  Your sister’s love of playing (winning) card games, your mom making her special baked beans, the laughter of little kiddos in the family, memories of grandpas who played Santa and snuck extra cookies to you and friends joining together for carry-in dinners and fun.  These relationships are the knots that hold our tapestry together and without them, our life often does not feel full and complete.

The life situations from which many of the guests come: generational poverty, untreated illness, substance use, or transiency, frequently have degraded an individual’s circle of relationships down to no one.  And so, their hope of a happy holiday is very slim. At Cherry Street, often our staff and volunteers become temporary relationships for the guests that utilize the Mission.

When we come together as a community and begin to care for each other, similar to the way we see Jesus’ followers caring for one another in the early church, “sharing what they had and adding to their numbers daily”, we begin to provide the opportunity for people to once again gain a spark of hope for a happy season.  Your participation in this process is vital to providing a glimpse of the possibility of having a whole and healthy circle of family and friends with which to share life.

playing board games

Much of what happens throughout the year at Cherry Street is providing guidance to developing these relationships.  Yes, those are with family and friends, but also, they are with larger community bodies such as faith communities, physicians, and employers.  When you consider all the relationships that encircle your own life, you can imagine how many relationships need to be restored when someone comes to us with no one in their circle.

Thank you for being an on-going source of support for individuals re-building their lives with Cherry Street.  Providing access to opportunities for stable and vibrant relationships walks side by side with safe and affordable housing and reliable income to create an outcome of community independence.

Joe Has Moved Out

He’s outa here! And that is the best thing that has happened to Joe since he came to live at Cherry Street Mission two years ago. On November 1, Joe will move into his new apartment. But he will have lots to remember us by as he settles in. Besides the items in the gift box that he will take with him, Joe will redeem his Cherry Street points for additional things he needs in his new home. One important addition will be a clock radio so he can listen to the music that he loves.

Joe is very tuned in to the limitations of institutional living—he is most excited to use his own bathroom and take a shower without having to stand in line. Most of us take this for granted, but for Joe it is a mark of independence. Chili will be on his menu as he exercises his love of cooking in his own kitchen.

Through all he has experiences these past several years, Joe has preserved optimism and a sense of humor. He even believes that Covid has had some positive impact on Cherry Street Mission–the residents are eating better, and the houses are quieter.

Joe, we could not be happier for you. Thanks for telling us your story and for telling us that Cherry Street Mission has done everything for you.  Seeing you succeed is everything for us.


Even a short conversation with Calvin reveals his quick analytical mind and his determination not to let past or current difficulties stop him from accomplishing his goals.  Calvin has made a lot of progress since becoming a guest at Cherry Street Mission Ministries. He has a car and a job and a sense of purpose and direction. As he puts it, “I’m not here to get a handout. I want a sense of accomplishment.” His sights are set on a couple of job promotions and post-high school education in a field that will challenge him and will lead to more satisfying employment.

Calvin has been a student of the scriptures since he was a child. Even in third grade catechism class he had an acute need to know, to understand exactly what the Bible said and how church traditions operated. Not satisfied with the teacher’s “That’s the way it is,” over the years, Calvin has studied Latin and Greek to get to the original meaning and intent of Biblical writers. He observes that, ”Latin helped me understand the mindset of the ancients, especially the Romans, how they thought.”  “You ought to try to understand it (the Bible) in the context of what was said; it gives insight, fills in the gaps between what you may see in the Bible and what was being said.”

Calvin’s passion for accuracy and truth does not stop at his search to get to the heart of scripture. It motivates everything he does. He plans to take more training classes here at Cherry Street and college level classes to challenge his quick mind and open the way for a secure future where untapped insight and knowledge awaits him.

Calvin is grateful for the support he has received here. “If it weren’t for you, I never would have gotten the job I did.” He is saving for an apartment. Although we will miss him, we will celebrate yet another step into a bright future.  Thank you for the gifts you have given to Cherry Street Mission Ministries that make it possible for men like Calvin to build a new life.