Did You Know?

Did You Know?

We take stewardship seriously. And we know that every dol­lar given through the ministry was someone’s sacrifice  and has a purpose to fulfill and a difference to make. With  this in mind, we are very intentional about keeping a lean staff that is primarily focused on the essentials.

74% Ministry Team

26% Operations/Outreach

100% Dedicated to your community

In total, Cherry Street Mission Ministries employs a total of 62 employees, 48 of which are full time.The 74% of our team serving through direct ministry to guests includes seven Ministry Leaders, three Chefs,15 Housing Stabilization Advocates, and 21 Ready For Life Advocates. The other 26% is comprised of those whose ministry is to keep the mission functioning through operations and outreach.

Cherry Street Mission offering job training | Your Day

Cherry Street Mission offering job training | Your Day

The Cherry Street Mission has more to offer than food.

Cherry Street Ministry Sustains Individuals Through Winter

Cherry Street Ministry Sustains Individuals Through Winter

Since its founding in 1947, Cherry Street Mission Ministries has had a singular calling: to provide sustenance for the body and nourishment for the soul. One of the most prominent local charities, Cherry Street’s Downtown Toledo facilities have expanded to include separate housing for males and females, and meals and services at its Life Revitalization Center and Mac Cafe in the former Macomber High School building.

But in addition to the normal increase in guests typical during the winter months, this season they’ve experienced an 800 percent increase in people experiencing homelessness for the first time.

“We’ve had to be exceedingly fluid in providing access to the activities this diverse population needs,” said Ann Ebbert, CEO / president of Cherry Street. Numerous new guests were impacted by the end of the federal moratorium on evictions last fall. Many people who had lost or left jobs during the pandemic were still able to remain in their homes. “But since October we’ve been full,” Ebbert said, because “when the moratorium went away, many of those who were subsistence living fell through the cracks.”

Many of the newer guests experiencing homelessness still have transportation, so Cherry Street is running out of space to park guest cars at its housing centers. In addition, Ebbert said that some guests are working at overnight jobs and will use the shelter and its services during the day, a departure from the organization’s regular schedule.

Solving Challenges
Every guest arriving at Cherry Street goes through the same intake assessment, where needs and issues are identified. “Some need a meal or a bed, while others need more,” said Ebbert. The organization develops its programming to assist guests with solving three problems:

  • Achieving a stable income
  • Securing safe and affordable housing to provides a sense of place, community and safety
  • Building healthy relationships

Admission to the organization’s residential system requires a strict quarantine period until a prospective guest receives a negative COVID-19 test. Once that negative test comes in, the prospective guest can join into all the programs within the facilities. Hand washing, mask wearing and social distancing are also crucial to daily operations.

“We are a faith-based ministry organization, and that is one of the properties we explore with our guests,” Ebbert said. But participation in the spiritual ministry is not mandatory at the organization. “Everyone is on their own journey,” she said.

In addition to medical and mental health care, Cherry Street offers a variety of employment training programs to guests. “We act as a hub for all sorts of human services providers, so our guests can access everything at one stop,” Ebbert said.

Raising Funds and Awareness after 75 years
How are Cherry Street’s programs funded? “People here have gigantic, generous hearts, and our programs are always funded,” said Ebbert. Like many local charities, they rely on personal relationships in the community, along with a strong social media presence, to get the word out about their needs. Cherry Street publishes a wish list of items on its website, and a link to its wish list on Amazon. Typically (and especially during winter months) there is always a need for:

  • Chap Stick (or other lip balms)
  • Waterproof boots
  • Waterproof gloves

Additionally, the Mission celebrates its 75th anniversary this year, kicking off with a February 14 commemoration of National Day of Soup (in a nod to Cherry Street’s start as a soup kitchen). Area restaurants will participate in a soup competition at the Mac Street Café. And a spring-to-fall partnership with area restaurants and bars will offer Cherry Street information through QR codes at tables.

Other events during this anniversary year include a “75 hours of prayer” observance during the week leading to Easter in April, a 75th anniversary party on June 15 and the annual fall fundraiser “Be the Bridge.” Watch their website, Facebook and Instagram pages for details.

Veterans on the move

Veterans on the move


Cherry Street has developed an incredibly beneficial partnership working with the Department of Veterans Affairs. One of the most powerful things we can do for our guests is connect them with the right resources that already exist to serve them.

During the deepest part of the pandemic, within 30 days SIX veterans were placed in VA housing and were able to move out of Cherry Street into their own homes. A man who had moved out recently stopped by to pick up a care package our team prepared for him. He had a pep in his step and light in his eye that exuded the pride and joy overflowing from his spirit now that he is finally back in a place of his own.

The work done at Cherry Street isn’t just about meeting needs, it’s about restoring dignity and hope to those who have felt misplaced and broken. God is for his children, and it is our joy to work alongside Him as He lifts heads and restores souls. Community collaboration leads to greater impact on the guests and your community.

We are doing more together.

Charlie has a home.
Ryan has a home.
Jerry has a home.

Ready For Life makes an impact

Ready For Life makes an impact


The pandemic at Cherry Street has pushed and challenged us. But during this complex time, the team was hard at work strategizing and refreshing one of our key efforts in the fight against poverty.

The “Ready For Life” program was relaunched  out of the  desire to standardize and strategize our approach to care and wholeness. The entire Engagement Team was hard at work creating Standard Operating Procedures and developing trainings, manuals, and much more to comply with best practices as prescribed by experts in the Social Work field and person centered care.

Not only will these updates enable staff to dive into a more efficient and effective workflow that will lead to greater impact on the  guests and the community, but reporting and tracking processes will be brought into alignment with our partners and strengthen data shared within the community and government.

The Ready For Life launch was a true team effort. One of the staff leaders who played a heavy role in developing this curriculum was the Ready For Life Manager, Nora Riggs. Nora is a Licensed Social Worker and holds a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Toledo.

“We’ve seen guests start to think beyond the moment-to think about what life can look like when they have sustainable income, healthy relationships, and stable housing,” said Nora. “Guests are attending weekly support groups that follow a monthly theme, with curriculum to guide the advocates in each topic.

“The advocates are doing a wonderful job applying the intensive training they received and have completed 84 goal plans with guests in our first 30 days of the RFL relaunch! We thank God for every member of the team who has helped us get to this point, and are excited for the work that will continue to change lives and bring restoration & hope to our guests.”

“We’ve seen guests start to think beyond the moment-to think about what life can look like when they have sustainable income, healthy relationships, and stable housing.”

We are excited to see the continued impacts of the program as it continues to demonstrate life change. Thank you for championing the strategic work of  Cherry  Street  and making a difference in the lives of those served.

Volunteerism Highlight

Volunteerism Highlight

The Appold Learning Center, typically referred to as the Cherry Street Library, is located on the second floor of  the LRC and  is a beautifully classic picture of what a library should be with its richly colored wooden shelves and peaceful environment. The library is linked to the Toledo Lucas County Public Library, which means not only are the shelves stocked with an excellent variety of books, but the computers can access incredible information, databases and resources, just as if you were logging in at your local library.

Open mornings and afternoons every weekday, guests are able to step away from the bustling environment of  the cafe and spend some time browsing shelves, scrolling through personal and professional pursuits on the computer, or taking a moment to breathe. A volunteer or two-like  Sister  Nancy-sits  at  the desk and assists guests with computer questions, creates library guest passes, tidies up as necessary, and might even enjoy their own book. The library re­ mains quietly productive while providing physical and emotional rest to guests, making it a beloved spot in the building.

If you’d like to volunteer in the library, you can send a message to volunteer@cherrystreetmission.org to find a time that works for you.

Sister Nancy - a faithful library volunteer

Cherry Street Mission Ministries is more than a soup kitchen; it's a life vocational experience

For the past 75 years, they've made it their mission to help people by eradicating poverty one person at a time.

Author: Jeremy Downing

TOLEDO, Ohio — As anyone in immediate need of a helping hand knows, Cherry Street Mission Ministries can be a lifesaver, whether it’s a warm meal and a place to sleep on a cold winter night or a safe place for domestic violence survivors. But there’s much more to how they help our communities.

“We are able to do things that other small communities aren’t able to do. So we’ll have people visit Cherry Street to get healthy again and then go back to the community that maybe they came from or maybe they’ll choose a new community to go participate in.”

Cherry Street Mission Ministries CEO Ann Ebbert says for the past 75 years, they’ve made it their mission to help people by eradicating poverty in the surrounding 25 counties.

Ebbert says they usually see about 1,500 people a year, but in the last year and a half that help has become more in demand and they’re seeing an increase of about 30 to 35 new, first-time people a month.

“What we’ve seen is a remarkable increase in people coming to our front door who would be called first-time homeless. Right now we are seeing numbers that we typically see in the middle of February, which is our heavy, high season, as you can imagine. The pandemic really made it vibrantly clear that there are a group of people that have absolutely no other options.”

Help is always available, but the assistance Cherry Street offers is more than you might think since they are much more than just a soup kitchen.

Cherry Street partners with both Toledo vocational schools as well as Owens Community College to offer career certificates for career-level jobs to teach skills for jobs in welding, tool and die, auto manufacturing, office specialists and even job placement.

“Everything from soft-skills, like how to have good attendance and a good attitude, to how to do a resume and how to have a great interview.”

They also offer baseline healthcare, substance abuse help and mental health services and place an emphasis on creating healthy relationships; all of which are available to anyone in the community, not just residents.

“Because you can have all the skills but if you don’t know how to create relationships,” Ebbert says, “you don’t have the boundaries in your life that will keep you on track to use your skills.”

Cherry Street is also adding new training classes next year in the building and construction trades and will be partnering with Mercy Health and ProMedica to provide medical beds for people getting out of the hospital but don’t have a home to go to fully recover.

Ebbert says their mission to help others has a bonus, it also means helping themselves as well.

“That ability to look someone in the eye and say ‘we’re humans together and we’re going to work through this together’ is just an amazing experience to have as a staff person here.”

Cherry Street Mission Ministries currently has 65-70 staff members and 2,500 volunteers working 24/7 365 days a year and can always use more help in terms of donations and volunteering.

Thanksgiving at Cherry Street

November 9, 2021- TOLEDO (Ohio) – For nearly 75 years, Cherry Street Mission Ministries has served individuals who are hungry and experiencing homelessness in Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan.  Community members come to Cherry Street who need a bed, safety and maybe a special meal this holiday season.  Community members come to Cherry Street who are Hungry:  Hungry for Change, Hungry for a Career, Hungry for Success, Hungry for Direction.  Working together we can address the needs of those who are hungry and together we can start Feeding Futures.

Upcoming Thanksgiving Events:

  • 11.9.21 – 12.31.21 Volunteer sign up for Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons
  • 11.1.21 – Registration open for Dave’s Running Shop Turkey Chase https://runsignup.com/Race/OH/Toledo/DavesTurkeyChase5kRunWalk
  • Thursday, 11.25.21, 7:00 am to 8:00 am – Autumn themed breakfast at Mac Street Café
  • Thursday, 11.25.21 @ 9:00 am Turkey Chase Thanksgiving Tradition begins.  Proceeds to benefit Cherry Street Mission Ministries.
  • Thursday, 11.25.21, 12:00 pm to 1:30 pm – Lunch catered by Real Seafood, served restaurant-style by Chick-Fil-A staff
  • Thursday, 11.25.21, 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm – Southern inspired dinner at Mac Street Café

Food donations and meal supplies can be dropped off at 1501 Monroe Street, off 16th Street at the Life Revitalization Center building Monday through Friday from 9 am to 12 pm.  If you need to drop off outside of these hours or have questions concerning donations, please contact Kary Jo Gribble at 419.214.3321.

Monetary donations can be mailed to: Cherry Street Mission Ministries, PO Box 9100, Toledo, OH 43697-9100 or you can donate online at www.cherrystreetmission.org.

Volunteers will be needed throughout the day to make it a special day for all.  The community can make an impact on those living in poverty by donating toward the meals and volunteering their time.  For more information on volunteering contact Hallie at volunteer@cherrystreetmission.org or at 419.214.3419.

BREAKFAST AT MAC STREET CAFÉ – 7:00 am to 8:30 am
Thursday, November 25, 2021 – 1501 Monroe St. Toledo, OH 43604
Located within the Life Revitalization Center, Mac Street Café will be serving pumpkin spice pancakes with syrup and cranberry glaze, muffins, scrambled eggs, sausage links, maple chicken and fruit salad.  Meals and celebrations are available to all Cherry Street guests.

Thursday, November 25, 2021 – Mac Street Café, 1501 Monroe St. Toledo, OH  43604
Lunch will be served in the Mac Street Café in the Life Revitalization Center.  Live music will be played, and lunch will be served restaurant-style by Chick-Fil-A staff and volunteers. Meals and celebrations are available to all Cherry Street guests.

DINNER AT MAC STREET CAFÉ – 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm
Thursday, November 25, 2021 – 1501 Monroe St. Toledo, OH 43604
Located within the Life Revitalization Center, Mac Street Café will be serving a Southern inspired meal.   Meals and celebrations are available to all Cherry Street guests.

Cherry Street Mission Ministries Experiences 400% Increase

September 20, 2021- TOLEDO (Ohio) –

The end of the eviction moratorium, staff over-time, increased expenses, less volunteer help, and a rise in people needing help are impacting our kitchen, library, Mac Street Café — critical to providing meals, shelter and a path toward a changed life.

Cherry Street is providing emergency shelter to 33% more people as compared to the same time last year.   From May to August the organization saw 400% more new faces arriving, homeless for the first time in their life- all due to Covid-19.

Furthermore, the shelter has experienced an increase in Covid-19 positive cases.  At this time, 10% of the men and women served by Cherry Street are positive for Covid-19.  Following the guidelines of the CDC, positive guests are receiving appropriate care and have been separated from others.

It’s not winter and yet the shelter beds are filling up.  Nonetheless, Ann Ebbert, CEO/President of Cherry Street; the area’s largest emergency shelter; said “We will not turn men and women away”.

Cherry Street’s staff are exceptional and already utilize healthy practices for preventing the spread of disease and viruses. Led by the facilities team, Cherry Street is using strategies that have proven useful and are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.  This includes the frequent disinfection of hard surfaces and high traffic areas. Face masks must be worn by all guests, employees, visitors, volunteers and partners. Cherry Street has been working ceaselessly to ensure the health and safety of those served is at the forefront.  Due in large part to those measures, since the pandemic began, no one staying at Cherry Street has died because of Covid-19.

Cherry Street has been well stocked with food, soap, bottled water, hand sanitizer, cleaning chemicals, and disinfectant wipes. However, extraordinary purchases and the increase in the amount of people needing emergency assistance from the organization is unprecedented and has affected the budget of the organization.  Throughout the pandemic, ministry programs have not yet been impacted. It is crucial the care and provision to those served at Cherry Street continues uninterrupted as it has since 1947.  Monetary support from the public will help bridge the gaps.

Cherry Street will continue to care for the most vulnerable in the community and care for people living in poverty. Donations and the wish list can be viewed on the website:  cherrystreetmission.org/get-involved