North Star BlueScope Steel (NSBSL) sponsored and provided volunteers for Tent City 2021. Hosted by 1Matters.org, the event helps needy people in the Toledo area.
In early October, North Star’s community relations team collected winter clothing for Tent City. NSBSL also donated $2,500 and sent 10 volunteers to the event, which took place October 22-24.
Held annually, Tent City provides food, clothing and critical documents for Toledo’s homeless, plus a variety of services, including medical, dental, haircuts and assistance with housing. The event serves 800 to 1,100 people each year and draws 400 volunteers.
Joe Porter, roll shop team leader at North Star, said, “This was an amazing weekend. People just wanted to talk and make friends. I heard a lot of good stories.”
One man was a former Marine who was homeless and needed an ID. “So I walked him to the ID tent and helped him get the paperwork,” Porter said. “The next day, he was a different person, more talkative. At the end of the weekend, he gave me a hug. I would encourage everyone to participate in opportunities like this. Go out and be part of it.”
NSBSL’s Nick Eddy also volunteered at Tent City and was amazed at the different services provided. “And just the simple things, like a warm meal, a hot cup of coffee or a haircut,” he said. “Things that make you feel human. It’s hard to accept that there are people who served our country living on the streets.”
Eddy is a Mechanical Technician at NSBSL and a United States Navy Veteran. He said, “It was very rewarding just being a part of the entire event. I would definitely be a part of it again next year.”
1Matters organizes several programs to help homeless people, including Tent City, Project Connect, 1Works and National Homeless Veterans Housing. To learn more or make a donation, visit 1Matters.org.