Meet Peter & Valerie Garforth, long-time supporters of Leading Families Home.

Valerie: I’m Valerie Garforth, and this is my husband Peter.

Peter: I don’t speak.

Valerie: He can speak when spoken to.

How Did You Become Involved in Leading Families Home?

Well, it goes back a long way, to I think it was 1998, and I was the outreach committee chair for Trinity Episcopal Church downtown. We were interested in doing Christmas gifts for people who needed them. I’m not sure how I happened to find FOCUS – it was FOCUS at that time – and they were in a little old house on Bancroft and Collingwood, on the corner there, and I went and talked to the executive director and she told me what FOCUS was doing. And it was so heart-warming, you know, families who were homeless were being taken in and found homes and then given help to do things, and so I thought this is, you know, everything all in one. They get all this help. So I was very quickly invited to be on the board, I think the next month! And I’ve been on the board ever since, and I was involved with the merger with Beach House, and so they just haven’t gotten rid of me yet! I’m still here!

What Is Unique about Leading Families Home?

I think it was what I was drawn to in the first place about that it is a wrap-around help for people. Not just finding them a home and giving them shelter, but actually working with them and helping them with life skills and things that perhaps they had never really learned about. And just staying with them while they developed those skills and become much more able to take care of themselves. It’s just very heart-warming to hear about the stories.

Do You Have Any Favorite Stories about Leading Families Home?

Well, so many of them are really heart-warming. People who were really struggling with all kinds of problems and didn’t even think that they needed help or wanted help, but were really at the end of their rope, and managed to find their way to Beach House and FOCUS and have gone through the program, and their lives have been turned around. Often they become volunteers or they actually work here and want to give back. And they have the experience of having gone through what the new people are going through. I think there are too many stories, really, to single anything out.

What Else Would You Like to Share about Leading Families Home?

Well, I love the fact that the shelter is in the Vest Historic Neighborhood. It’s a beautiful old house, it has a long history. Because of the location of Beach House Shelter, I became involved in the historic district. It’s an area which was the very first residential neighborhood in Toledo – some of the houses date back to the 1830s. It was a vibrant neighborhood, but it gradually fell into decline. Now it’s beginning to experience a revitalization which is really exciting. Beach House is right there, in the middle, as one of the anchors, and so I feel like it was just a perfect alignment of all of these opportunities and situations. I’m really excited about the Master Plan that we’ve just put in to the city department of planning just yesterday. And then it will go before the city, and we hope that that will then provide a framework for future development in the neighborhood. And that’s so exciting!

And he’s allowed me to do all these things. He sort of encourages me and forks out some money from time to time!

You Can Change a Life

For our current and future Participants, the need for comprehensive services continues to grow. To meet that need, we have big plans. And big plans call for big dollars. We need your help. Will you partner with us to meet the needs of our community? You can give by PayPal, or by mailing a check to Leading Families Home, 2910 W. Central Avenue, Toledo, Ohio 43606.

Thank you for always being faithful partners in our mission — helping families transition from homelessness to permanent housing. Together we’ve got this.

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Help Us Out

Leading Families Home is based in Toledo, Ohio. We are dedicated to fighting homelessness in our community – and we’d love your help! Please consider supporting our organization in one of the following ways:

Donate Online

Leading Families Home partners with PayPal for secure online payments. Click Donate Now to be taken to the secure donation page.

Mail a Check

To donate by check, please make the check out to Leading Families Home.

Mail your check to the following address:

Leading Families Home

2283 Ashland Ave.

Toledo, OH 43604

Other Ways to Donate

Shop with AmazonSmile 🙂

When you shop on AmazonSmile ( the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to the charitable organization of your choice. Learn more about AmazonSmile.

Use Kroger Community Rewards

It’s easy to donate with Kroger Community Rewards – just shop at Kroger, and swipe your Plus Card! Join Kroger Community Rewards.

Matching Gifts: Double Your Donation

Every year we have a Match Campaign – an exciting way for you to double your impact. During this campaign, our match partners will match your monetary donation to Leading Families Home.

Match partners also include corporate sponsors who match their employees’ donations. If you’d like to participate, find out if your employer matches employee donations to 501(c)(3) organizations and contact us.

Host a 3rd Party Fundraiser

Do you love to plan events? You can raise donations for LFH by hosting your own event! Have fun and make an impact on our community. Ask for donations instead of birthday gifts or baby shower presents.

Remember Us in Your Will

A Planned Gift allows you to donate in a very meaningful way. Contact your financial advisor or estate planner to learn more.