Tent City volunteer signup and Walk registration are NOW OPEN!


Click here for up-to-the-minute Tent City updates on Facebook.


If you would like to become a part of the volunteer planning team for this year’s Tent City Oct. 21-23, join us for the planning meetings. Meetings are held at 7 p.m. at the Westgate Building, 3450 W. Central Ave., Toledo, Ohio 43613. This is the office building right next to Sears, across from Costco. We’re always looking to meet new people, so everyone is encouraged to come meet the incredible team that makes it happen every year!

Tent City 2016

This is a weekend-long event held October 21-23, 2016 that delivers the entire community’s compassion to those who often see none. Businesses, churches, youth groups and schools all donate, volunteer and/or spend the night learning how to serve those who have none. ALL ARE WELCOME!

Kicked off by John Mellencamp, the Honorary Mayor of Tent City 2016, our 1-mile Walk to End Veteran Homelessness kicks off Tent City on the 21st at 6 p.m. Click here to register and join us for the walk for the chance to attend his show at the Stranahan that evening as his guest and meet him after the show.


Latest Tent City Needs

  • Money for critical documents – One of the biggest ways we can help guests achieve financial and domestic autonomy is by helping them get their birth certificates and IDs. Without these, they cannot get a job, services or shelter.
  • Food items – Providing meals throughout the weekend isn’t possible without the supplies! See the updated list of food supplies here.

Here are 10 Ways to Matter This Fall

Please join us to continue to show the world how our community comes together each year for Tent City!

1. Sign up to Volunteer as a guide, part of a setup or tear-down crew, a meal server, guest or volunteer registration, donation tent and more at Tent City. This hands-on service can change lives: Yours and theirs.

2. Donate food or sponsor a meal for the hundreds who come down to break bread at Tent City. Then join us to break bread.

3. Conduct a targeted clothing drive for men’s and women’s warm winter clothing, jeans, sweat shirts, hygiene items or backpacks. We ALWAYS have a shortage of larger sizes as well as men’s jeans.

4. Help sponsor the Critical Documents (Birth Certificates and IDs) - perhaps the item in highest demand. Without them, people cannot get a job, services, even food or shelter. Last year we were quite limited in capacity. To meet the need this year, we need to raise about $3,500 to buy the birth certificates and IDs for our guests. To help, just select "TC Critical Documents" from the drop down menu on the Sponsorship page.

5. Create a prayer vigil at your church or life group leading up to and during Tent City weekend. Lives are changed!

6. Have your company or group become an underwriter or sponsor of Tent City.

7. Join the Veterans Matter Walk to End Veteran Homelessness for a chance to meet John Mellencamp. This walk kicks off Tent City on October 21st at 6 p.m. 100% of the funds raised for the walk will be matched by Jordan Reses Supply Co.

8. Help get the word out! Embed the videos on your business, school or church website, Facebook, Twitter and more. Invite Ken or a speaker from the 1Matters Speakers Bureau to help your church, volunteers or group understand the plight of the unhoused, the complexity of living on the streets and what you can expect at Tent City.

9. Bring your student group, church group or life group down to spend the night in order to teach them the harder life lessons only discomfort can teach.

10. Just come down Friday or Saturday night and enjoy the incredible music Pat Lewandowski puts together each year. (We note Pat is the only other person besides the founder who has been to every single day of every single Tent City since 1990!)

We welcome ANY ideas you and/or your group have to matter this year to those who matter. Just tell us. If you have questions or need more info, email us at info at 1matters dot com or just give us a call. We hope to see you there!

Tent City Entertainment

As he has since 1990, Pat Lewandowski has put together great entertainment for the weekend.

Oct. 21

8pm: It's Essential

9pm: Bliss

10pm: Hand Hewn

11pm: Ginger and the Snaps

12am: Curtiss Jr.

Oct. 22

7pm: Laurie Swyers

8pm: Kyle White

9pm: Don Binkley and Dan O'Connor

10pm: Tim Tiderman

11pm: The Blue Hook

12am: The Gray Devils

Read About Tent City

What is Tent City REALLY like? Here are some behind-the-scenes perspectives of the life-changing impact:

Michele Ross is our friend in the Tent City video above. Kate Giammarise captured her story in this wonderful piece.

Our friend Sarah Ottney accurately penned this story in the Toledo Free Press.

Our friend Tom Henry described it perfectly as “Volunteers connect face-to-face with the homeless through music, coffee and outreach programs from free haircuts to free medical exams.”

Want to educate your students? Jenifer Christiaanse brought 18 or so students down to spend the night in order to teach them the harder life lessons only discomfort can teach. To us, the volunteer leaders of Tent City, Jenifer and her group are heroes not only for coming down, but for the commitment to stay when other groups left after the levee breaks.

Whether you are a leader, thinker, doer or donor, we want YOU to help us change the world, 1 at a time. Feel called to help or need more info? You can email us, call us or come to any planning meeting. Every one matters, right?

If You Go

  • Dress for the weather!
  • We REQUIRE a "fundatory" attitude. Yes, fun is mandatory.
  • If you or your group want to spend the night, message us to reserve a spot.
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