No Free Money - Welcome to 'No Free Money'

Welcome to 'No Free Money'

Money in the news:

Free gun locks are available at several Toledo sites, courtesy the city and police department. See the website for available sites.

The Shots for Tots N Teens program is on at the Toledo-Lucas County Board of Health. All insurance is taken, and vaccinations may be free for qualified participants. Get more information at the Health Department website.

There is money to fix or replace septic systems for homeowners in Lucas County. Preference is given to low-income residents. For those whose incomes are at or below 100 percent of the poverty level, the grant includes total replacement costs; for those whose incomes are at or below 200 percent of the poverty level, the grant will cover 85 percent of the costs; and for those who are at or below 300 percent of the poverty level, the grant will cover 50 percent of the costs. See the website for more details.

The Work Ready Lucas County program provides free training to help job seekers become certified in the ACT work readiness program. They are currently taking online applications. For more information, call 419-213-JOBS.

There are grants of up to $5000 for employees in good standing of law enforcement,fire department, public schools, health care, or Catholic Central High School to purchase homes in the Cherry Street legacy neighborhood. Homes on Cherry Street, Collingwood Boulevard, Ashland Avenue, and Bancroft Street, or Cherry Street, Delaware Avenue, Locust Street, and Bancroft Street, as well as Bronson Boulevard and Birckhead Place, are eligible. These are actually loans that will be forgiven over the length of five years. Current property owners in the neighborhood are eligible for $2500 facade improvement grants. There are no income limits. For more information call Tom Kroma at 419 251-2851 or

Truth and nonsense:

1) Billions in grant dollars are just lying around, waiting for deserving individuals to apply.

Truth: Most federal grants are earmarked for state and local governments and nonprofits. There are few funds that go directly from the federal government to individuals. In turn, those nonprofits, local and state governments create aid programs that are often in the form of reduced rate loans, loan guarantees, and tax breaks and incentives, and they vary from one state or locality to another. There are very few outright grants.

2) Lots of new business owners are eligible for grants.

Truth: Most aid that comes to businesses comes in the form of loans, loan guarantees, and tax incentives. In most instances, businesses that get outright grants have received them because they have 1) invested a great deal of money in a location, and the state or local government at that location gave them a grant to “sweeten the pot” and attract big business 2) suffered a disaster and got a disaster grant 3) promised to create a certain amount of jobs in the jurisdiction giving the grant. Many other “grants” touted on “free money” books and websites are in fact contracts with the government to create goods or services.

3) Minorities and women get lots of grants set aside just for them.

Truth: Except for education, few grants are set asides just for women and minorities. In some jurisdictions, set aside percentages have been created at government purchasing agencies to buy a certain amount of goods and services from women or minority owned companies, but these are payments for services, not grants. Many grants are created to give government agencies and nonprofit organizations money to create programs that help minorities and women, often in the form of counseling and loans.

***NOW: find strange new sources of (non)free money and financial help at the blog: Free Money Ate My Brain.*** Follow me on Twitter at: Toledolinda.

Linda Koss is the Grantsmanship Specialist for the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, a position she has held since 1995.