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About NEOCH

The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) is a non-profit coalition of service providers, housing activists, members, and homeless people. The reason that we are called a "coalition" is because we bring together diverse interests such as religious groups and homeless people along with social service providers under the common goal of finding solutions to homelessness.  NEOCH stands poised to take on an exciting, yet challenging new role within the community and continue as the primary resource for homeless advocacy in Northeast Ohio.

Lisa Thomas, Sister Mary Frances Harrington, Rev. George Hrbek, Pat Tomcho, and Catherine Lowe founded NEOCH in 1988 as the successor to the Emergency Shelter Coalition. A nine-member Board of Trustees governs NEOCH.

Under the guidance of its passionate nine-member Board of Trustees, NEOCH has outlined five strategic objectives through 2012. Housing, Civil Rights, Education, Health Care, and Employment are the main areas of policy and advocacy work for the Coalition over the next 24 months.

NEOCH activities, in partnership with the homeless, include the publication of a street newspaper, co-sponsorship of the Stand Down service fair, staffing for service and outreach collaborations, coordination of the Homeless Congress, improving and expanding access to services, sponsorship of the Homeless Candlelight Vigil, protecting the right to vote by homeless people, publication of various Street Cards, and construction of a host of educational and advocacy activities.

We are regularly updating this website with information about NEOCH, homelessness, and poverty in Greater Cleveland.  You can find the new items added to the website here.  If you have suggestions for improving the site, please send us those suggestions here.

What is NEOCH?

Here is one page summary of all that NEOCH focuses our attention. This has easy links to the programs and services NEOCH undertakes.  These programs are those that board and staff spend their time overseeing or assisting with in Cleveland.  The NEOCH Board reviews this list once a year and passes an annual budget dedicating resources on these activities. 

Photos on the Front Page of the Website


Current Slide Show are photos from the 2008 photography graduate Pleasure Simmons.  He is one of the success stories from the class having found a job in the area of photography using his talent in capturing these images with gainful employment.  Simmons is a veteran who spent time homeless, but had a wonderful eye for photography.    The one downtown photo actually won a couple of awards.

Previous Slide Show: Nearly all the photos on the front page of the website from earlier this year are taken from our two Grapevine Photo Project graduates.  Between 2006 and 2007, the Ohio Department of Disabilities funded a project in which currently homeless people were provided cameras and they took classes on the use of the camera by three professional photographers.  The images on the front were all captured by the 11 artists who graduated from that class.  Graduates include Toni Anderson, Tony Emory, Cheryl Jones, Cindy Miller, Sabrina Otis, Jerome Pleasant, Howard Singleton, Pleasure Simmons, Gary Waterbeck, Barbara Winder, and Larry Whittig.  Both Teri' Horne and Kevin Cleary also participated and contributed as staff members.  We have a Movable Wall that travels around to various church congregations featuring the work of the Photo Project artists. Two months ago, the featured artist was Cynthia Miller. Last month, we had Black and White Photos from an exhibit from 1993.

Mission graphic

NEOCH’s mission is to organize and empower homeless and at risk men, women and children to break the cycle of poverty through public education, advocacy and the creation of nurturing environments.