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This blog is dedicated to distribute current information about the Coalition for the Homeless in Cleveland or poverty or the state of homelessness. Entries are written by board or staff of the Coalition. The opinions contained in this blog reflect the views of the author of the post. This blog features information on shelters, affordable housing, profiles, statistics, trends, and upcoming events relating to homelessness. We welcome comments, and will remove offensive or inappropriate messages. All postings are signed by the author.

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Friday
Mar272015

How Do Apply Broken Windows to a Tent???

NPR did a long piece (14 minutes) last Sunday on Skid Row and walking around with police and "residents" of the largest homeless encampment in North America.  The story just glossed over the flaws in the Broken Window Theory of law enforcement and stepped right into the relationship with the police.  The San Francisco Examiner did a better job showing the fallout of this policy of strict enforcement of even minor infractions of the law

The report starts with some defining of the terms which includes the "Safer Cities" initiative.  Police Chief William Bratton is the Johnnie Appleseed of this project and leading proponent of the theory.  He brought both the New York and Los Angeles police forces into this zero tolerance theory of policing after Bratton was chief of both departments.  Kelly McEvers is the author of this story and Tom Dreisbach was a correspondent for NPR working on this story.

DREISBACH: The idea is to cite or arrest people for the little stuff - jaywalking, drinking in public, blocking sidewalks.

MCEVERS: You know, that whole broken windows approach that was made famous by ex-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

DREISBACH: If you stop people from committing the little crimes...

MCEVERS: ...They'll be less likely to commit the big crimes.

No one saw the irony of talking about "broken windows" in the context of hundreds of tents. There are no windows to break in a tent.   Skid Row is the break down of society, and community policing in a chaotic society has to be different than in the suburbs.  A neighborhood falling down may need a strong police presence to keep it from tipping over the edge.  A neighborhood without order, basic sanitation, and safety needs about 1,000 things before a they need a strong police show of force.  Ticketing and jailing residents of Skid Row only prolongs their stay on the streets.  Low barriers housing is the key, but it is not cheap. 

What if jail were better than living on the streets?  What if the debt cycle from all the broken window tickets mean the person will never be able to find stability?  What if the police begin to see the city as a lost cause and become fatalistic about the residents?  Where do homeless people with alcohol problems consume alcohol if they have an addiction--everywhere is an open container?  Where do people go to the bathroom if no business will allow them to use their precious facilities?  What if the rest of society decides that the Skid Row community is not worth the trouble?  What if a desperate population begins to confront the police with every ticket written?   Why wouldn't NPR cover the absurdity of punishing people for broken windows on a tent?

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who signt he entry. 

Sunday
Mar222015

CAHA Featuring Bill Faith of COHHIO

Every other year, we like to hear from the leading lobbyist for an end to poverty in Ohio, Bill Faith executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing.  The Cuyahoga Affordable Housing Alliance meeting is a once a month look at the state of housing locally.  We review troubled properties and check in on various programs that meet the housing needs to those struggling in the community.  The April CAHA meeting will feature Bill Faith who leads the state housing coalition. 

The meeting is April 6, 2015 at 1:30 p.m. at the HUD offices at 1350 Euclid Ave. in the lower level. The meeting is open to the public.  Bill will talk about the Ohio State budget proposals being discussed down in Columbus.  Faith will give some highlights of the potential budget and its impact on housing and homelessness in Ohio.  He will talk about the State Housing Trust fund and the national budget.  The National Housing Trust finally has money and what will that mean for Ohio.  Join us to hear Bill Faith provide his take on state and national issues.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinions of those who sign the entry.

Sunday
Mar222015

SocksPlus Update

R.A Washington, poet

There was a really nice fundraiser last week at 78th Street Studio a facility that I had no idea existed in Cleveland.  Spending most of my existence on the East Side, I cannot understand how I missed this place.  It is a giant warehouse full of artists from all different media.  It is definitely worth a walk through.  Thanks to RA Washington, Katie Daily, and Russell Vidrick for performing poetry at the #SocksPlus benefit last week.   I recorded Vidrick years ago when I did a poetry show on WRUW-FM 91.1 so it was nice to see him again. 

Community West Foundation also held a #SocksPlus campaign this weekend in the Gordon Square area.  We are nearing the end of the second round of boots and backpacks that we are distributing on the streets of Cleveland.  We are purchasing new items for the upcoming month. We are focusing on keeping people dry over the next few months.  We will have a backpack and boots but also rain ponchos, sleeping bags and tents available. We are still working on building relationships with people to get them inside.

Katie Daily, poet

We received a large number of hygiene items from Fairview Hospital this last week.  People have been dropping off socks at the Community West Foundation and sending it to both us from Amazon.com.  We received blankets from Pat Catans and some additional panels to be made into additional blankets.  People have dropped off comforters, and winter items.  We have delivered boxes of clothing to the Cosgrove Center for their weekly giveaways.  We have also involved a couple of additional partners to giveaway the items.  Last weekend, we had a family drop off backpacks full of small gifts and hygiene items for homeless people.   And we are still getting blankets for our blanket drive.  We gave a little over 100 blankets to 2100 Lakeside this week. 

One item that we have not gotten as many as we had hoped through our blanket drive is towels or wash cloths.  Many of the outreach workers have been calling asking for towels, but we really have not seen many donated this week.  We are still doing the blanket drive for another month. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Sunday
Mar222015

Next Housing 101 Filling Up Quickly

We had a really nice workshop on March 20 and we are planning another one for May 15 with the same speakers.  We have 12 spaces left for the event, and we need payment before we reserve a space.  Here is the website for the Housing Workshop

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Thursday
Mar122015

Upcoming Events for NEOCH

Hand Up Gala 2014The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless has a number of events coming up in the future.  We hope that you can participate in a number of things going forward. 

Socks Plus Benefit

March 20 at 5 p.m. at the 78th St. Studio north of Detroit Ave. on the West Side Cleveland.  This will feature poetry and Lydia Bailey's photgraphy.  This was organized by the Community West Foundation and the proceeds will go to the Socks Plus campaign which has delivered boots, socks and winter clothing to hundreds in Cleveland.  We were able to help people into housing and convince people to come inside during the extreme cold. 

Housing 101

March 20 workshop is full so we have scheduled another one on May 15, 2015.  Same speakers and same price.  Similar materials and same time with 3 social work CEUs courtesy of the ADAMHS Board.  We have a page here to print out the flyer to reserve your spot.  We must receive payment in order to secure your place at this workshop.  It is a chance to learn more about homelessness and housing in the community. 

PSH/Outreach Teach In

March 26 at 6 p.m. at Winton on Lorain, we are having another forum on the importance of outreach to get people into housing.  We will also spotlight these beautiful buildings in our community.  We ask that you RSVP so we know how many packets to prepare.  Here are more details.

NEOCH Annual Meeting

April 1, 2015 is the NEOCH Annual meeting.  It is a time to look back at 2014 and give out awards for outstanding service to the homeless community.  There will be light meal and we will issue our annual report.  Again, we ask that you reserve a space at 216-432-0540.

Conflict Resolution/Mediation Training

NEOCH is partnering with the Cleveland Mediation Center to teach outreach teams, homeless people and others how to de-escalate and resolve conflicts peacefully.  This training is funded by the Community West Foundation and there are only 8 spaces left for this training which begins in April 9, 2015.  We need you to RSVP for this event.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry