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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.

Homeless Voting
Friday
Sep232016

Questions for the County Plan to Manage Homelessness

Our friend LOH attends many of the public meetings in the community and regularly comments about the State of Homelessness.  She is especially troubled by the large number stuffed into the women's shelter and the lack of a good plan for housing homeless families.  The two big shelters are completely full right now with single men and single women and nearly every night people are sleeping on mats on the floor.  Families with children are already sleeping on floors at two existing family shelters in Cleveland.  This is the current inadequate plan for the overflow system for families.  All of those beds and spaces on the floor are full so families are being sent to the Community Women's shelter.  For the last seven weeks many families are being sent to the Single Women's shelter with all the mentally ill women, drug addicted single women and a few sexually based offenders.  There are a number of newly homeless women who are just trying to find a job or housing, but the Community Women's Shelter has regularly 200 women and does not turn anyone away.  It was unbearable last year now it is an emergency that needs help tonight before there is a horrible incident.  

We typically have a high number of families entering the shelter in the summer when the kids are out of school, but this is troubling that we are still seeing high numbers after school has started.

Loh made some excellent comments at the last County Health and Human Services public comment time: 

  1. Homeless Families ARE Still Staying at A shelter supposedly ONLY For Single Female Adults, even though Schools already started ......
  2. Homeless Congress already decided to move forward with changing [the] service provider to help residents staying at the County Community Women's Shelter due to No changes from the service provider to improve the daily operation to Help the residents.  Then, the presentation on Behavioural Health without the insurance and Medicaid part of it, into the Fact that BAD Staff Members are the Key Element to Defeat the purpose of "Sheltering" and "Helping" by Loh!
  3. Upon the upcoming Voter Registration Event at Cosgrove, I am, personally, looking forward to seeing Councilwoman Conwell and her speech there.

County staff were present, but have offered no solution to this crisis.  Two years ago we had a large church in Cleveland Hts. that had offered space to the families. So, we had to pay for transportation and staffing, but we could serve a large number of families.  Now, we have limited floor space and certainly not enough to meet demand.  We have been forced to undermine our principles of not turning away women with children because of a lack of space.  We know that women with children fleeing violence in their household have been told to sleep in a police station.  We find families sleeping in cars and in parks over the weekend nearly every weekend.  We NEED Media attention, community, business or religious leaders to step in and we need help with this serious problem TODAY!!!

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

P.S. Thanks LOH for the Public Square Image

Thursday
Sep222016

Guidance from HUD for LGBTQ Individuals Using Shelters

Guidance from the Great Funding gods in Washington on how shelters need to serve Transgender individuals using HUD funded facilities.  These are extremely helpful, but when is Cuyahoga County going to display these rules so that everyone including residents of the shelter understand these rules?  We have been pushing to get these rules displayed and Cuyahoga County officials have been unwilling to require posting the LGBTQ rules in the shelters. 

A Message from Harriet Tregoning,

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Community Planning and Development

I am pleased to inform you that we have reached an important milestone in HUD efforts to ensure equal access for all persons in our programs. On September 21, 2016, HUD will publish a final rule in the Federal Register entitled Equal Access in Accordance with an Individual’s Gender Identity in Community Planning and Development Programs.

This rule will ensure that all individuals have equal access to many of the Department’s core shelter programs in accordance with their gender identity. This rule becomes effective October 21, 2016.

I encourage all CPD grantees to promptly review their policies to ensure consistency with the new rule.

Following what had previously been encouraged practice by HUD, providers using funds awarded through the Department’s Office of Community Planning and Development (CPD), including those operating single sex projects, are now required to provide all individuals, including transgender individuals and other individuals who do not identify with the sex they were assigned at birth, with access to programs, benefits, services, and accommodations in accordance with their gender identity without being subjected to intrusive questioning or being asked to provide documentation.

HUD’s new rule will require a recipient, subrecipient, or provider to establish, amend, or maintain program admissions, occupancy, and operating policies and procedures (including policies and procedures to protect individuals' privacy and security), so that equal access is provided to individuals based on their gender identity.

Other provisions and changes to the rule include:

  • Eliminates the prohibition on inquiries related to sexual orientation or gender identity so service providers can ensure compliance with this rule.  The removal of the prohibition on inquiries related to sexual orientation or gender identity does not alter the requirement to make housing assisted by HUD and housing insured by the Federal Housing Administration available without regard to actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity. 
  • Amends HUD’s definition of “gender identity” to more clearly reflect the difference between actual and perceived gender identity.
  • Makes a technical amendment to the definition of “sexual orientation,” which was adopted from the Office of Personal Management’s (OPM) definition of the term in 2012 to conform to OPM’s current definition.
  • NOTE: the definition of “family” remains the same. See FAQ 1529 for specific guidance for projects with CoC and ESG funding.

As a new program regulation, failure to comply with the requirements of this rule will be considered a violation of program requirements and will subject the non-compliant grantee to all sanctions and penalties available for program requirement violations. HUD has provided a suite of Technical Assistance materials to support final rule implementation, which can be found at https://www.hudexchange.info/homelessness-assistance/resources-for-lgbt-homelessness/.  

HUD has also provided a document that grantees can publicly post to inform clients and staff of the equal access requirements, which can be found at https://www.hudexchange.info/resource/5147/notice-on-equal-access-rights/.

HUD is planning to conduct trainings and provide additional TA materials to assist HUD grantees in understanding the new rule and implementing the policies and procedures appropriately. As these resources become available, you will be able to access them on the LGBT Homelessness Resource Page.

Find more information on HUD’s broader work for LGBTQ inclusion in HUD’s programs at http://portal.hud.gov/hudportal/HUD?src=/LGBT_resources. Please direct any questions regarding this rule and any requests for technical assistance to your local CPD representative.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Thursday
Sep222016

Project Dawn Update

This is really good news to help reduce the impact of the Opioid epidemic locally.  The Project Dawn folks have added a daily clinic three blocks from the biggest shelter in Ohio.  This is important especially when the cost of naloxone has skyrocketed over the last year.  Hopefully, those hanging out with addicts will sign up for the brief training to help save a life locally.

Here is a copy of the flyer for you to print out and distribute.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Wednesday
Sep212016

Family Homelessness To Be Addressed At Dinner

Family Homelessness is out of control locally.  The overflow is full to the point they are placing women with children in the only Women’s Shelter left in Cleveland.  We have closed 440 beds of shelter in the last six years and the both entry shelters for men and women are full every night.  We need some local leadership to step forward to work on these issues.  Despite the flawed count released by the federal government, despite positive media stories of a decline in homelessness, this is the worst we have seen for families facing homelessness in 30 years.  We no longer have religious groups in the lead of ending family homelessness.  Our business leaders are not focused on finding solutions to homelessness anymore. 

 We need a group of business and religious leaders to recommend programs to begin to actually reduce the number of homeless people locally.  We need some activity toward a local affordable housing trust fund to build and preserve housing for people making minimum wage.  We need to keep families out of shelters, and prevent evictions.  There is so much more we could do, but we are stuck in chasing federal dollars that we never get around to solving problems.  Our entire strategy is wrapped around an untested philosophy pushed by academics and bureaucrats.   NEOCH wants to help organize a fund or a campaign to end homelessness in Cleveland, and we want you to be a part of this effort.  We want innovative and creative ideas to move people back into housing while not sacrificing the emergency response to those who fall into homelessness.

We are hosting a dinner on October 19 at the Breen Center at St. Ignatius to kick off this campaign.  We want to have some of the members present to hear a pep talk from the County Executive or the Mayor.  We will give out a few awards and then introduce the Campaign.  I have included the electronic invitation that we are advertising.  The goal would be to set up a committee by the end of the year to begin to put together a pool of funds to begin to solve problems.  We would solicit smaller donations to hire a staff person to implement and assist the committee.  The advisory would meet to hear pitches and decide on the projects to fund or to hear from elected officials about the struggle as well as get a status update on the campaign to end homelessness.

We need the private sector to end homelessness for everyone.  We have a good example with the Veterans Administration who used every strategy possible and cut veteran’s homelessness by two thirds in the last few years.  How do we replicate the success of Veteran’s homelessness in Cleveland? Join us on October 19 to hear how you can help.  We need you to RSVP your space today in order to help us solve this issue.

by Brian Davis

Tuesday
Sep202016

National Voter Registration Day