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:
- Homeless Families ARE Still Staying at A shelter supposedly ONLY For Single Female Adults, even though Schools already started ......
- 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!
- 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!!!
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P.S. Thanks LOH for the Public Square Image