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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.


Double Your Giving Tuesday Donation


Make a donation to the Community West Foundation next Tuesday and they will match the gift.  This means we will be able to double the number of socks that we buy.  We can provide twice as much help to get people inside on the coldest winter days coming up.  We can buy two tents instead of one with your donation, and we can buy twice as many boots this winter as we did last year.  In 2014-15 season, we purchased over 400 pairs of boots for the men and women who do not go into shelter.  We helped 28 people with housing assistance or first months rent and we gave out 1,200 really warm winter socks.  Help us do the same in 2015-16 as we prepare for a wet Cleveland winter. 

We have a web page dedicated to the Socks Plus campaign, and we ask that you tweet about your donation on Tuesday.  Maybe send a picture of your socks that you are wearing when you make your Giving Tuesday donation.  We are at the Clevhomeless on Twitter and use the hashtag #SocksPlus. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.




Homeless Memorial Day Set for 2015

All are welcome to attend this sombre ceremony that we celebrate with those experiencing homelessness.


Street Numbers and Fake HUD Reports

"Honey, I know that it is below zero and we are long ago divorced, but why don't you stay on my couch for this week because I still care about you and don't want you to die."  This may be the reason the numbers released in the latest HUD report do not match reality.  For the last two years, HUD has released numbers for a count that took place at the end of January showing declining numbers of homeless people.  Both years, the count has taken place during the coldest weeks in the Midwest and mid atlantic states.  It is no mystery that the counts decreased over the last few years, because Americans are not cold hearted mean people.  We take people inside if it is bitterly cold.  We put people up on our sofas or basements if it gets too cold, and then those individuals suddenly and magically disappear from the count of being homeless in America. 

Pam Fesler continues her quest to explain the unexplainable to Americans on NPR with another series of stories about homeless people.  Fesler's eventual goal with her stories are to eventually answer the question: how do we have so many people without housing in a country of such wealth? A few cities were like the New York Times story that the hometown is bucking the trend with higher numbers.  Cincinnati reported the same. Many papers wrote about the decline, but very few of the stories talked about how flawed the numbers are or that this is a one day number so what does that mean for a year? If homelessness is only short term state with average length of stay between 19 days and 55 days as in Cleveland, how does one cold day in January mean anything?  What trend could ever be established by counting homeless people one day out of 365? Even the Al Jazeera story did not mention how crazy counting homeless people was in the United States and they are usually pretty good about pointing out the obvious flaws in American culture and how the media fails to see the forest for the trees. 

NPR also looked at the devestation that is known as Skid Row this week.  In an effort to comfort Mayors throughout the United States, NPR did another story which could be headlined:  "It could be way worse look at Los Angeles...or you think you have problems at least you are not Mayor of Los Angeles...or lets try declaring an emergency to see if that will work because nothing else has."  What happens if you declare a state of emergency and no one cares?  Will a future disaster declaration be ignored because we are now calling homelessness a disaster?  Did the victims of Superstorm Sandy get timely help after New York and parts of New Jersey were declared disasters?  Did the Katrina disaster declaration make New Orleans whole?  I am not sure what this trick will do much for homeless people in Los Angeles.  There is no interest at the federal level of spending more money to help homeless people, so what does this do?  Local officials have announced $150 million for affordable housing from the local community.  In a huge city like Los Angeles with a huge population of homeless people and after years of neglect of the social safety net and affordable housing stock, $150 million will not make one bit of difference.  Housing is so expensive to build and maintain especially in the Los Angeles area, and we need a "moon shot" or Eisenhower building the highways type goal from the federal government to begin to show results.  Fighting this city by city with small allocations is a losing battle that will only lead to long lines and a great deal of frustration.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.


Stand Down Cleveland Marks 25 Years

Cleveland was the first city in the United States to do a joint Homeless Stand Down serving veterans and non-veteran homeless individuals.  Stand Down is a military term for a rest period after a battle, and the Stand Downs starting in San Diego were traditionally reserved for veterans.  We did the first Stand Down for any homeless person 25 years ago.  This does not mean that we do not have a section reserved for vets every year at the Stand Down. 

We have updated our webpage to reflect the 25th anniversary of the Stand Down with a flyer for distribution on our webpage.  Here is the flyer.  If you are interested in volunteering for the Stand Down contact HandsOn NEO at 216-432-9390.  If you can help with transporting homeless people to the Stand Down in January contact Ken at NEOCH.  We want this Stand Down to be the best yet.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.


Volunteering to Serve Homeless People For Holidays

Originally appeared on our Facebook Page (Cleveland Homeless)

Will NEOCH be having any volunteer opportunities around Thanksgiving?


Yes, we always have volunteer activities available and we welcome your help. Our Thanksgiving volunteer activity is a homework assignment to raise the issue of homelessness with a local elected official. We hope that you will set aside some time while serving a meal, putting together hygiene kits for distribution, or donating clothing to the Cosgrove Center to do some advocacy to end homelessness in Cleveland. Ask a suburban councilperson what they are doing to address domestic violence in their community? If they say they refer them to the DV Center in Cleveland please inform them that is respectfully the wrong answer. We only have a small number of DV beds (40 compared to 90 in Akron). These beds are always full and many women have to flee to the horrible Women's shelter because of a lack of space. Tell him or her that the suburbs need a better response and hope that they do something better for their residents in 2016. Let us know about your Councilperson's response and we will publish them.

You could ask your County Council person why they have done nothing to help the county funded Community Women's Shelter on Payne Ave. You could ask them to visit at 9 p.m. to see all the people sleeping on the floor and the horrible conditions then implement the Homeless Congress recommendations about the women's shelter. You could ask them why the County Animal Shelter is better than the County Entry Women's Shelter.

You could reach out to County Executive Armond Budish to ask why the County is second guessing families and turning them away from family shelters in a Orwellian named policy of diversion. Ask him to meet with NEOCH to discuss these issues. You could ask him to implement a moratorium on diversions so that families do not resort to sleeping in their car or risk going back to an abuser because they are turned away from shelter. Let us know what he says.

You could call up United Way or local religious leaders and ask what they are doing to help with this huge rise in family homelessness in Cleveland? How are they helping to serve these kids who are scared because they see the fear on their parent's faces? Why do we not have a bed in the community for these families?

You could ask Cleveland officials why there is a tax to support the arts, but no specific tax to build affordable housing? There is no local housing trust fund, but money is raised for theaters, orchestras, and museums? There is plenty to do to fill the hunger needs of the population, but think how many people would benefit from working on a new family shelter or a fund to build affordable housing?
It seems like an overwhelming problem, but the community stepped up in the past when there was a need and you have to know that things are really bad right now for families. We encourage you to volunteer and dedicate time to clothing, food, and hygiene kits over the next month, but we need you to work on policy and advocacy at the same time. We have a volunteer section of our website that has other projects in the community you can work on, but we also have an advocacy section with issues we could use your help in solving.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry