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About NEOCH

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
Saturday
Dec032016

Homeless Need Blankets and Hygiene Kits

It is that time of year again to remember the hundreds of people who do not use the shelters in Cleveland.  Socks Plus, our partnership with Community West Foundation, Care Alliance, St. Pauls Community Church, and Metanoia.  We have already received our first shipment of boots and other supplies. We are real low on blankets and hygiene kits.  We are available for drop off from 9 to 4:30 p.m. nearly every day.  We need your help with winter items to give out on the streets. We have an updated flyer that you could print out and distribute.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Friday
Dec022016

Arrangements for Sue DiNardo

From the Plain Dealer obituary section today

(nee Patsey), age 62. Beloved wife of Joseph for 41 years; devoted mother of Tina Anghilante (Mark), Tony and Dante; loving sister of Cheryl Satow (Dave), Kenneth (Mary), Bruce and James (Jamie); dear daughter of the late James and Shirley; daughter-in law of Helen and the late Sam; loving aunt and great aunt. Family will receive friends at NOSEK - McCREERY FUNERAL HOME, 8150 BRECKSVILLE RD., BRECKSVILLE, OH. 44141 on Sun., Dec. 4 from 2-6 p.m. A Prayer Service will be held at the FUNERAL HOME, Mon., Dec. 5, 2016 at 12:15 p.m. followed by Susan's Mass of Christian Burial at St. Albert the Great Church, 6667 Wallings Rd., North Royalton, OH. 44133 at 1 p.m. Interment All Saints Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to West Side Catholic Center, 3135 Lorain Ave., Cleveland, OH. 44113. www.Nosek-McCreery.com

Published in The Plain Dealer from Dec. 1 to Dec. 2, 2016

Thursday
Dec012016

Sue DiNardo: Founding Board Member of NEOCH Passes Away

This is the kind of person Sue DiNardo was at West Side Catholic Center: there are over 500 Sue DiNardo from the West Side Catholic Facebook page 2014photos on the West Side Catholic Center Facebook page and only one of Sue.  (Even this photo seems to show her more concerned about her neighbor's well being over her own plate.) She has worked at the facility for nearly two decades and was never making speeches or calling attention to herself or evidently having her picture taken. I looked through around 7,000 pictures at NEOCH including Stand Downs, ribbon cuttings, Homeless Memorials, Annual Meetings and could not find a picture of Sue. She put her head down and got stuff done without a lot of fanfare or accolades.  She was a founding board member of the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and signed our Articles of Incorporation back in 1987. 

She was in a leadership position on the NEOCH Board when I started here in 1994.  We would hold the board meetings at the Salvation Army where she managed the family shelter.  In all the years I knew her, she did what she was asked to do without complaint.  So, if there was a need for a co-chair of the Office of Homeless Services, she stepped up.  There was a need to take a leadership role at NEOCH when the director left, and Sue stepped forward.  She worked with the board and staff of the Cleveland Tenants Organization to keep NEOCH functioning during a rough spot, and she did whatever she was asked through four directors at West Side Catholic Center. 

She was not confrontational or loud or unsure.  She was full of compassion and wanted to get things done.  She worked at the Cadillac of shelters in Cleveland at West Side Catholic Center, and then took on the challenge of moving Family Transitional Shelter to a scattered site model for housing families called Zacchaeus House under the West Side Catholic umbrella.  She was steady and reliable and wanted everyone to get along to provide the best possible service to those struggling with housing. She dedicated her professional life to serving homeless families in Cleveland and was able to see the development of an impressive system of shelters and services.  In the early1980s, there were only a couple of services for homeless families mostly because it was so rare to see a family without housing before that. The number of families exploded in Cleveland, and Sue was working behind the scenes with religious groups to keep people safe.  Sue helped to create NEOCH and many other programs in Cleveland in an attempt to make homelessness a brief interruption for families and not a lifelong disabling condition. 

She touched the lives of thousands who may never have known her or were not aware that Sue's hard work made their life easier.  All the kids who enjoyed a meal at the shelter did not know how much Sue had done to make that possible.  All the men who got a winter coat and the hundreds of people that Sue's staff sat with while they filled out a housing application were lucky that Sue decided to bring her skills to homeless services.  She wasn't championing all that she did for Cleveland, but she worked tirelessly filling out grant applications and completing the truck loads of paperwork that the federal government requires to receive public funds.  She was a calming presence on our board when there was a dispute between the free speech folks and social service sector.  Sue DiNardo will be missed in the homeless community.  She was an unsung hero to homeless families; always trying to alleviate any suffering in Cleveland and accepting people with all their frailty, faults and failings. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Tuesday
Nov292016

Homeless Memorial Day Candlelight Vigil 2016

Homeless Memorial Day Flyer 2016

This is the 30th time that we have read the names of those who passed away in Cleveland.  We are doing this memorial during the day this year and we are honored to have Senator Sherrod Brown as our keynote speaker.  We are collecting the names right now and looking for some religious leaders to say a prayer at the Vigil.  All are welcome to attend.  We often forget about homeless people who are largely invisible.  We hold the memorial so that these same individuals are not forgotten in death. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Monday
Nov282016

Cleveland Has A Really Nice Downtown

 We did our regular count of homeless people on Black Friday again this year.  We started this back in 1999 in response to a lawsuit against the City of Cleveland.  This was the traditional weekend during the White Administration when homeless people were swept off the sidewalk.  Police were dispatched to go out and harass homeless people out of sight by saying, "Get up and get out or you will be arrested."  NEOCH sued and won a settlement which is still in force.  Since that time we go out and check on the population and count how many are outside.  In 1999, there were as many as 60 people sleeping outside.  This year, there were three.  Before you cheer there are a few caveats.  One, the overnight drop in center at Metanoia is now open and draws about 60 people inside.  Second, this is the lowest number for the entire year.  It is a holiday weekend and many people go visit family and are welcomed back in the house even for a short time.  Third, we have reduced the overall number of long term homeless through coordinated outreach, Permanent Supportive housing and guaranteed access to shelter.  Last year, there were eight in the downtown, so this is also down from last year. 

This is only a small geographic area of the 20 blocks downtown.  We drive and walk every street downtown looking for people who choose to sleep outside.  It is not a count of anything that can be used for any academic analysis of homelessness.  One thing that we have to say is how nice Cleveland's downtown is compared to other cities.  Look at these pics below.  We should be proud of the Downtown.  It is pretty special.  There are not homeless people sleeping on benches, in the bushes, in bus shelters like there are in other cities.  The homeless service providers should be richly rewarded for keeping down the population by doing everything they can to keep the shelter doors open.  Thanks to Frontline Services, Lutheran Ministry, Salvation Army, Volunteers of America, Metanoia, West Side Catholic, EDEN and all the other groups that feed, cloth, and shelter homeless people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In any other city in America these benches would have homeless people sleeping on them.

 

 

 

 

Look how clean the bus shelter is. Many cities have homeless people sleeping in the bus shelters 

 

 

 Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.