Over 1,500 people including 300 veterans attended the Stand Down today. It was a very well run and smooth operation thanks to Hands On NEO. There was an extensive transportation system thanks to Ken from the NEOCH staff. There were residents of nearly every shelter in Cleveland. Many social service providers attended including the Department of Aging, Legal Aid Society and the Salvation Army.
They gave away thousands of pairs of boots and provided over a thousand meals. The Food Bank were passing out literature and chapstick while First Call for Help talked about all the things they do to assist. There were foot doctors, eye doctors and people signing the guests up for Medicaid. There was an entire section for veterans and the Cleveland Photographic society did portraits of hundreds.
It was a really nice event and we posted the first gallery of images on the front page of our website. The Plain Dealer also posted a nice gallery on their website here. WKYC and WEWS all showed up to feature the story. There were 400 volunteers including congregations who put together bag lunches or hygiene kits.
NEOCH did a survey of some of the participants to ask them about their new year's resolution and their priorities to solve homelessness. We will publish the resultsin the upcoming Street Chronicle. In the evening we gave out winter socks and thermal hoodies at the Metanoia Project. This was part of the Community West Foundation Socks Plus campaign. Community West Staff went out on Outreach and found that most of the people that they met complained that they never could keep their feet warm in the winter. The Foundation agreed to give the Coalition funding to expand our blanket drive with winter socks and boots. We did not want to compete against the Stand Down so we picked out items for Stand Down evening that they probably did not get at the Stand Down. Today we gave really nice Thermal Socks and zip up hoodies with a thermal lining as part of the Community West Socks Plus campaign. We will give out additional items over the next month to keep people warm and safe all thanks to Community West Foundation.