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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.

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Thursday
Apr032014

Met with Cleveland Police Regarding the Attacks on the Camps

We had a meeting with many outreach workers and volunteers along with some of the victims of the fires down in the Flats and the Cleveland Police Department.  The new Commander of the Second District Thomas Stacho and Officer Petcak from the Downtown unit attended the meeting to hear our concerns that someone was targeting homeless people by burning down their campsites.  We heard of three active sites that were destroyed and a couple of abandoned camps.  This started the weekend of March 21 and continued last Friday March 28.   On Friday evening between 4 pm to 5 p.m.  there were a series of fires at the camps while they were away getting food.  Then when the residents went inside to get out of the cold in the middle of the night the criminals came back and torched more camps. 

NEOCH and other outreach teams are concerned that this is a hate crime, and will only get worse with more people living outside over the summer.  The Police assured us that they would follow up and would investigate these concerns.  They were going to talk to some of the business owners in the area, construction workers, and the Fire Department that responded. They were going to report back to us after interviewing some of the spectators down there and a few people identified by the victims as suspicious as well as others who go down along the river.  

The stroller lady was scared and reported all her losses including the death of one of her cats.  She was angry about many past beefs with many different people in the community.  She gets picked on so much it is hard to get her to focus on this attack and not the previous threats against her camp.  She was also frustrated that no one takes her complaints seriously for the last five years including the police.   Rick has relocated and is keeping his new location quiet.  He talked about the library books, clothing, sleeping bags and food that he lost.  He was stoic but said he did not understand these attacks.  Rick stays away from most people and does not bother anyone.  He interacts with the volunteers from Labre, but otherwise stays by himself.  He had no theories for who could have done this, because there was no threats or warning.  Rick did say that someone had stolen from him and had messed up his camp two weeks ago, but was not sure if this was related. 

The outreach teams will increase interaction with the people staying outside.  We have asked the residents to set up a "neighborhood watch" type program.  The police agreed to keep an eye out during their patrols.   We hope that they are able to find these domestic terrorists who burnt down these campsites and intentially destroyed the tents and all their possessions of these people who largely try to avoid the spotlight.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Thursday
Apr032014

Candidate Night for County Executive

Lutheran Metro Ministry and Organize!Ohio along with 30 social service and social justice groups are co-hosting a candidate night next week for those running in the primary for Cuyahoga County Executive.  The forum is Thursday April 10 at 6 p.m. at 4515 Superior Ave.  (parking is across the street or on the side streets).  The focus will be on health and human services, housing and other critical needs in the community.  We submitted a couple of questions for the forum.  Nearly all the candidates have confirmed for this event.  Hope that you can make it as you make this important decision to cast a vote in the May 6 primary election.

Brian Davis

Monday
Mar312014

Hate Crimes Over the Weekend

The Homeless Stroller Lady is famous in Cleveland.  You have probably seen her on a bus or walking around downtown, and some have even called the police worried that she has a baby in the stroller (she does not).   This weekend her campsite and two others were attacked in the Flats.  There were three or four tents set on fire over the weekend.  This is a terrifying prospect with all those flamable blankets lining the tents. 

The Stroller Lady had gone to the president of a local construction company and received written permission to take scrap wood from the construction site for her campsite.  This only made her campsite even more flamable.  We are working with city officials to better protect these individuals as we look for appropriate housing for them.  We hope to set up a meeting between the police or fire department and these individuals to increase patrols and get information about an investigation into this hate crime. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Friday
Mar282014

New Street Voices Video Posted

We posted a new video featuring Angelo Anderson on the front of our website and in our Street Voices section of the website.  Most people are aware of Angelo and his long affiliation with the NEOCH.  Angelo was one of the men who approached NEOCH about printing the street newspaper that they were calling the Homeless Grapevine 21 years ago.   Angelo has been a long term speaker for our Street Voices program.  He raised himself out of homelessness to join the NEOCH staff and then became staff at the Salvation Army/Lutheran Metro Ministry main men's shelter in Cleveland.  This is a short promo for the Street Voices project, but Angelo would love to come out and speak to your group.  Call Ken at NEOCH to schedule a time for Angelo, Shari or Don or any of the others.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Friday
Mar212014

Housing 101 Workshop Still has Space

The Housing Workshop is Friday March 28 at 10:00  a.m. until 1 p.m.  We still have space for social workers or case workers who want to find out more information about housing for homeless people. We will feature:

  • A look at HousingCleveland.org and how to access the site. 
  • A look at landlord tenant issues and applying for subsidized housing.
  • Coordinated Intake and access to Permanent Supportive Housing
  • Veterans housing available locally and
  • Fair Housing laws and access to enforcement of Fair Housing laws.

There are 3 CEUs for social workers who need continuing education.  Here is the link for the webpage about the Housing Workshops.  There is a nominal cost for the event.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.