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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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Friday
Mar062015

#SocksPlus Benefit for Winter/Spring Items

In the Detroit Shoreway neighborhood at the 78th St. Studio (north of Detroit Ave.) on March 20 the Community West Foundation has organized a poetry slam and photo display. This show will raise funds for the Socks Plus campaign.  We have distributed the first batch of backpacks with boots and socks and we are waiting for the second batch of boots (delayed two weeks).  We are putting in our order for another round of cold weather gear and clothing to keep people dry.  We were also able to keep 12 people safe over the last two weeks of the extreme cold by using some of these funds to put the hardest of our cases into rooming houses. 

Hope that you can attend this fundraiser to support the SocksPlus campaign. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Tuesday
Mar032015

Good and Bad News in California

California is a country all to itself, and eventually the things that happen there move across the United States.  There were good things that happened over the past two weeks as well as horrible things that happen to homeless people.  On Skid Row a homeless man was shot on the street after a struggle with the police.  In the courts, the San Diego residency restrictions on those with a sexually based offenders

Homeless Stand Down 2015

The man was identified as Charly Keundeu Keunang, a Cameroon national who travelled under an alias for years. He got into a struggle with the police and was shot multiple times.  It is amazing that this does not happen more with a community that lives in the shadow of such opulence and in such squalor.  There are thousands living on the streets of one the richest cities on the planets.  They pitch their tents at night and then are told to get up and move on in the morning.  They have not built enough housing and have cast away a segment of the population.   After a population is beaten, kicked, ignored and treated as an animal, the slightest match will cause an inferno. 

The good news out of California was the ruling that the restrictions on residency for sexually based offenders is unconstitutional.  This will force a rewrite of these laws that keep people homeless around the country.  These individuals are convicted for some of the worst offenses in our society.  They serve their time incarcerated and then get out and remain paying for their offenses for years and sometimes for the rest of their lives.  For what?  The number of stranger sexual attacks is tiny compared to the number of attacks by family and friends.  It does no good to restrict residency for sexually based offenders in proximity to a school or day care center.  It is setting up a protection zone against an enemy that is not at the door.  Predators are on the internet, at family functions, in the confessionals, and at public events.  As the court said, these laws just make people homeless.  What could be worse than a person with a history of violence toward women or children without a solid place to be monitored and angry that the State is barring them from living in most housing in the community. Besides aren't we evolved enough to believe in forgiveness?

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Tuesday
Mar032015

Interesting CAHA update on CMHA

The Cuyahoga Affordable Housing Alliance Meeting took place last week and the big news was that CMHA is going to have to open the Section 8 (Housing Choice Voucher Program) waiting list.  The last time it was opened was 2011 and 10,000 names were drawn.  The problem is that the list is getting stale with most of the people on the list no longer around.  They either do not respond or have relocated or are no longer in need.  It is most likely that this summer they will have to re-open the waiting list for the voucher program in August or July. 

Everything will be pretty similar to 2011 with the application open for 5 to 7 days exclusively online (no paper applications).  Everyone in need of housing or who suspects they will need help with the rent between now and 2020 should apply.  We will have more details in the near future.

Public Housing officials also attended and reported that there are 9,600 total units in the Public Housing inventory with 99% occupied.  There are now 20,700 people waiting on the wait list with 70% waiting for a single bedroom. The current Public Housing list is 36% families and 23% seniors.  25% of the residents do not have income and 20% are on Social Security.  18% are employed and 17% are on some form of disability.  In a sign of how trivial cash assistance is now in the world only 2% of the total population receive assistance from the welfare department. 

CMHA is starting to rebuild Cedar Estates and renovate Bohn Tower and the former Garden Valley apartments.  They are working on the final phase of Carver Park and renovating Riverside Park.  Some of these properties are being renovated using private bank financing, which had been prohibited in the past. 

The President's budget is favorable toward the housing authorities, but who knows how that will play out by October.  The Housing Authority is working on how these newly created units developed with private dollars will integrate into the public housing system.  This current system has the highest number of occupied units since 1988.  The Housing Choice Voucher program has 14,000 participants and the program but is under utilized.  Most people are not showing up for their appointments to fill the voucher program and the waiting list is rather stale.  CMHA officials estimate that they will exhaust the Housing Choice Voucher waiting list in May of this year. 

The Voucher program is working with the long term homeless, veterans and those aging out of the foster care system.  They are planning to assist with the Pay for Success program to keep the time spent in foster care down.   There are 60 to 70 who leave the program every month and there are only 2,700 left on the 2011 waiting list.  There are 305 in the Veterans program and more to give out. 

The next CAHA meeting will feature Bill Faith of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio on April 6, 2015 at 1:30 p.m.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Monday
Mar022015

Final Numbers from Homeless Stand Down

from the January 24, 2015 event includes: 

  • 1,554 guests served including 308 Veterans, 56 families and 104 children. 
  • 277 guests received haircuts
  • 167 guests received foot care
  • Close to 400 portraits for guests
  • Nearly 400 rides were coordinated for guests
  • More than 1,300 guests shopped for basic need items, warm winter clothing and military surplus
  • 845 guests enjoyed a cold breakfast and 824 guests enjoyed a hot lunch
  • More than 120 glucose screenings
  • 54 medical/dental appointments scheduled
  • 1,000s of people receiving access to medicaid, benefits, education, mental health, housing, and employment services

Impact from the January 31, 2015 CareVan events includes:  

  • 4 permanent supportive housing units for the chronically homeless provided with basic need items
  • 1 supportive, family housing facility provided with basic need items
  • In total over 200 residents from these facilities were served with food, basic need items and basic medical/vision checks

We have put together a page on the Homeless Stand Down and a History of the Homeless Stand Down here.

If you want more information on the Homeless Stand Down or volunteer opportunities go to Hands On Northeast Ohio

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Friday
Feb272015

NEOCH Annual Meeting Announced

All are invited to the NEOCH Annual meeting to give out awards for the last year.  We will have a light meal and talk about our plans for the next year.  We will present our annual report and talk about all of our accomplishments for 2014.  Please give us a call if you intend to attend.  We are still taking applications for the Ione Biggs Award for 2014 here.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.