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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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Monday
Dec082014

Homeless Stand Down Looking for Donations

From our Friends over at HandsOn NEO, they are looking for help with the January 2015 Homeless Stand Down

Most Pressing Donation Needs:

The Homeless Stand Down inventories homeless guests from local shelters each fall to assess current donation needs for the Stand Down. Based on those surveys, we are looking for the following donations:

(1) All donations should be approved by HandsOn Northeast Ohio either by email or phone. Please email hsd(at)handsonneo(dot)org with your pledge to donate before January 5, 2015. 

(2) The HSD is a dignity affirming event, as such, all donations should be new or nearly new. WE WILL NOT BE ACCEPTING GENERAL CLOTHING ITEMS UNLESS STATED BELOW

(3) Below is a list of desired in-kind donations. Goals for the items are based on both the Stand Down and CareVan events

  • New or Gently Used Winter Boots *Goal 1,100 (700 men and 400 women)  Men's sizes 10-14 **Various Women Sizes
  • Winter Coats *Goal 1200 (700 men and 500 women)  Men Sizes XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL
  • New Underwear *Goal 2,800 (1,800 men and 1,000 women).  Priority for Men's underwear (should be mostly boxer or boxer briefs) sizes M, L and XL
  • Waterproof Gloves *Goal 1,300 pair
  • Hooded Sweatshirts *Goal 1,800 **Men/Women's sizes XL, 2XL, 3XL, 4XL
  • Winter Hats *Goal 1,300
  • Men's Athletic Socks *Goal 2,900


* Hygiene kits (Personal Care Kits) *Goal1,600 (1,000 male and 600 female)
Preference is that they come pre-assembled by gender in bag (gallon bags or other large freezer bags work great)
   Kits include:
    o Shampoo and conditioner (full size) 
    o Bar of Soap
    o Washcloth
    o Toothbrush and Toothpaste
    o Shaving cream and Razor (Men)
    o Tampons & Pads (Women)
    o Other additional items if desired: floss, deodorant, antibacterial wipes,       
       mouthwash, nail file/clippers, comb/brush, hair ties, etc...

* Cleaning Kits   *Goal of 300     
 Kits include:
    o Cleaning bucket (for use and to hold kits)
    o Sponges
    o Paper Towels
    o All Purpose Cleaning Solutions
    o Dish Soap
    o Laundry Detergent
    o Dryer Sheets

* Bagged Lunch   *Goal of 1,000        
    o Sandwich (PB&J) or Crackers and Tuna
    o Whole Fresh Fruit (apple, orange, pear)
    o Granola Bar
    o 100% Fruit Juice
    o Veggie Sticks
    o Bag of Chips
    o Cookie

* Diapers and wipes (various sizes)
* Cloth Bags/Reusable large shopping bags 

Donation drop dates (location will be confirmed by 12/12)

Sunday, December 21 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m. 

Tuesday, December 23 5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. 

Sunday, December 28 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 

Sunday, January 4 1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. 

Saturday, January 10 1:00 p.m.  - 3:30 p.m. 

Sunday, January 11 1:00 p.m.  - 3:30 p.m. 

Saturday, January 17 1:00 p.m.  - 3:30 p.m. 

Sunday, January 18 1:00 p.m.  - 3:30 p.m. 

MLK Day -Monday, January 19 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 

MLK Day -Monday, January 19 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. 

Tuesday, January 20 5:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Last Donation Drop Pre-Stand Down

***Please be sure to make arrangements to store donations until the specified drop off dates/times or contact our offices.
***All monetary and in-kind donations to the Homeless Stand Down are tax deductible and you will receive a thank you letter/receipt of your donation.

Thank you for continued support of the Homeless Stand Down. 

Please email your donation pledge of donations to HSD(at)HandsOnNEO(dot)org

All checks must be made out to:

HandsOn Northeast Ohio"  with the 
"Homeless Stand Down 2015" in the memo and should be mailed to:
HandsOn Northeast Ohio
P.O. Box 91183
Cleveland, Ohio 44101

We will post their volunteer needs on Tuesday.

Sunday
Dec072014

Homeless Memorial Day 2014

We are right now collecting names for those who passed away over the last year.  We are looking for some diversity in the prayers provided by faith leaders, and preparing for this solumn event. 

We will be joined this year by Council President Kevin Kelley for this year's service.  We hope that you can attend on December 21 at 7 p.m. at St. Malachi/Metanoia Program in the social hall. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Friday
Dec052014

More News Briefs from this Week

Huffington Post posted a commentary about how homelessness has decreased.  We have covered how ridiculous the HUD count is and statistically invalid these numbers are in the real world.  We also know that the folks at Laura's Home/City Mission would disagree.  If any national expert tells you that homelessness is down, they have no credibility with what is going on in the real world.

Brennan Center for Justice has a series of commentaries from state's that changed their voting procedures. DeNora Getachew, from the Brennan Center, is looking at the changes in voting that took place in the 2014 election.  She has looked at Texas, Iowa, and Ohio so far.  She interviewed me and staff from Souls to the Polls to talk about the harm caused by the loss of Golden Week and evening hours to vote early.   One interesting note, the progressive state of Illinois is working to increase access to voting with new legislation:

  1. It will implement electronic registration, which means more voters will have the opportunity to sign up when they interact with a government agency.
  2. It will create a permanent same-day registration (SDR) system. SDR will increase convenience by allowing citizens to register and vote on the same day, either before or on Election Day.
  3. It will increase early voting options by extending them to include the three days — most notably, the Saturday and Sunday — before Election Day.

San Jose has completed clearing "The Jungle" which some say is the largest number of people in one encampment.  This is one of the most expensive housing markets in the United States and there were over 60 acres of tents and self constructed homes that were torn down.  The San Jose Mercury News editorialized about the cost of not providing housing to these residents.  The LA Times looked at the issue here. Huffington asks the relevant question what happened to those who were "cleared" from this encampment?

The White House posted an entry on their blog about the Cuyahoga County Pay for Success program. We looked at the issue here

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Wednesday
Dec032014

Updates of Homeless News Stories

Akron man convicted of murdering homeless individual. Dimitry White killed Anthony Thomas because he was angry that Thomas was charging $5 to enter a house.  Amazing, that a person is killed over trying to make a buck or actually five bucks. 

A judge has prevented enforcement of the Ft. Lauderdale feeding ban.  This is great news for the social justice crowd.  The city has received international bad press for the feeding ban including a threat from the hacker group Anonymous. 

Madison Wisconsin officials are struggling with how to shelter all those who request shelter.  They are also struggling with opening of a day center.  There are issues that the shelters do not open until it gets below 21 degrees and there are capacity issues.

Chicago has an out of control waiting list for housing.  The waiting lists have not been open since 2008 and 2010 for the voucher and public housing.  They have combined the two lists into one application and 282,000 asked to get a spot on the wait list.

Hospitals in Texas are struggling with how to serve homeless people.  They often put people back in the woods and they show up in the emergency room within days.  Texas is one of the states that have not expanded Medicaid that would provide incentives to get the lowest income enrolled in health insurance.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Friday
Nov282014

I Am Thankful for...

Jim Schlecht of Care Alliance...for being non judgemental in helping people who have made poor choices or are struggling with demons. 

Tyrone H now of Care Alliance...for quickly learning the ins and outs of providing help to the shelter resistent and getting a full time job to work with people struggling with housing issues.

Denise (her picture is on the front of our website now) our latest hire for the training position...for being so compassionate to the people in her care.  For learning how to move from offering comfort to offering a hand up. 

Metanoia...for offering a safe warm place inside on the coldest nights of the year and for helping the most vulnerable in our society. 91 people found help on this last Sunday.

Cosgrove Center...for helping keep people, families and children fed on cold days and for being willing to become the host for the Central Intake site.

Transitional Housing programs...for working to move people into stability during their own time.  Some people cannot be housed quickly.  They need time to get their life together.  They need time to get a skill that will lead to a job or get clean or get medical help for their past trauma.   Transitional shelters have a role in our society and should not be shuttered as HUD and Cuyahoga County are pushing. 

Putting families into housing...I am thankful for Habitat for Humanity and the City Mission program to place families with children directly into houses.  It is always amazing to see a child's face light up when they go into a new place to live.  When they have overcome so much living in a shelter and then realize they have a safe place to live is the best part of this job. 

First Call for Help/211...It is often overlooked, but having a phone number to call 2-1-1- or 436-2000 is an essential service that should be more valued by all the social service community.   Since no agency (except NEOCH) has humans answer the phones anymore, we should give more praise to this amazing service of answering the phone 24 hours a day.   The people over at United Way really care and know more than anyone what is really going on in the community.  They knew first that family homelessness was on the rise and that suburban hunger was getting out of control.  I am so thankful for First Call for Help.

HousingCleveland.org...Cleveland is one of only 2 communities in Ohio that helps low income people find housing without having to go through a case worker.  We have 800 units available today on the site and a database of 32,000 units.   It is a free service for both landlords (4,500 landlords use the service) and homeless people looking for housing.  It is an affordable service that 33 states have adopted. 

Toni Johnson...A veterans affairs employee who knows everything about homelessness.  She is out in the community keeping her ear to the ground about resources for her clients.  You will see her on the East Side and in East Cleveland.  She has contacts for children and 80 year old veterans.   We are so glad she is working to serve homeless people. 

The ID Collaborative...It took a hit this year with funding running out, but it is an amazing program.  It is a model for the United States and serves hundreds of people every year.  This should be considered an essential service funded before other programs.  It is amazing how one small piece of paper (birth certificate) or a card (State ID) can stop a person's life.   Without ID you can't vote, get into housing, get a job or get preventative health care.  We need the ID Collaborative to be healthy and fully funded. 

What are your ideas for what you are thankful for in the homeless community?  Submit in the comments section or in the discussion section of the website.  We will post other ideas on our blog.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.