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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.


News Updates This Last Week

In Honolulu, many homeless people say they are losing precious belongings, medicine, food, and even their identification as the city aggressively clears out encampments. With some of the largest homeless encampments in the country, the city has been conducting sweeps since last November in order to enforce laws which prohibit blocking or storing property on sidewalks. 

Goodwill Industries of Central Oklahoma plans to use a new $1.47 million grant to continue expanding its services to homeless veterans in the Oklahoma City metro area. With the announcement this week that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs renewed funding for a third year, the program's director said he hopes to continue ramping up those services in surrounding areas.  This at the same time Goodwill is under investigation for the Ability One program to provide jobs to disabled individuals. 

A homeless woman previously convicted of murdering a homeless advocate has pleaded guilty to lesser charges. The Shawnee County District Attorney announced Tuesday that Kimberly Sharp will be sentenced Sept. 30 for voluntary manslaughter and aggravated battery in the death of 38-year-old David Owen, a homeless advocate from Topeka who disappeared in June 2006.

Josh McManus said at the beginning of his speech at the Team Jackson luncheon on Monday that he was prone to make controversial statements. Two examples: Detroit is misunderstood and is on the rebound. By feeding the homeless, churches in downtown Jackson create unintended consequences by giving street people reason to hang around.

A police chief in southwestern Ohio says he wasn't surprised that one of his officers delivered a pizza to a homeless man. Middletown Officer Jason Deaton was recognized on the police division's Facebook Wednesday after he gave pizza and a drink to a man who was sleeping on the streets.

An Ohio County woman isn't giving up her dream helping homeless women and children.  A zoning board denied Angela Porter-Stewart's proposal for a new homeless shelter last year but now---she's found a new location off Highway 62 in Beaver Dam.

Congressman Tim Ryan announces $119,552 for Shelter Care, Inc. in Tallmadge. This grant will fund the Street Outreach Services program, which addresses the needs of runaway, homeless and street youth by providing outreach services to help young people leave the streets and transition to a safe living arrangement.

A once homeless man is now working to help others overcome adversity. Daryl Dalton worked to organize the Homeless Community Cookout and Clothes Giveaway at Macintosh Park on Sunday. Several local organizations chipped in to help sponsor the event.

Richard Gere stars in a new movie about a mentally ill man who becomes homeless. Gere has been testifying in support of improving access to care for homeless mentally ill people. Time Out of Mind is a movie about homelessness and dropping out of society. 

Joyce Robinson

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.


Today is National Voter Registration Day


National Voter Registration Day
Is Today--September 22, 2015

Please join Nonprofit VOTE, the National Low Income Housing Coalition and OhioVotes in celebrating National Voter Registration Day, today, Tuesday, September 22.

National Voter Registration Day is a national campaign, to ensure that everyone in the nonprofit community has updated voter registration and is registered to vote. 

Individuals Can Take Action

  • Register to vote. In Ohio, the deadline for voter registration is October 5 for the Nov. 3 general election. Download the voter registration form here. While you cannot register to vote online in Ohio, you can change your address electronically. If you have moved since you last voted update your information by clicking here.
    • Encourage your friends and family to register to vote before the October 5 deadline.

Organizations Can Take Action
Nonprofits are in a key position to practice voter engagement with low income and marginalized populations. These populations are chronically underrepresented when it comes to participating in elections. Because of this, many of the issues facing low income communities go unaddressed by elected officials. More than 1,200 nonprofit organizations across the country will join this effort on September 22.

If you are an organization in direct contact with low income and historically marginalized voters:

From Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio



Rep. Fudge Also Asks Justice to Investigate Ohio

Congresswoman Marcia Fudge has asked that the Department of Justice investigate voting practices in Ohio after another series of "corrections" in the law from earlier this year.  The new law will mean that fewer provisional ballots will count, and the agreements that NEOCH struck with the State are no longer valid.  Those who show up to vote in person without the proper ID will be able to vote by provisional ballot, but it is unlikely that those ballots will count in the end.  NEOCH has always worried that homeless people who show up in person on election day to vote will be given a worthless piece of paper to cast a ballot.  As one of the founders of the local ID Collaborative, I know that it can take 60 to 90 days sometimes to get a birth certificate from a number of states.  Birth certificates are the basis of all ID. 

These laws do not secure the ballot in Ohio, but act as a barrier for low income, homeless, minority and seniors from voting.  We all understand how easy it is to vote by mail, but there are many people who do not believe that vote by mail is secure and so they want to vote in person on election day.  These die-hards who love the civic nature of voting in person risk losing the right to vote if they do not have the correct identification.  They may have voted in the same place for the last 40 years, and no longer keep an updated state identification their ballot faces challenge.  Our agreement was that they could use their social security number on the provisional ballot to prove their identification.  This was thrown out by the legislature this year.  Why??   There is no proof of people showing up in person and voting duplicate ballots or foreigners pretending to be citizens and voting in large numbers. The other side always says, "If one ballot cast is corrupt it diminishes the vote for all of us."  Strange that this policy of one violation of the law impacts us all is only enforced when it comes to voting.  It does not apply to one vote purchased by lobbyists that is much easier in the Citizen's United era.  It does not apply to gun violence, corporate corruption that causes injury in the auto industry or predatory lending of our veterans.  Also strange that the people who have to bear the burden of additional scrutiny of the ballots seem to vote for one party which happens to not be in power in Ohio. 

Thank you so much Rep. Fudge for intervening and asking for a Voting Rights investigation of Ohio Election officials. We have placed Rep. Fudge's letter on the page we dedicated to this issue here.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry


HUD Puts Teeth into Effort to Stop Criminalizing Homeless People


The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has released a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) for the Continuum of Care (CoC) Program for $1.89 billion for Fiscal Year 2015. The CoC Program distributes funding to homeless projects in communities throughout the nation. The deadline for applying for the FY 2015 CoC Program Competition is November 20.

"The National Coalition for the Homeless is pleased to see HUD continuing the federal proactive approach against the continued criminalization of people experiencing homelessness," state Megan Hustings, Interim Director, NCH.  "NCH is the leading homeless civil rights organization in the nation and have been advocating for this position for at least two decades and our advocacy has finally paid off.  If communities continue to enforce anti-homeless ordinances, now they risk losing valuable points in their CoC application, which means a potential loss of funding," continued Hustings.

Specifically, the NOFA states that up to 2 points to CoCs that demonstrate recipients have implemented specific strategies that prevent criminalization of homelessness, affirmatively further fair housing as detailed in 24 CFR 578.93(c), and ensure that outreach is conducted to homeless individuals and families who are least likely to request housing or services in the absence of special outreach.

This is especially critical given the recent Department of Justice [DOJ] statement of interest in the Bell v Boise, case where DOJ argued that for communities that lack housing alternatives of for homeless people, anti-camping ordinances violate the US Constitutions 8th Amendment as "cruel and unusual punishment" and as "misguided public policy."

"It is a new day for protecting the civil rights of homeless people.  Lets hope that this is a wakeup call for communities to now focus on creating affordable housing that will end and prevent homelessness," states John Parvensky, Board Chair, NCH and CEO of the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.

Press Release from the National Coalition for the Homeless

The opinions reflect those of NCH and not necessarily NEOCH


Here is a Prime Example of Why Frontline is Not a Good Partner

This is the e-mail we received yesterday from Frontline Services:

Dear Colleagues-

Since our move to 1736 Superior, the Coordinated Intake program has operated 7 days a week from 8:00a to 8:00p.  Coordinated Intake, which is a collaboration of FrontLine Service and the Cleveland Mediation Center, has been working extremely hard with those we serve to effectively explore options to shelter and provide timely shelter placement.

This email is being sent to you because we are changing the days of on site operations.  Because of a recent funding gap, effective immediately, (NEOCH added underline for emphasis) our new hours of operation will be Monday through Friday, from 8:00a to 8:00p. We will no longer operate on site Saturdays and Sundays.

Saturdays and Sundays will follow our after-hour protocol. Single men and women seeking shelter will go to 2100 Lakeside Men’s Shelter or Norma Herr Women’s Center, respectively. Singles arriving at shelter during the weekend will be sent to Coordinated Intake on Monday for a complete intake and assessment.

Families seeking shelter will need to contact 2-1-1 who will link them with an on-call staff person. The on-call person will triage by phone and attempt to divert. If needed, they will meet at FrontLine Service to complete the intake and proceed to emergency shelter placement.

It is our hope that the need to discontinue on site weekend hours will not greatly impact service delivery. Please feel free to contact me.


Director, Emergency Housing Services

FrontLine Service, formerly MHS

No warning, no letting the outreach teams or churches who may be dropping off people over the weekend.  They did not let us know so we could update the Homeless Street Card.  They did not hold a discussion with all the partner agencies to talk about the pros and cons and alternatives.  We just had a County Homeless meeting last week and they could have warned us that this might be coming.  Funding does not change so dramatically that the largest homeless service provider in the community cannot take a few weeks to ease into this decision.  They are really bad partners to the rest of the small groups in the community who are providing referrals or trying to work on the issue of ending homelessness.  This will be fine in five years when Frontline Service takes over every charity in Cuyahoga County and we are all Frontline employees, but at this time the agency does not provide very good services to homeless people.

They do a really bad job overseeing the Women's Shelter and they are not really solid partner when they need multiple organizations working on the same page.  We have a bunch of questions about what we are supposed to do without Coordinated Intake on the weekend and no venue for getting answers.  Are they going to pay First Call for Help to take all these extra calls and spend all this extra time with homeless families?  How will we assure that we circle back to the men and women who became homeless on the weekend to make sure that they complete the Central Intake application?  Who will declare that we need to open an overflow site if many families show up this weekend needing help? Wish there was a partner who cared about the opinions of the rest of the Continuum or the County demanded that the shelters and services play nice with eachother.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.