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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.

Homeless Voting
Tuesday
Apr122016

Cuyahoga County Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided with Naloxone)

Naloxone is NOW available FREE to anyone who takes the training to administer it, you could save a life! 

ep·i·dem·ic ˌepəˈdemik/ noun a widespread occurrence of an infectious disease in a community at a particular time.

According to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s office we have an EPIDEMIC, we have a SERIOUS problem with heroin use all around us.  It’s widespread, it’s cheap, it’s everywhere you turn.  It’s in our schools, it’s in McDonald’s, it’s on the streets in prolific quantities.  It’s been the drug of choice in the Inner City and it’s quickly spreading into the suburbs as its use widens and becomes a public health threat with the amount of overdoses continually increasing.  As more people become addicted, more turn to dealing the drug to obtain their money to support their own habit.  The addict usually only has 3 options: one is to steal to obtain the needed money, the next is to panhandle and the third option is to begin to sell the drug in order to maintain their own habit.  So, these addicts and dealers may be our clients, our friends, our family members and those who we have casual and professional relationships with.  Why not educate yourself and become prepared in the event you should encounter an overdose victim?

The number of deaths by overdose is steadily climbing.  We are in crisis and there are tools available to help combat the effects of the crisis.  One of these tools is known as Naloxone or Narcan, a drug which is an antidote to a heroin (opiate) overdose.  You can obtain doses of Naloxone through Project DAWN (Deaths Avoided with Naloxone).  Project DAWN is a community-based overdose education and naloxone distribution program with trainings on the east and west side of Cleveland. The training and naloxone are FREE!  It doesn’t cost anything but on the contrary can save the lives of those who are struggling with addiction.  If you work with addicts, have a staff that works with addicts, have a loved one that is addicted or if you spend time on the street as a direct service provider to those in need, you have probably encountered heroin addicts along the way.  It’s worth your time to call and go to one of the locations in Cuyahoga County and receive the training necessary to administer the Naloxone to someone who is overdosing and save a life. 

  Project DAWN participants receive training on:

  • Recognizing the signs and symptoms of overdose
  • Distinguishing between different types of overdose
  • Performing rescue breathing
  • Calling emergency medical services
  • Administering intranasal Naloxone

Those who volunteer or work on the streets with at risk populations who may be drug users would benefit greatly from receiving the training and learn to administer Naloxone.  

To get in contact with a local Project DAWN program:

MetroHealth Project DAWN     216-778-5677

Project DAWN Locations:

(No appointment necessary. Services offered regardless of county of residency.)

Project DAWN resources are available at three convenient locations:

 

 

 by Denise Toth

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Monday
Apr112016

NEOCH Announces Another Training for Homeless Providers

The event is free, but we do require RSVP because there is a limited number of spaces in the room. We hope that you can join us.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Friday
Apr082016

Justice Department Civil Rights Division

Justice Department Announces Resources to Assist State and Local Reform of Fine and Fee Practices

The Department of Justice today announced a package of resources to assist state and local efforts to reform harmful and unlawful practices in certain jurisdictions related to the assessment and enforcement of fines and fees.  The resources are meant to support the ongoing work of state judges, court administrators, policymakers and advocates in ensuring equal justice for all people, regardless of financial circumstance.

“The consequences of the criminalization of poverty are not only harmful – they are far-reaching,” said Attorney General Loretta E. Lynch.  “They not only affect an individual’s ability to support their family, but also contribute to an erosion of our faith in government.  One of my top priorities as Attorney General is to help repair community trust where it has frayed, and a key part of that effort includes ensuring that our legal system serves every American faithfully and fairly, regardless of their economic status.”

The package, which was sent to state chief justices and state court administrators throughout the country, includes the following elements:

  • Dear Colleague Letter from the Civil Rights Division and the Office for Access to Justice to provide greater clarity to state and local courts regarding their legal obligations with respect to the enforcement of court fines and fees.  The letter addresses some of the most common practices that run afoul of the U.S. Constitution and/or other federal laws, such as incarcerating individuals for nonpayment without determining their ability to pay.  The letter also discusses the importance of due process protections such as notice and, in appropriate cases, the right to counsel; the need to avoid unconstitutional bail practices; and due process concerns raised by certain private probation arrangements.
  • $2.5 million in competitive grants through the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) to state, local or tribal jurisdictions that, together with community partners, want to test strategies to restructure the assessment and enforcement of fines and fees.  The grant program, titled The Price of Justice: Rethinking the Consequences of Justice Fines and Fees, will provide four grants of $500,000 to agencies and their collaborative partners to develop strategies that promote appropriate justice system responses, including reducing unnecessary confinement, for individuals who are unable to pay fines and fees.  BJA will award an additional grant of $500,000 to a technical assistance provider.  The deadline was March 28, 2016.
  • Support for the National Task Force on Fines, Fees and Bail Practices, which is led by the Conference of Chief Justices and the Conference of State Court Administrators.  The task force is being funded by BJA and is also supported by the State Justice Institute.  It is comprised of leaders from the judiciary, state and local government, the advocacy community and the academy.  The task force will draft model statutes, court rules and procedures, and will develop an online clearinghouse of best practices.  Department officials will also serve as ex officio members of the task force.
  • Resource Guide that assembles issue studies and other publications related to the assessment and enforcement of court fines and fees.  The resource guide, compiled by the Office of Justice Programs Diagnostic Center, helps leaders make informed policy decisions and pursue sound strategies at the state, local and tribal levels.

Today’s announcement follows a seminal two-day convening [external link] held by the Justice Department and the White House in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 2 and 3, 2015.  Judges, court administrators, researchers, advocates, prosecutors, defense attorneys and impacted individuals came together to discuss challenges surrounding fines and fees.  The convening made plain the existence of unlawful and harmful practices in some jurisdictions and highlighted a number of promising reform efforts already underway.  At the meeting, participants and department officials also discussed ways in which the Justice Department could assist courts in their efforts to make needed changes.  Participants specifically asked the department to provide legal guidance to state and local actors; to highlight and help develop model practices; and to provide resources for local reform efforts.

The Justice Department is committed to reforming justice-system practices that perpetuate poverty and result in unnecessary deprivations of liberty.  The department discussed many of these practices in its March 2015 report on the investigation of the Ferguson, Missouri, police department and municipal court.  As discussed at the December 2015 convening, however, these practices can be found throughout the nation.  And their effects are particularly severe for the most vulnerable members of our communities, often with a disproportionate impact on racial minorities.  The resources released today are aimed at reforming these practices and mitigating their harmful effects.

From the U.S. Justice Department in March 2016

Thursday
Apr072016

Another Day; Another Lawsuit in Ohio Over Voting

Here are a few links to other stories in the media about this story

All of these raise the issue in Ohio of "Why is Husted sued so many times over voting and ballot issues?"  Why does Ohio rely so heavily on the federal courts to oversee the simple process of voting, and finally when is the Justice Department going to intervene to take over supervision of statewide elections in Ohio? How much of all these rules are a racist response to the mobilization of voters that took place in 2008 and 2012 in Ohio? 

Nationally, it raises the question of "Why is voting so complicated and now being used as a tool to exclude people from participating in our democracy?"  Why would we not move toward universal registration and not purge people from the voter lists for deciding not to vote?   Why would we focus on areas where there are proven fraud instead of making rules that exclude more people compared to the number of cases of actual fraud in voting?  The Secretary of State in his State Report of 2014, identified 17 cases that were suspicious out of the millions of votes cast in Ohio.  This is the justification for voter ID, purging voters and throwing away legitimate ballots with minor technical errors.  Here is a copy of the press release on this latest lawsuit.

“Voter rolls with deceased voters and people who've moved out-of-state have long contributed to the problems of voter fraud, long lines and discarded ballots," Husted said. “In 2011, there were several Ohio counties with more registered voters than eligible voters."

Notice that the Secretary of State did not identify any deceased voters who actually voted or even that there was actual fraud cases in Ohio.  All of these laws are solutions in search of problems.  How does purging a person's registration not result in even more discarded ballots?  These people will show up in November thinking that they are registered and then cast a provisional ballot because their name will not appear.  Then the local board will be forced to throw their ballot in the garbage because they were not registered.   This is all doublespeak that George Orwell warned us about. 

So what that there are more registered voters than eligible voters.  Are these counties running out of computer storage space?   What does it matter?  These people are not voting twice so who cares?  When only 20-40% of the population shows up to vote, maybe that is what Husted should work on getting more than a minority of the population actually voting.   Maybe he should spend his time supervising the local Boards of Elections so there are not 88 different strategies for counting provisional ballots.  How about adding early voting sites to reduce lines or adding weekend hours?  Why can't we register and vote 35 days before the election?  Maybe he should work on getting universal access to free identification for the hundreds of thousands who have financial or paperwork barriers to getting their birth certificate.  Maybe, he could focus on making the voting process enjoyable and easy and not some partisan battle with untrained election day "volunteers" put in the middle. 

It is horrible that we have these wars going on over the simple process of casting a ballot and participating in democracy.  This should not be so difficult and NEOCH should not have to keep going to court to make sure that people who move frequently can participate. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Wednesday
Apr062016

Posted a Video to Celebrate 25 Years of Stand Down

Ken Payton holding the award from Handson NEO to celebrate 25 years of the Homeless Stand Down

We posted a video of the slide show at the Annual Meeting to celebrate 25 years of the Homeless Stand Down.  It shows all the different venues and partners that put on this amazing event every year. 

Enjoy

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry