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About NEOCH

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.

The Cleveland Street Chronicle
Jim Schlecht Event
Monday
Dec192016

Fake News: The Homeless Numbers Are Made Up 

New report once again misleads lawmakers and the public about the supposed ‘decline’ in numbers of people experiencing homelessness in the United States.

Washington, December 19, 2016 –
As we rapidly approach the end of another year, cities around the country are preparing vigils recognizing those who have lived and died without adequate housing in 2016. November’s release of the Annual Homeless Assessment Report (AHAR) to Congress by the Department of Housing and Urban Development may give those attending some small cause for hope, describing a 3% decrease in the number of men, women, and children experiencing homelessness, counted on a single winter night, over last year’s number.

Unfortunately the report leaves out some important information. For instance, the count in question tallies those staying in emergency and transitional shelters, as well as those who can be located outside. HUD’s recent decreases in funding for such shelters means fewer members of the homeless population are easily accounted for. HUD provides bonuses to communities that decrease their count, creating a disincentive for those conducting counts to locate every unsheltered person in their neighborhoods.

Furthermore, HUD only asks communities to report those who it considers “literally homeless.” This doesn’t include the large numbers of individuals and families who are doubled up or “couch surfing” with friends and relatives. This unrealistic definition of homelessness explains why HUD reported just over 120,000 children experiencing homelessness on a given night, while the Department of Education has reported well over ten times as many children youths registered as homeless in recent years, a number that has more than doubled over the last decade.

The reports of HUD and other governmental and non-governmental organizations purporting to chart a decline in the numbers of those experiencing homelessness are doing a disservice to those men and women who we have lost this year without the basic dignities afforded by secure housing. While so many of those who are tasked with ending homelessness in America won’t admit to the actual scope of the problem, they cannot be relied upon to enact meaningful solutions to it.

The National Coalition for the Homeless calls upon the Department of Housing and Urban Development to face up to the reality that homelessness is not diminishing in America. We call on HUD and its allies to work with us and other organizations to put into place housing policies and investments that will ensure an end to the memorial vigils that have become a disgraceful necessity every December 21st, the longest night of the year.

# # #

Full Disclosure: NEOCH Executive Director is a Board Vice President for NCH.

The National Coalition for the Homeless is a national network of people who are currently experiencing or who have experienced homelessness, activists and advocates, community-based and faith-based service providers, and others committed to a single mission: To prevent and end homelessness while ensuring the immediate needs of those experiencing homelessness are met and their civil rights protected. www.nationalhomeless.org 

 

Friday
Dec162016

Candlelight Vigil to Remember Those Homeless Individuals Who Died in 2016

                  Senator Sherrod Brown will be our honored speaker at the 2016 Homeless Memorial Day in Cleveland and the event will feature famed guitarist Brian Henke.  The 30th Annual Homeless Memorial Day will take place on Wednesday December 21, 2016 at West Side Catholic Center at 3135 Lorain Ave. at 1 p.m.  US Senator Sherrod Brown is a friend to homeless people most recently helping City Mission with an issue regarding homeless families’ access to tax payer services. 

Brown is the ranking Democrat on the Banking Housing and Urban Affairs Committee in the Senate which is critical to proposing national housing and homeless policies in the United States.  This year we will read the names of those who passed away over the last year and spent some time homeless, and unfortunately this will be the longest list in our 30 year history of the vigil.  We will have a number of religious leaders who offer a prayer for those who passed away, along with music from Brian Henke.  We will light a candle as we remember those who passed away over the last year.   Media are welcome to attend and photograph the memorial/vigil. 

                 We have seen another increase in women who need shelter and families at the same time seeing a decrease in the number of available shelter beds.  We have actually noticed an unfortunate decline in donations of blankets and winter items possibly because it was so warm until late in the year.  We hope this turns around during this holiday season.  We are also all worried about future funding for the shelters and social services in light of no discussions during the Presidential elections of the crisis in affordable housing facing our country. 

               Joining with other cities throughout the state and country, the Cleveland vigil will include a look back at homelessness in Cleveland.  In 2009, Ohio legislators designated December 21 as Ohio Homeless Memorial Day. Every big city in Ohio has a similar vigil to remember those who have passed away over the previous year.   We will read the names of those who passed away and had some experience with homelessness on Wednesday after the meal at West Side Catholic.  We typically have around 100 people who attend the memorial and this year we will also remember West Side Catholic long term staff member Sue DiNardo who suddenly passed away in the last few weeks. 

by Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Friday
Dec092016

Stand Down 2017 Flyer

Here is the flyer that you can print out to distribute

The Homeless Stand Down is an all day service fair for homeless people in Cleveland.  There are meals and entertainment, haircuts and medical services.  All the local homeless service providers participate and it is a great event organized by HandsOn NEO. This is twenty-sixth of the Stand Downs in Cleveland.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Monday
Dec052016

Enterprise & CSH Should be Ashamed by These Statements on Ben Carson

There are a few bold statements on the new Secretary.  This is how you should respond to this unqualified HUD Secretary being named. 

Here is what the National Low Income Housing Coalition said.

Here is what the Coalition for Economic Survival in LA said.

If you want to know what not to say, I have included those below from Enterprise and the Corporation for Supportive Housing.  What could you possibly say about a person with absolutely no experience selected to lead the Housing Policy for the United States?  This is a horrible pick for a cabinet position and should be roundly condemned.  He does not know anything about affordable housing except that he lived there as a child.  He does not understand what HUD does or how critical it is to the infrastructure of the United States.  Enterprise Community Partners and the Corporation for Supportive Housing both issued tame statements about their hopes to work with the new administration.  This is why there is so much anger out in the County.  We need lobbyists who will put country before their personal industry or trade association.  These guys might as well issued a statement saying, "We depend on HUD for our very existence, please do not cut our funding!   We do great things in the past, so we need the expensive Permanent Supportive Housing programs to go on or we will be out of jobs!"

These are two agencies who will have an audience with the next HUD Secretary are "hopeful," and based on these statements we know they will praise him and say what a great job he is doing.  While the homeless guy sitting in a shelter in Cleveland will never get to meet the HUD Secretary, but we know a homeless guy would express anger that a guy who spoke against Fair Housing as social engineering and has blamed poor people for their personal failings during the campaign is nominated for this job. We depend on big organizations to represent our interests in Washington since we will never have a chance to meet with the HUD Secretary, and we need you to get a backbone and speak truth to power. 

  • What happened to not being politically correct anymore? I thought that is what the Trump victory signaled?
  • Why not ask how this is not political payback for Carson's support of Trump, which is contrary to what this new administration campaigned on?
  • What about talking about the lead poisoned kids in deteriorating housing in Cleveland because the waiting list for a voucher is 5 years or more?  What about talking about this political appointment as a slap in the face of the family sleeping in a gymnasium because all the shelter beds are full?
  • There are hundreds of thousands of people suffering because of their lack of housing, and this HUD Secretary has said this job is going to be a cinch on Fox News.  This statement alone disqualifies him from office. 
  • Permanent Supportive Housing is not the silver bullet that will solve all of our problems.  We are in big trouble if Public Housing, Shelters, Vouchers and Foreclosure assistance were all cut while PSH programs were fully funded. 

I know what they will say, "We need to give him a chance" or "We are going to have to work with him so we can't blast him right out the door."   I can't tell you that these fluffy statements are not going to insulate any of us from the cuts.  Carson is not going to care who said good things or bad things when it comes to balancing the budget.  All that was promised (middle and upper income tax cuts, building a wall, deporting millions, reducing corporate taxes, more military and veterans spending) is going to leave a huge budget hole and housing is not going to be protected because you issued a nice statement in December 2016.  You have to see that neither candidate spoke about housing and so unless a real advocate for affordable housing had been selected for HUD Secretary, you have to see the trainwreck coming.  Is Carson going to stand up and demand more funding for housing in America because Enterpise harkened back to his days living in public housing in a press release? 

Some might say that these statements are sell outs.  I would just say that they are cowardly and shameful. We deserve better advocates in Washington who will tell the public what is really going on, and not trying to spin this as some positive thing.  Just because a guy was born on a farm does not qualify him for Secretary of Agriculture or those who travelled a lot as a kid should be put in charge of the FAA or Secretary of Transportation.  It does not work like that.   Disgraceful.

Ben Carson Accepts President-elect Trump’s
Nomination for HUD Secretary

President-elect Donald Trump today nominated Dr. Benjamin (Ben) Carson as the next secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. If confirmed, the leading retired neurosurgeon and former presidential candidate will serve as the 17th HUD secretary.

Enterprise congratulates Dr. Carson on his nomination to this important Cabinet-level position and will work with him on ensuring that all Americans have access to an affordable home in a healthy, thriving community connected to vital resources such as good schools, jobs, transit and health care.

Dr. Carson gave keynote talks at two of Enterprise’s national conferences when he was head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Medicine, sharing his personal journey of growing up poor in Detroit. His story captures the power and promise of a stable home, strong parenting and fierce dedication. We are hopeful that these experiences will make him a powerful advocate for building the critical link between healthy communities and healthy children and families. 

For more than 30 years, Enterprise has worked in partnership with HUD and its leadership to strengthen federal affordable housing solutions. As a bipartisan organization, we have engaged HUD leaders across parties on efforts to close the nation’s growing affordable housing gaps and strengthen communities nationwide. Today more than one in four families who rent their homes – 11.4 million households in total – are “housing insecure,” spending at least half of their monthly income on housing.

Collaborating with HUD on a wide range of issues – promoting healthy, lead-free housing, advancing rebuilding efforts after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy, advocating for the Neighborhood Stabilization Act during the nation’s foreclosure crisis and many others – has shown us what a powerful force for improving lives the department can be, especially for low- and moderate-income people.

Enterprise will work tirelessly with HUD and our partners around the country to make progress on our shared mission of building diverse, dynamic communities, increasing racial, economic and social equity, and supporting the most vulnerable members of our communities.

Together with President-elect Trump, HUD Secretary Nominee Carson, incoming members of the next administration and the 115th Congress, we will strive to build an infrastructure of opportunity for low-income families across the United States.

As we all prepare to gather with family and friends during the holiday season, our thoughts remain with people and communities most in need. We are grateful for your continued support and partnership.

Best,

Terri Ludwig 
President & CEO-- Enterprise Community Partners

Here is the Corporation for Supportive Housing Statement:

President-elect Donald Trump has nominated Dr. Ben Carson to be the next Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

We are eager to work with the Trump Administration, Dr. Carson and Congress to create more opportunities for Americans to access affordable housing, and to ensure the most vulnerable individuals and families in need of supportive housing are housed in their own homes and healthy.

Our economic future depends on finding sustainable ways to ensure everyone, regardless of race, color, religion, gender, age, family status or income, can access and afford safe, decent rental housing. Not only is this crucial today, but for our children and grandchildren too.

For those in need of supportive housing, their very lives depend on finding stable homes with access to the healthcare and other services that offer them the chance to move forward with independence and purpose, which benefits everyone in the community. In too many instances, our nation continues to over-rely on expensive institutional care that inadequately houses and fails to address the needs of the most vulnerable people, shortchanging them and the rest of us. Supportive housing is a proven, cost-effective alternative that empowers individuals and families to thrive within our communities.

Evidence tells us housing is a key social determinant of health for individuals and communities alike, and CSH will continue to work with policymakers at all levels to enhance and increase the integration of housing and healthcare.

CSH will be in the forefront of ensuring the new Administration and Congress have the extensive data, reports and personal stories demonstrating beyond question that supportive housing works, is cost-effective, holds down healthcare and public safety costs, revitalizes neighborhoods, and creates jobs and economic development, making a real difference in communities across this country.


By Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Saturday
Dec032016

Homeless Need Blankets and Hygiene Kits

It is that time of year again to remember the hundreds of people who do not use the shelters in Cleveland.  Socks Plus, our partnership with Community West Foundation, Care Alliance, St. Pauls Community Church, and Metanoia.  We have already received our first shipment of boots and other supplies. We are real low on blankets and hygiene kits.  We are available for drop off from 9 to 4:30 p.m. nearly every day.  We need your help with winter items to give out on the streets. We have an updated flyer that you could print out and distribute.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.