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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.

Saturday
Jun132015

New Street Chronicle Available in Cleveland

The new Street Chronicle #22.2 is available in Cleveland right now.  It has a survey of the most Surprising thing found by homeless people when they first became homeless.  We have a number of photographs, and a few pieces of poetry.  There is an article about the importance of outreach along with a few local news reports.  A volunteer did a story about interacting with residents at both the men's shelter as well as the women's shelter and the differences.  I did a commentary about the results of the 2012 Police Chase that resulted in the death of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams. 

All the vendors submitted stories including one on social media and the obstacles that Steve Harvey overcame.  NEOCH's Annual Meeting was featured in the middle section of the paper along with a story of the Criminalization conference in Denver.  One vendor had a run in with the clean up crews in Ohio City and the bank door that was left open.  There were two stories on homeless veterans composed by two vendors. 

Thanks to PM Graphics in Streetsboro for the printing of the paper.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Wednesday
Jun102015

Ohio Housing Trust Fund in Jeopardy

One Housing Trust Fund vs. 88 New Bureaucracies:
Making the case against the Senate Amendment

The Senate Trust Fund amendment reads: “Requires that half of the fees collected by county recorders for the Housing Trust Fund to be retained by the county for the purpose of housing. Requires that the county auditor, recorder, and a county commissioner, or their delegates, determine by a majority vote how the funds will be used.”

Here are the primary reasons the state Trust Fund process is preferable to the county process the Senate amendment would create:

1) The Housing Trust Fund is administered by a single state agency with oversight by a 14-member advisory board and a 25-year solid track record of accountability. The amendment would establish 88 separate county administrative processes with elected officials, such as recorders and auditors, who may have little or no housing experience.

2) The Housing Trust Fund has statutory protections to ensure that funds are used for those with the greatest housing needs, such as: 10% of funds must be used to support homeless programs, including homeless youth; and there’s an overall preference for projects serving those at 35% of median income or below. The county process has no such protections.

3) Ohio Development Services Agency coordinates efforts with the Ohio Housing Finance Agency to leverage the Housing Trust Fund with low-income tax credits and bond financing so that Trust Fund is leveraging dollars at a rate of 9/1. These types of leveraging opportunities would be rare at the county level.

4) The Housing Trust Fund has a statutory limit of 5% or less to be used for administration. The county program would create 88 separate county bureaucracies, each of which would require unspecified amounts of administrative funds to operate. In an era of scarce housing resources, this is an inappropriate use of public funds.

5) The Housing Trust Fund provides numerous opportunities to expand housing options for people in recovery, people with disabilities, and people in need of alternatives to institutional settings. These are done in partnership with other private and state agencies such as Medicaid, the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services and the Department of Aging. With the county program those partnerships are greatly diminished.

6.) The Housing Trust Fund is currently of sufficient size that it is capable of leveraging resources from private and public sector sources, and funding several larger impactful housing developments projects each year. The proposed county-based approach would disperse funding, making it much more difficult to leverage funds for the larger, more impactful projects.

7) Housing Trust Fund dollars are awarded on a competitive basis to make sure projects using best practice with solid outcomes are funded first. While projects in all 88 counties can compete for the funds, to ensure funds have broad geographic distribution, there is a statutory requirement that at least 50% of the available resources be awarded to projects in rural parts of the state. This approach assures both fairness and quality in distributing the funds and makes the county process unnecessary.

The State Housing and Homeless Coalition is asking that you call your State Senator today to protest this horrible plan.  If you get a response let COHHIO know below.  To get the call in information to your senator go to the COHHIO website here.

Cathy Johnston
Advocacy Director, COHHIO
614-280-1984 X25
cathyjohnston (at) cohhio (dot) org

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Friday
Jun052015

News Updates on Criminalization, Youth and Other Homeless Stories

by Dan the Intern

Homelessness, Government, and Politics

Homeless Youth

Miscellaneous

Opinions are those who sign the entry.

Thursday
Jun042015

First Call For Help Adds Statistics to Website

 

From the First Call For Help Dashboard website June 2015 http://www.211oh.org/trending/

This is really helpful to see trends in the community.  2-1-1/First Call for Help has introduced a "dashboard" to show up to date statistics about people calling for help.  This is typically inside baseball behind the scenes stuff, but it is very helpful to show where there are holes in our social safety net.  We have collected updated stats here and we have a blog that we put interesting graphs that we find regarding poverty and homelessness.   Housing is always high on any of the lists from First Call For Help.

New 2-1-1 Community Dashboard
Thanks to a generous grant from the CareSource Foundation, and in partnership with RTM Designs, United Way 2-1-1 created a dashboard for the community to monitor real-time 2‑1‑1 trends. By visiting 211oh.org/trending you can view counts of needs and trends for various age demographics and topics, including housing, food and behavioral health. The grant provides all 2‑1‑1 centers in Ohio who utilize ReferNet, the opportunity to create local dashboards based on the Cleveland model at no cost to them. This is a work in progress, and we're looking forward to the next version, which will include unmet needs and outcome data.

Really nice upgrade.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Monday
Jun012015

Fair Housing Laws Under Attack in Ohio

 

 

Good morning advocates -- I hope you’re ready to help us fight a bill that would roll back civil rights in Ohio by 50 years.

This is not a joke. The Ohio House is considering a measure that would make housing discrimination legal. Hard to believe, but HB 149 (SB 134 in the Senate) would make it legal for certain small landlords and homeowners to discriminate based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, family status, military status, etc. when they rent or sell their properties. These bills would also dramatically reduce or remove important sanctions, which currently provide disincentives to discriminate.

You can learn more about these anti-fair housing bills by reading editorials from the Akron Beacon Journal, Toldeo Blade or the Cleveland Plain Dealer, who also oppose the measures.

While we’ve slightly slowed the speed at which this bill is moving, we need your help immediately to reinforce our efforts.

Please help stop our legislature from rolling back civil rights 50 years! Call your elected officials by WEDNESDAY, June 3. See details below:

House Committee on Financial Institutions, Housing,
and Urban Development

Call List for Opponents of HB 149 – amending Ohio’s Fair Housing Law

Please call the Committee Leadership (below) with the following message:


I’m calling today to urge Representative _____________ to OPPOSE House Bill 149. I think that Ohio’s Fair Housing Law should not be changed. It has served us well for 50 years, and House Bill 149 makes unnecessary changes that will weaken civil rights laws.

-OR-


I want Representative _____________ to know that House Bill 149 is WRONG FOR OHIO, and that I expect her/him to OPPOSE House Bill 149, in order to protect the strong civil right law that we’ve had in Ohio since 1965.


Louis Terhar (R) – Chairman - Cincinnati area
District 30
Phone (614) 466-8258

Stephen D. Hambley (R) – Vice Chairman – Brunswick area
District 69
Phone (614) 466-8140

Christie Bryant Kuhns (D) – Ranking Member – Cincinnati area
District 32
Phone (614) 466-1645
 
If you are represented by one of the following committee members,
please also call using the same message.

Andrew Brenner (R) – Powell area
District 67
Phone (614) 644-6711

Tim W. Brown (R) – Bowling Green area
District 3
Phone (614) 466-8104

Mike Dovilla (R) – Berea area
District 7
Phone (614) 466-4895

Bob D. Hackett (R) – London area
District 74
Phone (614) 466-1470

Bill Reineke (R) – Tiffin area
District 88
Phone (614) 466-1374

Gary Scherer (R) – Circleville area
District 92
Phone (614) 644-7928

Robert Sprague (R) – Findlay area
District 83
Phone (614) 466-3819

We can stop these bills if we all pitch in. I appreciate your help in protecting 50 years of civil rights progress. Let's slam the door on housing discrimination in Ohio!

Many thanks,

Bill Faith

Executive Director and Chief Lobbyist for the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio