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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
Wednesday
Mar022016

City of Cleveland Public Meeting on Community Development Funding

The Department of Community Development will hold two Citizen Participation meetings this month to explain how it will spend approximately $25,747,000 in federal funds  for the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG), Home Investment Partnerships Program (HOME), Emergency Solutions Grant Program (ESG) and the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA).

 

 

 

SUMMARY OF PROPOSED USE OF FUNDS

CDBG Program

AMOUNT

Homeowners Rehabilitation Assistance (includes an estimated $500,000 in program income)

$   1,726,566

Housing Trust Fund (includes an estimated $800,000 in program income)

$      800,000

Code Enforcement

$      419,000

Anti Predatory Lending

$        97,416

Demolition/Board Up (includes an estimated  $500,000 in program income)

$   1,500,000

Public Services: AIDS Prevention

$      309,393

Public Services: Third Party Not for Profit Organizations

$   1,260,128

Public Services: Homeless Assistance

$      623,454

Land Reutilization Activities

$   1,536,908

Community Gardening

$      126,057

Commercial Development: Storefront Renovation

$      452,241

CDC Operating Support Grants (administrative support)

$   1,135,739

Citywide Development Assistance Grants (administrative support)

$      246,221

Neighborhood Development Activities

$   7,600,000

Fair Housing

$        85,950

Administration (Direct and Indirect)

$   3,445,764

TOTAL CDBG  (Includes $1,800,000 estimated program income)

$ 21,364,837

HOME Program  (Housing Programs)

 

Homeowners Rehabilitation Assistance (includes an estimated $400,000 in program income)

$   700,900

Housing Trust Fund

$   2,165,852

CHDO Affordable Housing

$      612,000

HOME Program Administration

$      343,427

TOTAL HOME (includes an estimated $400,000 in program income)

$   3,822,179

ESG Program  Emergency Solutions Grant--rental assistance and shelters.

 

TOTAL ESG

$   1,808,259

HOPWA Program Programs for people with AIDS

 

TOTAL HOPWA  

$      952,331

TOTAL, Estimated HUD FUNDING (2016-2017)

$ 27,947,606

The Citizen Participation meetings will give residents an opportunity to ask questions and provide comments on the Department’s plans and funding priorities.    

Meeting Dates and Locations:

Thursday March 10, 2016

Trinity Commons at East 22nd and Euclid Ave. Meeting Room A-B (enter off Prospect).

10 to Noon

& Thursday March 24, 2016

Lutheran Hosptial Castele Learning Center 1730 West 25th St.

5:30-7:30 p.m.

NEOCH is a recipient of CDBG funding and the City of Cleveland supports the Coordination of outreach teams so that the health care groups are talking to the mental health groups and all the volunteers serving people who are resistant to shelter in Cleveland.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Wednesday
Mar022016

Solutions: How To Reduce Panhandling in Cleveland

For more information contact Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless www.neoch.org

In almost every survey of pedestrians and those who work downtown, one of the biggest concerns is panhandling. From small cities such as Bloomington Indiana to mega cities like Atlanta, eradicating panhandling is always on the top of the list for Mayors.  Often panhandlers are confused with homeless people, and while there may be some overlap they are separate and distinct populations. For hundreds of years, poor people, those with addictions and the mentally ill have begged for money on the streets of urban communities.  Cities have tried law enforcement, anti-panhandling publicity, and shaming the population, but nothing has worked.  We have not tried meeting with the panhandlers to find alternatives for these out of work sales people.  What would it take to convince people not to beg for money?  

NEOCH coordinates all the outreach teams in Cleveland, and we can respond to issues if there are people sleeping outside.  We respond to City Council and City officials who call regarding homeless people.  This is separate from panhandlers who many times are not in fact homeless.  Some stay in the shelter, but others pay for housing with their income and therefore the homeless groups have no contact with these individuals.  Most panhandlers do not have access to the wealth of resources available to homeless people because they rarely access shelter.  We work closely with Downtown Cleveland Alliance, and all the teams meet regularly to coordinate services.  We also have regular contact with Cleveland Police Department and can quickly respond to calls about people facing a housing crisis. 

NEOCH believes that Cleveland should take the lead ahead of the Republican Convention to fund a panhandler outreach staff to interact and interview panhandlers then work to engage them in alternatives to begging.  We could begin to develop solid information, and figure out the challenges we need to overcome to reintroduce these individuals into the workforce.  We would be interested in hiring someone to meet with the panhandlers and encourage them to find alternative employment, assist with disability, or address health care issues that are forcing these individuals to beg.  Those who refuse, we would ask to sign a code of conduct and wear a vest declaring that they will abide by the rules of downtown.  We would be responsive to local businesses and law enforcement to engage these individuals and work to dramatically reduce the level of panhandling locally.

We believe that we could market the “Cleveland model” for dealing with panhandling and sell this idea to neighborhoods such as Ohio City or Gordon Square or even other cities such as Baltimore or Detroit struggling with panhandling.  We believe that a social service response will be much more effective than a law enforcement strategy.  We believe that local business owners and pedestrians will view this as progress and a solution to a problem that is perceived as out of control in most cities. 

We also want to continue to fund alternatives to panhandling such as the Street Newspaper program or sponsor a competition among area employment non-profits to serve these hardest to serve individuals.   We believe that competition can foster innovation.  We also believe that talking to these people as tax payers who are currently struggling will get us further then the sticks we have tried in the past.  We can expand on all these ideas with a bottom line of reducing panhandling and implementing a “friendly” population working to find stability. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Saturday
Feb272016

Angelo Anderson Recognized by City of Cleveland

Angelo Anderson of 2100 Lakeside Shelter and Cleveland Street Chronicle

Angelo Anderson spent eight years living on the streets of Cleveland in the early 1990s, but turned his life around and used the next 25 years serving people who find themselves without housing.  He started the street newspaper, the Homeless Grapevine, first as a photocopied newsletter and then a real newspaper with the words of homeless people. 

Anderson worked to expand the Homeless Stand Down to include veterans and non-veteran homeless people. He has worked on housing people with a program called Bridging the Gap.  Anderson began working at the largest shelter in Ohio in 2000, and he has cooked, done catering and restaurant work.  His hobbies include fishing and he sometimes organizes outing for the guys at Lakeside shelter.  Angelo frequently speaks to church groups and school groups about homelessness and you can still find him on Saturdays selling the street newspaper at the West Side Market.

On February 26, 2016, the Community Relations Board and the City of Cleveland honored African Americans of note working in the City of Cleveland.  Mayor Frank Jackson was on hand and Blaine Griffin of the Department of Community Development.  Others of note working to serve low income individuals included Charles See of Community Re-Entry, Margaret Bernstein previously of the Plain Dealer and currently with WKYC-TV, Loretta Ferguson Freeman of No Return to the Streets that works with at-risk youth.  The committee recognized Celeste Terry of the United Black Fund and Latasha Watts of the Purple Project for her work with foster children locally.  Juvenile Court Judge Michael John Ryan was the keynote speaker, and there was a nice reception for the individual's honored.  The committee gave five $1,000 scholarships to Cleveland Metropolitan School District children going on to college as part of the celebration.

One strange piece of the celebration was the honor to Valerie Wright a sociologist from OSU who wrote a book entitled Could Quicker Executions Deter Homicides? The Relationship between Celerity, Capital Punishment, and Murder.  This seemed strange to me that a Black History Month celebration does not seem to recognize the history of executions of African Americans as a tool of terrorism.  Here is the description of the book from the LFB Literary Scholarly Publishing:

Wright examines whether waits for executions impact the deterrent value of capital punishment. She also seeks to determine whether race has a role in producing or inhibiting deterrence. She asks whether blacks and whites are equally responsive to how quickly executions are carried out, as well as, whether the effect of celerity varies with the race of the executed. Longer waits on death row are not related to murders. Indeed, executions and having individuals on death row may be contributing to higher rates of homicides. In states and years where there are no executions, homicides among blacks are about thirty-six percent lower, and in states and years without anyone on death row white homicide rates are about forty percent lower.

Am I wrong that the explosive title of this book and the premise of deterring crime through faster executions would not be something to celebrate by African Americans?  It just seems that executions in America are a racist form of punishment used disproportionately against African Americans and any discussion about the speed of those executions is beside the point.  I understand that this is a scholarly work that many have wondered about, but should an African American group give an award to an academic who studies this question?  Maybe the title of the book should have been, Execution is Obviously Racist, but Does it Deter Homicide? What do I know?  I am just a white guy, an outsider, observing all this. 

Congratulations Angelo on the recognition for the 25 years of work serving homeless people and the City Hall event was a nice wrap up of Black History month.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign this entry.

Thursday
Feb252016

We Are Doing an Amazing Job of Working on Homelessness

Graph from the New York Times February 25, 2016

This graphic shows the Top 10 Most Distressed Cities in the United States as determined by the Economic Innovation Group.  Above are the factors that led to this calculation to determine the Top 10 cities in the United States.  This extraordinary that Cleveland tops the list as the most distressed city in the United States.

What is also amazing is that only 9,000 people show up for shelter in the most distressed city in America.  We estimate around 22,000 to 24,000 people are homeless over the course of a year in this city with 36% of the population living below poverty and a 2% decline in employment during the recovery years from the Great Recession.  We must be doing a great job to keep homelessness down to a manageable number and compared to other cities.  We don't have huge numbers sleeping on the streets like Detroit or Cincinnati or Newark.   We don't have the number of homeless compared to non-distressed cities like Washington DC, San Francisco or Sacramento, CA. Cleveland has to be doing something with housing and homelessness in order to keep our numbers down compared to other distressed cities and even non distressed communities or our poor people are moving to greener pastures in the South. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Monday
Feb222016

Housing 101 Planned for April


Check out our page including a copy of this flyer that you can print out and distribute.  We must receive your reservation and the payment in order to hold a space for you.  There are only 40 spots available.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.