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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.

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Tuesday
Jan072014

A Rough Day in Cleveland Due to the Weather

We had a great plan.  We had so many people working to protect the poorest of our citizens in Cleveland.  We had safety forces, government, and social services all working together to help.  Yet we still lost someone due to the cold. Monday and Tuesday night and Tuesday during the day, we had many teams of workers and volunteers out working to protect people living on the streets.   We offered thermal sleeping gear, blankets, tents, handwarmers, shelter spaces and even nights in a hotel.  There were about a dozen people who refused to come inside no matter what we did.  Then there was one gentleman who we did not find and he passed away.   We have a hard time interacting with people who stay in abandoned buildings.   It is impossible to go on private property and check all these abandoned buildings.   We lost a member of the homeless community who froze to death while squatting in an abandoned house that we were not aware was living in that part of town.

There were outreach workers travelling outside last night from 6 to 10 p.m.  We gave out hundreds of blankets over the last few days.  The streets of Cleveland were deserted over the last two nights.   We know that a couple of homeless people went into the recreation centers that stayed openon Monday night and staffed by the Red Cross.  Most people went into the shelters and every shelter bed was full with three overflow shelters operational.  The Metanoia project brought scores of people inside who would be staying outside in the cold if they were not open.  But with all this human capital and resources going to protect people, we still lost one. 

There are so many different reasons people are on the streets.  There are hundreds of reasons people reject living in the shelters.  There is mental illness, a rejection of charity, pride, alcoholism, anger, fear, and on and on and so many more.   We did everything we could, but we could not be everywhere. 

Tuesday was a rough day for homeless people and for local social service providers.  I know that a number of the staff who showed up to help were dealing with their own issues back at their own homes.  Some had water pipes breaking at their house, but they were working to save lifes at the centers.  Some had their furnace go out and still went in to help people.  Some had their cars die in the cold while they were helping people with the meals.  The temperature at NEOCH was 52 degrees on Tuesday, but we still stayed hours to follow up on calls for help or for those in need of a ride.  Even with everyone communicating and all the resources and all the donations given out we still lost one person.  It is tough working in the shelters. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

 

Monday
Jan062014

Update on Cleveland's Extreme Weather 

 The City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County convened a conference call today with social service providers and the Red Cross to make sure that we are ready to serve people living in unstable housing conditions locally.   Here are some of the things we learned:

1. The Metanoia Project at St. Malachi, 2100 Lakeside Shelter and the Community Women's shelter are the points of contact for City and County safety forces.  The RTA, Downtown Cleveland Alliance, St. Paul's and Care Alliance can offer transportation help to get people to these locations. The RTA was offering bus passes to get the person back to their "home" after the crisis is over. 

2.  The police and other Public Safety forces can offer a ride if the individual needs help to get out to the cold. 

3. Downtown Cleveland Alliance will be also providing transportation to shelter as is St. Paul's Community Church.  There are a number of outreach teams on the streets today and tonight looking for people who may need help. 

 4. Bellefaire has shelter provision and possibly transportation  for anyone under 18. Bellefaire JCB·Homeless Youth Hotline·24/7·- 216-570-8010.

5. Red Cross is providing supplies such as winter gloves, hats and cots/blankets.  Salvation Army is willing to provide food help to shelters that get overwhelmed.

6. All City Recreation centers will be available during open Hours as warming centers.

7.  211/First Call for Help can offer help with transportation if there is an individual on the streets that needs a ride to one of the warming centers or shelters. 

8.  The shelters are not turning people away and right now are operating two overflow sites for single adults and one overflow site for families.  These are administered by LMM.

9.  LMM at 2100 Lakeside Shelter is collecting cold weather donations 24 hours a day to give out to the agencies locally. 

10. If you need shelter go to 2100 Lakeside if you are a male and 2227 Payne Ave for women/children and they will find a space for you in the community.  You may have to be transported to some other location, but they will find space for you.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Monday
Jan062014

Extreme Weather Plans in Cleveland for Homeless People

Many are worried about homeless people during this extreme weather.  Most of the shelters and social service providers are on the job today working to keep people safe.  The shelters stay open when it is this cold.  They do not turn people away and they do not make them leave during the day.  There are overnight warming places available (St. Malachi and Seasons of Hope for Women) that serve those who do not go to shelter. The City is also opening the Recreation Centers as warming centers.  The Plain Dealer's Tom Feran has done a series of articles on the cold here, here, and here.

Many outreach workers have gone out today and yesterday to convince those who are resistant to shelter to come inside.  NEOCH is coordinating this information and working to get everyone inside today.  We have three sites we are working on right now, but we think everyone is doing a good job staying safe.  The area we do not have very good coverage is East Cleveland.  I am not sure what is happening out there with those who sleep in abandoned buildings.  I do not know if there is outreach to them, and I am not sure what the City is doing to get those people inside.

The shelters never run out of space in Cleveland.  They will open overflow sites (City Mission, VOA, and a group of churches) if the entry shelters (2100 Lakeside and Norma Herr) are full.  We never turn people away including on the extreme weather nights.  If you want shelter in Cleveland, we will find a place for you.  RTA is working on a plan for today to provide transportation to some of these warming centers if people are in need and have no way to get to those places.   We will provide more information later.  Some of the groups are willing to offer short term motel stays if there is no other options in the community.  If you want to help, you can drop cold weather items at our office until 4:30 p.m. on weekdays and most Saturdays (3631 Perkins third floor--near CSU).  But don't go out if it is not necessary.  We have plenty of items at this point.  You could help refresh all the outreach teams with donations next week. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Saturday
Jan042014

HandsOn NEO is Collecting Stuff for Stand Down 2014

The 23rd Homeless Stand Down will take place Saturday, January 25 at Cleveland Public Auditorium from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.  This event provides members of the homeless community and those facing financial and housing uncertainty with medical and social services to assess and assist those in critical need.  Breakfast and lunch, warm winter clothing, coats, boots, personal hygiene items, and compassion are available to attendees as donations permit.  

Beginning this Sunday, January 5 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ, located at 2592 W. 14th Street, Cleveland, OH 44113, will be the central drop off location. 

Future dates:

January 11-12, 18-19                            1:00 - 3:00 p.m.

Monday, January 20                              10:00 a.m. - Noon; 5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

January 21-23                                       5:30 - 7:30 p.m.

 * Friday, January 24 & Saturday, January 25 donations accepted at:

   Cleveland Public Auditorium, 500 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44114

 Critical needs: 

  •  BOOTS
  • CREW SOCKS
  • PERSONAL HYGIENE ITEMS (Toothbrush, toothpaste, wash cloths, deodarant, shampoo, disposable razors, feminine hygiene products...)
  • BLANKETS

Please visit www.handsonneo.org to view volunteer opportunities throughout the months of January and February in support of the Stand Down.  

Cosponsors of the Homeless Stand Down include NEOCH, Cleveland Food Bank, Cleveland Photographic Society, Cleveland Department of Public Health, Luteran Metropolitan Ministries, Dept. of Veterans Administration, and HandsOn NEO.

From the HandsOn NEO Press Release

Friday
Jan032014

We are Still Collecting Blankets

The NEOCH Blanket and donation drive is November 15 to March 15, 2014.  With the weather expected to get down to dangerous lows over the weekend and then next week, we are ready.  We have had scores of people dropping items off this week.  The shelters are ready to keep people inside if necessary. Typically shelter residents leave in the morning and return in the evening, but if it is too cold the County declares an emergency and people stay inside all day.  We will open the overflow shelters so that we do not turn anyone away.  We will most likely open the Metanoia Program on Monday or Tuesday if the temperature continues to decline as is forecast.  All the shelters will do whatever it takes to keep people safe.   Here are the items we collect as part of the blanket drive:

  1. New Socks
  2. RTA one day Bus Tickets
  3. New underwear (any sizes)
  4. Trial size soaps, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant
  5. Toothbrushes, trial size soap or deodorants, disposable razors, Ziploc sandwich bags
  6. Blankets
  7. Towels/ hand wash cloths
  8. Tissue/Kleenex
  9. Hand sanitizer
  10. Water Bottles

Here is the page on our website detailing what we collectYou can drop stuff off M-F 9-4:30 and this weekend Noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday. If you want to help in other ways, we have a number of suggestions on our website.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry