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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
Tuesday
Jul122016

End Poverty Demonstration

END POVERTY NOW!

 

MARCH FOR ECONOMIC And HOUSING JUSTICE

 

    

 Join our National Action on

July 18, 2016

When: July 18th - Rally @ 2P

March Kick-off @ 3PM

Where: East 45th, just north of Superior Avenue

Cleveland, OH 44103

For more information:

Call: 216.651.2606

Email: endpovertynow2016@gmail.com    

Facebook: End Poverty Now 2016

Twitter:  End Poverty Now 2016    

Website: End Poverty Now 2016

T-shirts available for sale or free to homeless people. 

Monday
Jul112016

Hate Crimes Report Issued by NCH

The National Coalition for the Homeless has recently published No Safe Street: A Survey of Hate Crimes and Violence Committed Against Homeless People in 2014 & 2015. The report finds that over the last 17 years, at least 1,657 people experiencing homelessness have been victims of violent hate crimes, including 428 people who were murdered. In 2014-2015 alone, there were 192 documented violent hate crimes against homeless individuals, with 58 incidents being fatal. No Safe Street demonstrates a clear correlation between laws criminalizing homelessness and the increase of hate crimes against homeless people. California and Florida's cities have passed the most laws criminalizing homelessness in recent years, and also experienced the highest numbers of hate crimes against homeless individuals in 2014-2015. 

We've looked at the National Coalition's report and taken out the relevant information regarding anti-homeless hate crimes in Ohio. In the past 17 years, there have been 85 documented incidents of violence against people experiencing homelessness in Ohio, with 5 of those incidents occuring in 2014-2015. Ohio has some of the highest levels of hate crimes against homeless individuals, behind only California, Florida, and Texas. 

In Ohio:

Years

Number of Documented Incidents

1999-2015

85

2014-2015

5

 

Narratives of Hate Crimes against the Homeless in Ohio:

Columbus, Ohio

***September, 19th: “Carl Quiller, 19, is charged with murder after shooting three homeless people, killing one. He shot Carlos Aguilar, 48, in the arm, and Gertrude Hall, 51, in her face and back, before shooting and killing Thomas Henson, 63, who was sleeping in his truck. Quiller was arrested after making a call to 911, claiming he found Henson. During the call, he sounded like he was trying to save Henson’s life, saying, “Stay awake man…There’s a big hole in his pillow laying up against his head. So, I’d imagine he got shot in the head.” The police who found a gun and ammunition that matched those used in both crimes searched Quiller’s home. Quiller was also found to have had a violent crime history: at 13, he was arrested for assault, rape at 14, robbery at 15, and another assault at 16.”  

Dayton, Ohio

****October, 1st: “Earl Horn was on his way to a shelter when a pair of dogs viciously attacked him, and the owner took off and left him in the field. He was walking through the park when he noticed the two dogs, one brown and white, the other black, running through the field. He called to the owner and asked if the dogs were okay, but “before (he) knew it they charged (him)”… Horn was able to call 911 and ask for help. The dogs and owner are still unidentified.

****March, 7th: Ronald Baird, 51, was attacked by three teenage boys, 14, 15 and 17 years of age.”

Cincinnati, Ohio

****July 27th: Three individuals assaulted John Hensley, 49, with one of the assailants later stating that he committed the attack because he was bored. The attack happened, as Hensley was exiting a drop-in center and lasted for 15 minutes. A staff member of the drop-in center alerted police officers and all perpetrators were detained and charged with misdemeanor assault.

Zanesville, Ohio

****February 12th: Two homeless individuals were assaulted by Estep, 27. Estep faces ten years in prison after taking a plea bargain.

National Statistics:

Monday
Jul112016

Training for Police Officers Coming Into Town for RNC

We have delivered this flyer to the Cleveland Police as they prepare the 2,000 police officers in town for the RNC.   This had input from all the local social service providers.  We hope that this will reduce interactions between homeless people and law enforcement. 

Here is a copy of the flyer if you need to print it out and distribute it.

Saturday
Jul092016

Community Shares Power Lunch Recognizes Community Leaders

Why is no one sitting with Councilman Brancatelli? Photo from Community Shares Facebook pageCommunity Shares Power Lunch & Annual Meeting took place Friday, June 24, 2016, at Windows on the River in the Flats. Attendees feasted on their choice of a vegetarian, chicken or pasta entrée, salad, beverage and chocolate cake. They were also able to view, and bid on, baskets to be raffled off donated by member organizations.

After a welcome and year-in-review by Cynthia Ries, the Executive Director of Community Shares, Social Justice Awards were presented by Mary Ellen Gardner-Turner, President, Community Shares Board of Directors and Linda D. Kimble, Community Shares Board of Directors, Social Justice Awards Committee. After the awards were presented, baskets donated by member organizations were raffled off.

This year’s winners: Eleanor R. Gerson Leadership in Social Justice Award winner – Joe Cimperman, former Cleveland City Councilman and current President of Global Cleveland; Distinguished Activist – Lou Tisler, Executive Director of NHS of Greater Cleveland; Rising Artist – Darius Stubbs of Cleveland Public Theater; Membership Organization of the Year – Near West Theater; Social 'justice Volunteer of the year – Diana Cyganovich, Executive Director of Cogswell Hall; And Social Justice Communications: Print Journalism – Rachel Dissell and Brie Zeltner both of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

by Joyce Robinson

Editor's Note:  Joyce also joined the Shares Board as part of the Power Lunch. 

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Saturday
Jul092016

Four Victories and a Loss

Over the last month the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless has had a hign number of victories both in court and in public policy.  Last week we did have one setback in the loss of the lawsuit against the State of Ohio in their massive purge of voters from the registration database, but homeless people did see a series of successes this spring. 

First, we won the voter lawsuit against the Secretary of State regarding the thousands of voters who made minor errors on the provisional or absentee ballot outside envelope and had their ballots thrown away.  These voters may have used cursive instead of printing or had transposed one digit of a zip code and their ballot did not count.  They tried to participate in the democratic process and the State of Ohio told them that because they did not meticulously copy their information on the absentee ballot they failed. 

Most of the time the information was on the other side of the envelope printed by the County Board of Election, but it still did not count.  The state was not claiming that the voter could not be identified or was attempting to vote fraudulently.  They were just saying it is not that big of a problem that thousands of voters were disenfranchised.  The federal court disagreed, but the State almost immediately appealed.  We shall see. 

Victory number two was in early May with the hearing held by the Cuyahoga County Council Health and Human Services committee on the Community Women’s Shelter administered by Frontline Services.  It was a victory that the Council had even had this gathering and was able to hear directly from the women after years of allowing this shelter to get so out of control.  We have posted the video from the hearing and the transcript on our website here

The women who participate in the Homeless Congress had asked for twelve items to improve the shelter by September 2016 or they would recommend a new shelter provider step in to replace Frontline.  After months of no reply, we got the hearing.  At the hearing, we asked for four out of the twelve things that could be done immediately to improve the shelter.  Those included no discharges that are not in writing, no denying of bed rest orders, five days to respond to grievances in writing and termination or transfer of the staff member with the largest number of grievances at the shelter.   This final action was taken in June, and the women celebrated.   We will continue to press all the issues at the shelter and Council President Dan Brady has agreed to a committee which will report back to the Homeless Congress. 

We worked with the ACLU to assure that homeless people were not displaced or subjected to unreasonable searches during the Republican National Convention in July.   We won a series of compromises from the City of Cleveland this week in federal court.  One judge granted us much of what we asked for and the City immediately appealed.  We then agreed to mediation in lieu of a protracted appeal and worked out a compromise this week.  We will have a more detailed description of the compromise on our website.

Finally, last year West Side Catholic Center was facing extremely onerous restrictions on their mail service by their local carrier and his supervisor.   One of the many valuable services offered by the Catholic Center on the near West Side is a place for those who live outside or move regularly was the ability to receive mail.  This was extremely valuable for voting purposes and getting into housing or finding employment.  NEOCH staff felt this was one of the most critical essential services in the community, and were especially concerned if this service were to disappear.  After the agency was unable to get a satisfactory response from the Postal Service, we enlisted the help of Senator Sherrod Brown’s office.  After some confusing research and reading huge manuals, we got a meeting with senior officials from the local Postal Service.  They agreed that this was a valuable service that should continue and admitted that the carrier had been incorrect in his interpretation of the postal rules. 

We will continue to push for a reversal of the purge lawsuit, but homeless people in Cuyahoga County have had a pretty good spring with some progress.  We did hear that the purge case will get an expedited review by the appeals court

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry