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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

National Voter Registration Day

We are gathering poets, elected officials (not currently running for office) and others to this important event.  We have had some setbacks this election season including the loss of Golden Week, which makes this event even more important.  The public is welcome to attend or volunteer to help register people to vote.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry


What Can We Do About Indigent Burials?

In response to an inquiry regarding a homeless guy who died and his disabled parents do not have the funds to bury or cremate their son, First Call for Help staff sent this:

The general rule about indigent deaths is the municipality where the individual died is responsible for the burial (via Ohio state law In Cuyahoga County, the Cleveland Dept. of Public Health administers the program. Municipalities may decide how to address this need, but they don't have to offer burial.

Attached is info. on the process in Cuyahoga County. The phone number to reach the Cleve Dept. of Vital Statistics is 216-664-2317. Note that if you call to leave a message, their voice mail does NOT mention indigent burial, but it is the office to contact.  Also notice that there is no funeral available, just cremation services in Cleveland.

Also wondered if this person is a veteran. If so, might contact the Veterans Service Commission 1-866-915-8387.  They do help with funds for an indigent veteran and the burial.

Finally, I have a call in to St. Ignatius to double check this, but my understanding regarding their pallbearer ministry is that they provide youth to assist with pallbearer duties, but typically do not have funds available to help.

Here is the specific listing in the database:


601 Lakeside Ave. Rm. 122  Cleveland, OH  44114

(216) 664-2317   Voice

(216) 664-2315   Recorded Information Line

(216) 420-7596   FAX




REQUESTED SERVICE: Cremation Services


(216) 664-2317 Voice: No mention of cremation on voice mail.

SITE DESCRIPTION:Maintains and issues certified copies of vital records for the city of Cleveland and most suburbs in Cuyahoga County.


TRAVEL INSTRUCTIONS: Nearest intersection is Lakeside Ave. and E 6th St.  There is public transportation to this site.

WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBILITY: ALL services accessible or available. This site has an accessible restroom.

SERVICE DESCRIPTION:  Provides cremation for deceased who do not have the financial means to pay for private death services. Will not supplement family's money. Viewing, burial, and memorial services are not available. Family of indigent deceased individuals has up to 90 days following cremation to claim ashes of the deceased.

HOW SERVICE IS PROVIDED:  On-site. Dept. will arrange with private contractor to handle.

WHO QUALIFIES:  Deceased individuals who do not have the financial means to pay for private services. Deceased must have had no life insurance and have been a resident of Cleveland for at least one year prior to their death.

HOURS OF SERVICE:  M-F: 8:00am-4:00pm

FEES:  Family of deceased individuals who were residents of the city of Cleveland may receive ashes free.


HOW TO ACCESS:  Phone for information and availability M-F: 8:00am-4:00pm.


Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry


Panhandling Question from a Concerned Citizen

I've been noticing homeless people standing by freeway exits with cardboard signs asking for help and have been thinking of what I could do apart from simply ignoring them. 

I've heard differing opinions about responding to homeless [people] on the street and wanted to know what your organization advises. Are "care packages" with socks, food etc. something that the homeless actually want? What about gift cards, or even cash? Please let me know what NEOCH thinks should be the best way for me to respond every time I see a homeless person standing at a freeway exit.



There are a few panhandlers on the freeway exit that we have regular contact because they live in the shelters or on the streets, but the majority are not really our clients.  Unfortunately, there is not a panhandling outreach staff in our community to figure out what their barriers are to stability (we have included a proposal that no one responded to locally).  There are a sizable number who need treatment or some help for their health issues, but they are not really homeless.  They are staying with friends or on private property that we are not allowed to go to. 

Care Packages are great for anyone struggling and we would recommend printing out a street card to include in them. You can never go wrong with a care package.  Why don't we give out more Care Packages to people we know are struggling?  Even the name sounds helpful.  I am not sure about gift cards or cash are that helpful, but maybe food gift cards like from popular Sub shops or from Dave's supermarket.  The big problem is that it is not safe on the freeway exits and is not safe for people to stop.  It is not the best place for these kind of transactions because the cars are travelling so fast.  They must be making some money or they would not be there, but it just is so dangerous. There should be an outreach team available locally to help these individuals figure out the best path out of debt and back into the jobs market.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry


Volunteers Needed for Voting Event

Volunteer in support of Democracy in America. Kareem Abdul Jabbar did not think it was necessary to struggle to sign people up to vote.  He said:

Ignorance is not something that really lends itself to a meaningful discussion. So some of these people really shouldn't vote, because they don't know what the issues are. And I think people that are voting in the blind are doing a disservice to our country by not being better informed. ... I hope that everybody understands the issues and votes their conscience according to a well-informed effort on their part.

By knowing what the issues are and how things can proceed, given what the issues are, I think we get a lot more done when we have the electorate being well informed. And it is my fervent hope that a well-informed electorate is the result of all this. ... Some [people] definitely aren't prepared to vote. And that's unfortunate, but it's a fact.

This is an interesting discussion for academia by a Great American and Champion of Social Justice, but NEOCH believes that everyone should vote. Despite Abdul Jabbar being one of the greatest thinkers to ever appear on Sesame Street, we disagree, and maybe there should be an option for "none of the above" voting.  A portion of those new voters are not prepared to vote, but the majority have something valuable to add to the discussion.  It is my experience that homeless people are surprisingly well informed about the issues.  They read the paper and talk about some of the main issues facing those living in poverty.  We want everyone, even the uniformed, to sign up to vote.  Please help us by signing up as a volunteer. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry or those quoted by name. 


Learn More About Voter Registration in Webinar

Just one day left until our Webinar!  

Learn how your organization can get involved, host your own voter registration event, spread the word, and more. This webinar is hosted by NonProfit VOTE and includes presenters Stevie Valles (@StevieValles) with National Voter Registration Day and Sara Tabatabaie with Rock the Vote (@SaraTabaie).

Thursday, August 25 2:00pm - 3:00pm pm (ET)

Sign up Here:

Partner deadline for free materials: Friday, August 26

Spread the word that Friday is the last day to sign up for free posters and stickers. Direct people here to partner with #VoterRegistrationDay:

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry