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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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Saturday
Apr042015

Demetrius Barnes: Volunteer of the Year 2014

Roy Love, Demetrius Barnes, Larry Davis Annual Meeting held in 2015

Demetrius Barnes has volunteered with NEOCH for over 5 years.  She comes into the office almost everyday and is willing to help with anything.  Barnes does clerical, phone calls, filing and sorting of donations. If you attend one of the meetings at NEOCH, you have probably received a call from Ms. Barnes.   She lives in the MidTown area and wants to give back to her community.  Barnes has great hopes to use the skills she has learned at NEOCH to find a permanent job.  She has volunteered for her church and for the Bishop Cosgrove Center in the past, and attends the Homeless Congress and Hand Up Gala as well.

Ms. Barnes enjoyed the dinner at the annual meeting and felt the evening was very special. She was surprised that she won the volunteer of the year award.  She almost missed the event because she was nervous about attending.  We are so glad that she showed up and we are glad that she shows up everyday to help.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Saturday
Apr042015

Beau Hill: Social Service Provider of the Year

Beau Hill is the Coordinator of the Harbor Light Project and contact for homeless services within the Salvation Army of Greater Cleveland. He is co-chair of the County Public Policy Committee of the Office of Homeless Services and oversees the shelters, detox, community corrections, and outreach headquartered in the Prospect Avenue facility.  Hill leads the effort to reduce human trafficking in Cleveland, and has assisted the County in improving the regulations of the local shelters. 

The biggest success over the last year was the posting of rules that prevent discharge from shelters in the evening unless there is criminal activity.  The other victory from 2014 was the financing of a new family shelter in Cleveland operated by Salvation Army.  This has been a dream of many, including Hill, for years to move the Zelma George shelter into their own brand new facility built to serve the unique needs of homeless families.  With funding from the State of Ohio and Cuyahoga County, the project was approved in 2014 to move the Salvation Army family shelter back into its own building behind Harbor Light.   For these reasons, NEOCH recognizes Beau Hill as the Homeless Social Service Provider of the Year.

 Hill was appreciative of the award and cited his religious belief as the reason he does this work.  He thanked the NEOCH Board for selecting him for this award which has not been given out since 2010. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Thursday
Apr022015

Daniel Thompson Event for 2015

There are two benefit shows in April to support the Cleveland Street Newspaper.  Both shows are free, but everyone is asked to donate to the Street Chronicle. 

FREE POETRY SHOW to Remember Daniel Thompson

April 25         Sandy Chanty @ 8:00 p.m.

(Benefit for NEOCH + Cleveland Street Chronicle)

5457 Lake Road
Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio 

http://www.sandychanty.com/

April 30            Algebra Tea House @ 7:30 p.m.

(Benefit for NEOCH + Cleveland Street Chronicle)   
  2136 Murray Hill Rd, Cleveland, OH 44106 in Little Italy.
http://www.algebrateahouse.com/

Our annual fundraiser for the Street Chronicle is upon us; and these two dates will serve to help Cleveland Street Chronicle + NEOCH - and keep the spirit of Daniel Thompson alive.  Please spread the word to promote the heck out of these two dates. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Thursday
Apr022015

NEOCH Annual Meeting for 2014

NEOCH hosted our regular gathering of advocates as part of the agencies Annual Meeting for 2014 on April 1, 2015.  We gave out three awards this year to Beau Hill as the Social Service Advocate of the Year for 2014.  We have not given out this particular award since 2010.  We gave Demetrius Barnes, the Volunteer of the Year for 2014 and Norman Wolfe was awarded the Advocate of the Year.  We will have details of each in three separate posts.  We released our Annual Report or Community Benefit report and posted it on our website here.  Notice our attempt to stay relevant with modern Cleveland by utilizing "New Brown's Orange" as our color for this year.

Jennifer, the Board Treasurer provided an overview of some of our accomplishments from 2014 which are detailed in the Annual Report. We talked about the fantastic outreach coordination and the hiring of Denise and Tyrone, which has been a huge improvement in our outreach coordination for the agency.  We talked about the Socks Plus campaign and the huge number of donations that we gave out and continue to give out this winter/spring. I gave information about some of the projects we are working on for the next year. Larry did a really nice job in acting as the Master of Ceremony for the Annual Meeting. 

The highlight of the evening for the members who attended was the talk by Julian Rogers of Cleveland State University.  Rogers is a former County Council member and gave us a good summary of how we could improve our advocacy to be more effective.  He talked about:

  • Keep the campaigns simple (one to three items).  Everytime an elected official sees someone from NEOCH they should think about the advocacy campaign.
  • Get to know staff who might be willing to help.  Staff do so much of the work behind the scenes. 
  • Always look for opportunity to compromise.
  • Try partnering with diverse groups who might have similar interests but can strengthen your advocacy.
  • Make sure that the people affected by the issue take the lead in the advocacy.
  • Have a Plan B if your position is not getting much traction.
  • Have a good story about the dream that you want to see fulfilled and in the end this is what you want to see accomplished.
  • Open up the conversation to as many people as possible--don't focus on only one office or one elected office holder.
  • Try to move those who are reluctant to support your position.  How can we better position you for this particular issue or cause.
  • You must have data to support your position.
  • Highlight a specific issue that can be the focus of your campaign referenced turning the shelters into job centers.

The NEOCH Board elected new officers for the next year and thanked everyone for supporting the Coalition over the year. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Friday
Mar272015

Teach In Last Week on the Importance of Outreach

We had a really nice open house at Winton on Lorain last week to see how wonderful these units are for the community.  We had presentations by EDEN and Frontline Services and many of the outreach workers in the community.  The highlight of the evening was with Roy and Mike talked about moving from the streets into housing.  They both talked about the importance of Jim Schlecht for helping to find their way into housing. 

County Council persons Dale Miller and Yvonne Conwell both attended to hear about this critical resource in the community.  Both Roy and Mike spent years on the streets, both turned to alcohol or drugs to cope and both were able to make it through a year of recovery. Winton on Lorain is right next to the VA transitional housing program, and that corner near the freeway has dramatically approved over the last 10 years. 

It was quite an education provided by Toni Johnson and Denise Toth who spoke about how valuable outreach is in the community.  They talked about building trusting relationships and not giving up on the people outside.  All the outreach teams talked about the difficult times many of these guys have in finding help.  The guys talked about the huge hills they had to climb to get back into housing.  We will have the next Teach In during the lunch hour and hopefully others will be able to attend. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.