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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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Commercial for the SocksPlus Campaign in Cleveland

If you were watching the Walking Dead marathon this week, you saw the above commercial for the SockPlus campaign.  Thanks to the Community West Foundation for organizing this event.  The men and women started receiving the backpacks full of winter boots and other cold weather items.  NEOCH worked to find the best prices for these items (thanks Galco Army Store on East 71st near Harvard, Vanlly Shoes, and Velotta Uniform for all their help).  We are working on a system for assuring no duplication and the outreach workers are beginning to give all the items away. 

Brian Davis

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Distribution Started on Socks Plus

We have purchased the first back packs full of winter items for homeless people as part of the Socks Plus campaign.  Here is a picture of a group of guys who received a back pack from Denise this weekend.  They were very thankful for the backpack, the new boots in their size, and a pair of long underwear.  The backpacks had winter thermal socks and a light snack along with some handwarmers inside.  The backpacks are really nice durable military grade sturdy equipment and contain equally nice boots that should last throughout the winter.  We have to thank Galco Army Store off Harvard for all their help. 

There is an advertisement running on cable tv right now about the campaign and radio spots on three radio stations including "The Fish."  Here is a copy of the commercial on Youtube.  We will be able to give out these backpacks throughout the winter to guys who stay outside with the help of the Community West Foundation campaign.  We keep them safe while we work on building trust and eventually moving people back to housing.  Socks Plus is our first step to moving people back into a home.

Brian Davis

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Coordinated Intake Moving on February 24

From Frontline Services in Cleveland:

From NEOCH: For those who live outside or are resistant to go to shelter this is a big step forward.  This also should help with all the staff in one place so that when there are a lot of men the staff who traditionally serve women can step in to offer assistance.  We will be promoting this move over the next month and staff will be educating the public about this move at many upcoming meetings.  

Here is a copy of the flyer that you can print out and display

Brian Davis

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Tyrone Talks About the Importance of Outreach

Tyrone is the first graduate of the Community West Foundation funded program to expand outreach locally.  Tyrone worked for NEOCH for four months learning how to be an effective outreach worker.  He learned all about the other programs in the community and tried to get to know the people on the streets.  We are so fortunate that we were able to get him a job at Care Alliance to do this work full time.  He is an amazing asset for the community.  He has a real passion for helping people outside, and is on the streets in the afternoon and evening. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.


COHHIO Gives Summary of Ohio Budget

February 2, 2015

FROM: Bill Faith, Executive Director, COHHIO
RE: Biennium Budget Bill Housing Provisions

Today, the Kasich Administration released its budget proposal for the next two years. Over the coming days and weeks, there will be lots of details to uncover but we want to highlight a few issues related to housing and homelessness where we know the administration is taking some action.

1.) The Ohio Housing Trust Fund - The OHTF will continue to receive the $50 million in each of the next two years, but an additional helpful step is the formation of a reserve fund to help stabilize year-to-year funding fluctuations. Since 2003, the OHTF has been supported by a fee tied to recording of documents at the county level up to a maximum of $50 million per year. The budget proposal amends the OHTF statute to create a $15 million reserve amount to be used to fill the gap in years when the $50 million level is not reached.

2.) Homeless Youth Employment Assistance - Historically, funds available through WIA (Workforce Invest Act) -- now WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) -- have not worked well in many communities assisting homeless people or other vulnerable populations, such as transition aged youth. WIOA funds are now being shifted to focus on disconnected youth (including homeless youth) ages 16 to 24. Additionally, the Administration has committed to focus more job opportunities and supports to homeless youth, with a portion of the governor’s discretionary WIOA funds helping homeless youth gain employment as they stabilize their housing.

3.) Continued Health Care Coverage – Everyone remembers the battle two years ago to extend health care coverage for more low-wage workers and vulnerable people left out of the Medicaid program. The Governor’s budget provides for the ongoing funding and coverage necessary to support this critically important health care coverage.

4.) Supportive Housing and Medicaid -- The Administration has signaled that it supports, through changes in the state Medicaid plan, an expanded package of supportive services which will allow housing and service organizations to help people who experience chronic homelessness remain in stable housing.

5.) Other Housing Resources in Budget Plan

a.) The budget plan includes $5m to expand the recovery housing capacity over the next two years. This continues and expands on the $10 million provided last year in the mid-biennial review.

b.) Initiates a pilot program for a subsidy to housing providers that support low-income people with disabilities at $1 million a year through a partnership with the Department of Medicaid the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.

c.) Sustain funding for Residential State Supplement program at $15M annually while MHAS works to improve the quality of the RSS housing.

6.) In addition to the budget points mentioned above, the administration will leverage the following additional resources it has received or is expected to receive in the near future:

a.) Ohio will begin preparing for the receipt of National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) dollars, expected to be approximately $10 million a year. The Kasich Administration announced February 2nd that the Ohio Development Services Agency will administer the NHTF and OHFA will develop the allocation plan and allocate program funds. The NHTF will provide revenue to build, preserve, and rehabilitate housing for people who are extremely low income.

b.) A $3.6M Cooperative Agreement to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI) grant was awarded to OMHAS to provide programming and services for individuals who are chronically homeless. The funds will be used to leverage PATH to reach 820 people over the next three years in 5 Ohio cities.

c.) Finally, Ohio is expected to receive news in early 2015 of being awarded almost $12 million in HUD Section 811 grant that will allow OHFA and Medicaid to develop and subsidize over 500 units of rental housing with supportive services for low-income adults with a disability. This resource will work with existing units to create long-term housing success.

To learn more about how these and other budget measures will impact housing across the state, consider attending the COHHIO conference April 13-15.

All the best, and thanks for your support.

Bill Faith, Executive Director