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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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Thursday
Nov062014

Blanket Drive Starts Now

It is that time of year to help us out collect items for out blanket drive.  We have set a goal of 3,000 blankets this year.  We are going to ask our members for help as well as local businesses, unions and religious groups who might have congregants or employees collect items for those resistant to shelter.

We have a flyer available at the bottom of this entry that you can use to print out or distribute to family or employees.  We also have a webpage dedicated to the blanket drive here.  We collect blankets and donations at our office then give them to the outreach workers in the community.  We give to Care Alliance staff, Frontline Services, Metanoia, Labre and Volunteers of America and others.  We give to the people who are developing relationships with those living outside. 

This year we have an outreach trainee, Denise, who is working with people who are reluctant to go to shelter.  She is learning about all the resources available to homeless people and all the programs that may be able to help.  The trainee position is funded by the Community West Foundation and they have blogged about our blanket drive here.  She will be working with the religious groups who minister to the people living outside and then attempting to connect with the "professional" organizations.  Denise will be distributing these winter items to the veterans, couples and homeless individuals trying to stay warm this winter.  By the way, the last trainee, Tyrone, our previous trainee, was hired by Care Alliance as their afternoon/evening staff. 

We can come and pick up donations if there are more than 35 items.   Just call 432-0540 to make arrangements.  We are near Cleveland State University and you can drop off donations anytime between 9 and 4:30 p.m.   We also have some Saturday hours.

Blanket Donation Flyer to print out and distribute.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Sunday
Nov022014

NEOCH Files Suit to Protect Provisional Voters

As was reported in the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Columbus Dispatch, NEOCH filed suit regarding the counting of provisional ballots with SB 216 against the State of Ohio. This is an extension of our 2006 lawsuit regarding identification and voting.  Our settlement was that homeless people without ID had a right to vote.   This typically involved provisional ballots, and so we had an interest in making sure that the County Boards of Elections counted the provisional ballots.

The new law required completion of the envelope without a mistake and would throw out the entire ballot if their were errors in the completion of the absentee or provisional ballot.  The problem was that there was not a standard that each County had to meet.  We attempted to negotiate a directive to clarify the law with the Secretary of State.  For a Secretary of State who was pushing for standard early voting hours, he would want a standard counting method throughout the state for absentee and provisional ballots.  We are afraid that there would be some counties who reject most of their provisional ballots on highly technical grounds while others would be more permissive. 

These were the same plaintiffs involved in the 2006 lawsuit who fought to allow low income voters to vote even if they did not have an ID.  We worked on this lawsuit since the summer and negotiated with the State over clarifications.  We were not looking for a decision before the current election, but we want the federal courts to decide if voter intent should count as opposed to the ability to follow sometimes confusing instructions.  Ohio should try to figure out a way to enfranchise as many voters as possible including those who have a difficult time understanding the written word. 

We hope that the court will allow us discovery in this case to see the impact on SB 216 on voting in Ohio.   We hope to be able to take a look at the percentage of rejected ballots across the state to see if there are discrepancies from one county to the next. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Sunday
Nov022014

Second Hand Up Gala Gallery

We have posted a second gallery of pictures from this year's Hand Up Gala here.  We also did the drawing for the auction last week.  It was supervised by Community Shares staff to make sure that it was fair.  Seven out of the 16 prize packages will go to homeless people at the next Homeless Congress meeting. 

We also posted the First Gallery on our front page of our website.  We changed the front page so that important items can easily be found.  The picture here is Anthony's Mom.  She attended the Gala to see her son make some remarks about coming from the streets to a good solid job and housing.  Anthony was featured in the program book and had successfully graduated from our photography program. 

We will be sending out the prizes to the auction winners this week and we will have our wrap up meeting to plan for 2015. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Sunday
Nov022014

Sunday Early Voting

 The only Sunday Voting took place yesterday and there were hundreds of people voting in Cuyahoga County.  They were only open from 1 to 5 p.m and the line was about an hour long.  We took over 7 homeless people and four did not want to wait the hour for the line to move.  There were lots of church groups, and many politicians who showed up.

Saturday was a miserable day, and the lines were a lot shorter.  The Board was open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m and there was only a short wait.  On Sunday, the street was closed and they were only letting vans in to drop people off.  There was a festive atmosphere with many groups holding rallies across from the Board of Elections.  There were sign holders and lots of "souls going to the polls." There were people dropping off their completed ballots and people in cars with amplifying equipment pitching their candidates as they were competing with car stereos amplifying the Brown's game yesterday. 

The market spoke in Cleveland that voters like voting on Sunday and they want more of it.  With all the people dressed in their Sunday best showing up and casting a ballot with their fellow congregants, this seemed like a popular activity that people appreciated. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

 

Tuesday
Oct282014

Last Week to Early Vote

Good Afternoon Voting Advocates

Election Day is five days from today on Tuesday, November 4. Polls open at 6:30 a.m. and close 7:30 p.m.

You can vote early this weekend on Saturday, November 1st from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and Sunday, November 2nd from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Early voting is also available Monday, November 3rd from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 pm.  NEOCH volunteers will be out driving people to the polling place for Early Voting.  As we say, the easiest and most convenient way for low income people who move frequently to vote (including homeless people) is to vote at the Board of Elections early. 

Contact your local Board of Elections for voting locations.  Here is the contact for the Cuyahoga Board of Elections.

If you have issues when voting, help is available at the Election Protection Hotline at 1.866.OUR-VOTE.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.