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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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Tuesday
Oct072014

You Can Volunteer for the Hand Up Gala

Do you want to help in one of the most unique events in our community?  On October 17th 2014, the Hand Up Gala will provide a fantastic meal to homeless and hungry people in our community? We need you to reserve your space to volunteer for the Hand Up Gala.  The event is at the Bishop William M. Cosgrove Center, and we need help serve a gourmet luncheon for 225 individuals experiencing homelessness in Greater Cleveland!

This year has been a year of celebration, as Catholic Charities-Bishop William M. Cosgrove Center commemorates twenty years of "Providing Help and Creating Hope" for some of the most vulnerable of our community. Throughout the year, there has been several functions honoring 20 years of service. The final event will be the Hand Up Gala, which is a gourmet luncheon for those individuals experiencing homelessness in Greater Cleveland.

Your help is needed to make this event a success! We are looking for volunteers to assist at this event as a host/hostess, server, or at the refreshment center. We have two volunteer shifts: 10:00 A.M.-12:30 P.M. and 11:30 A.M.-2:00 P.M. If you are interested in volunteering at this wonderful event please email Sierra Young at sxyoung@clevelandcatholiccharitites.org by October 10,2014. We have invited elected officials (not currently on the ballot) and media personalities to also help with this event.  Thank you in advance for your consideration to help with this event!

By Sarah

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Monday
Oct062014

Street Newspaper Available For Sale

The Cleveland Street Chronicle was published last week.   The vendors began selling the paper especially at the West Side Market and downtown.   We have a nice story about the changes in Ohio law regarding how to improve services to people with a mental illness.  Each of the vendors wrote a story for the paper about their experiences or about their history.

We have a nice story about the history of the small town of Toronto Ohio and some wonderful pictures by Cindy.   The Cosgrove Center is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and Sarah wrote up a story about this essential service in the community.  There is a story about homeless veteran's housing, and one about the publication of the Street Card.  We have a profile of NEOCH Board member, Larry Davis and one about how hard it is to get bed rest in the women's shelter. 

Buzzy published a poem, and many of the vendors published commentaries about poverty and family issues.  There are stats on domestic violence, and really nice profile of one of the Street Voices speaker, Silk, who got into housing and regularly attends the Homeless Congress.  Overall, it is a really interesting paper with a good mix of positive stories with challenges facing the homeless population.  There is always a hefty dose of opinions from the street.  We hope that you will pick it up when you are downtown or at the West Side Market. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Monday
Oct062014

Postcard Published to Dispel the Myths About Homelessness

Norman and his Public Relations committee of NEOCH decided that we needed more attention to homelessness and the work of the Coalition.  They worked with Brent, one of the best graphic artists in the community, to put together the above postcard.   We used David Hagan's portraits of homeless people from the 2005 show that he did.  He took beautiful portraits of homeless people and we had a show with their images.  He gave each participant a framed portrait that they could hang when they got stable in their housing.  Remember, the majority of homeless people are without housing for less than 30 days.  

Anyway, Randall from the NEOCH Board convinced Jakprints to print the postcard, and we are now distributing them around town.  We hope to raise awareness of the work of the Coalition by directing people to our website. We also hope to change the impression that homelessness is not just the guy sleeping outside on the steam grates.  There are elderly, young moms, veterans, children, and all different races of people who have become homeless.  You are welcome to pick some up at the office or we can send them out to you. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Friday
Oct032014

Lakeside Resident Survey published on our Website

In July 2014, NEOCH conducted a survey of the residents of 2100 Lakeside men’s shelter. We have posted the results here.  This shelter provides men with emergency shelter, mental health services, a meal, a place to shower, clothing and other services. 2100 Lakeside provides these services to about 400 men a day. Often times the 2100 Lakeside shelter has a negative reputation, but the survey really showed that most people appreciate the services.

The survey results contradicted many of the common stereotypes of the shelter. The results showed that overall the residents are pretty satisfied with the shelter. Even though a majority of the complaints where about the food, the staff and the unhygienic bathrooms, many of the residents where still thankful that they were able to eat regularly and have a place to stay. When I began to work on the survey, I was expecting to see an overwhelming negative response to the shelter based on all the stereotypes I have heard about the shelter.

When I looked at the results after I completed the survey, I was quite shocked that everyone was overall satisfied with the shelter. Many of the residents where thankful for what 2100 Lakeside has done to help them get back on their feet. From the complaints on the survey about 2100 Lakeside, we can see that even though they are getting a satisfactory review the shelter still has a lot of work to do to really bring the best service possible to the homeless population.

The survey also looks at some of the demographics of the shelter including the percentage of men who were encouraged to get involved in programs at the shelter (77%).  Only 13% of the individuals were earning income outside of the shelter who completed the survey.  And 54% of the men who completed the survey were parents.  We have posted some charts from the survey and a summary of the information on our website. For a more in depth analysis of the survey click here

by Sarah Novak

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Monday
Sep292014

Supreme Court Blocks Golden Week in Ohio

The US Supreme Court just blocked Golden Week in Ohio by a 5-4 decision along conservative and liberal lines.  This is unfortunate for homeless people who change their address frequently.  They need to be able to change their registration to their current residence and then cast a ballot.  They may change address three times in the next month and need that opportunity to reduce confusion.  They often do not have any identification and certainly not ID to match their current residence.  This also provides confusion at the polling place.  We were all set to provide vans to every shelter and begin to transport people to the Board of Elections. We will now have another time of confusion in voting in Ohio because of the last minute intervention by the US Supreme Court. 

I have never understood the state's reasoning here.  They claim that we have more opportunity to vote than any of the surrounding states and better than 41 other states.  But we cannot vote in 41 states or any of the surrounding states. We have to vote in Ohio and hundreds of thousands voted during Golden Week or on the weekend before the November Election Day.  We have for the past 8 years had Golden Week in Ohio and now we do not.  Our ability to vote has decreased in Ohio with this decision.  The ability of homeless people to participate in democracy has diminished.  This is horrible for democracy in Ohio to restrict access to the voting booth, and horrible that the ability to vote when you want to vote has become so political.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry