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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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Signs of Hypothermia

This is from the National Institute of Health Website:

Warning signs of hypothermia

Sometimes it is hard to tell if a person has hypothermia. Look for clues. Is the house very cold? Is the person not dressed for cold weather? Is the person speaking slower than normal and having trouble keeping his or her balance?

Watch for the signs of hypothermia in yourself, too. You might become confused if your body temperature gets very low. Talk to your family and friends about the warning signs so they can look out for you.

Early signs of hypothermia:

  • cold feet and hands
  • puffy or swollen face
  • pale skin
  • shivering (in some cases the person with hypothermia does not shiver)
  • slower than normal speech or slurring words
  • acting sleepy
  • being angry or confused

Later signs of hypothermia:

  • moving slowly, trouble walking, or being clumsy
  • stiff and jerky arm or leg movements
  • slow heartbeat
  • slow, shallow breathing
  • blacking out or losing consciousness

What are we doing to meet the needs of homeless people in the extreme cold?

  1. Shelters are not supposed to close during the day during extreme weather.  People are allowed to stay inside during the day so they do not have to brave the cold to get to the drop in centers.  (Most days many have to leave from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. )
  2. Cleveland shelters never turn people away who ask for shelter.  This means that we have to run an overflow system with transportation many nights of the year, but it keeps people safe.  It is expensive, and we thank Cuyahoga County taxpayers for this support.
  3. We have a night time drop in center open on extremely cold nights and every weekend winter night for those who do not like to go to shelter.  It is called the Metanoia project and is over at St. Malachi.  This is where the outreach teams can drop people when they find people outside after 7 p.m. at night.  There is a similar facility on the East Side of Cleveland for single women called Seasons of Hope. 
  4. The City of Cleveland and a few of the suburbs have opened warming centers for anyone (including homeless people) who need to stay outside. 
  5. We have teams of outreach staff outside driving around in vans looking to pick up homeless people and take them inside. Many of these workers have backpacks full of boots, long underwear, gloves and winter socks to give out.  These are the donations provided from Community West Foundation Socks Plus Campaign.  
  6. In addition, to the socks and boots, we have used some of the funds to put people up for the last few nights to keep them safe.  We have 8 people who need additional help and will not go to shelter that we have taken inside to keep them warm during this extreme weather.  

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry


Super 8 Motel in Columbus Hates Homeless People

In a story that appeared on Think Progress, a couple was driving on Saturday through Columbus to Dayton and met a homeless couple in a fast food joint.  The couple saw them crying in their milkshakes about not being able to get in the shelter for the night.   George and Joyce Gruss paid for three nights in a motel for the two who did not have ID to check in.  The Super 8 Motel in Columbus kicked the homeless couple out after the Gruss family left to get to Dayton.  This was over the weekend when it was so horrible in Ohio with temperatures falling below 0 degrees and a sizable wind chill.  Here is a little from the Think Progress story:

George got a call that ruined their good deed. It was a security guard at the Super 8. He said the hotel had checked on the room and when the couple couldn’t produce ID, it kicked them out. “We argued with them,” he recalled. “I told him we paid for the room.” Even though he said they were willing to risk any potential damage to the room, the guard insisted that because guests have to be 21 to stay in rooms and the couple had no identification to prove they were over that age, they couldn’t stay.

“He ended the conversation by saying, ‘Oh by the way, your repayment is not refundable,'” George said. He hadn’t cared about the money until that point. “I felt like I was robbed.”

It shows how valuable identification is for homeless people.  Cleveland has a program to fund identification which is rare.  It also shows how stupid Columbus is with their coordinated intake.  If you cannot make it to the shelter by a certain time, you lose your bed.  If the bus is late or not running because of the cold, you sleep outside.  Finally, this story shows how horrible businesses are to homeless people.  They get mistreated and abused by small businesses and corporations who can only see hassles with homeless people and not the humanity of kicking someone into the snow and cold. One hotel in New York City refused to house homeless families with vouchers paid by the state.  They do realize that homelessness is a temporary situation, and the people offered a break will become customers the next year.  Single adults in Cleveland average 15 days of homelesnsess and 50 days for families.  They are not homeless for life, and should be viewed as future customers.  We hope that the Super 8 chain gets a black eye from this lack of humanity.  I will avoid them in my travels over the next few years. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry


New Street Chronicle Came Out Today

The Street Chronicle Volume 22 Number 1 are now out.  It has tons of pictures from the Stand Down, the Homeless Memorial Day and the Hand Up Gala (4 colorful pages).  There are articles by most of the vendors and a page of New Years Resolutions by those who attended the Homeless Stand Down. 

We have an article about the guys who were swept in Akron and are suing the City.  There is an article about living in Public Housing and one about the services offered for veterans locally.  Sarah wrote an article about Labre at John Carroll and we have a few photos from our distribution of boots and socks from the SocksPlus Campaign.  Support your local vendor by purchasing a copy of the paper.  Thanks Brent for all your work in laying out this issue.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.


Cleveland Homeless: A Year in Review 2014


Here is a link to all the stories that appeared on the Cleveland Homeless Blog in 2014 with a link back to the original story if you want more information.  Thanks Joyce for putting this together.


Homeless people seem to be sheltering in place and not going outside.

Police in Orange County were acquitted of all charges against a mentally ill man beat to death in the first of a year of overly aggressive police officers.

Shelters had a 5% cut in federal funding.

Don’t get sick on Texas if you’re poor.

Metanoia and shelters implement cold weather plans.

Budget compromise worked out in Congress means good and bad news for shelters.

Homeless Stand Down 2014 at Public Hall January 25.

Quick takes: “Camelot” torn down and replaced by new Third District Police station; Death of Arnold Pinkney.

Attendees at Lutheran Metro Ministry want a renewed interest in supporting the Johnson administration poverty position.

Tuesday, January 7,  was a rough day for homeless people and for local social service providers due to the weather.                                             

The City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County connected with The Red Cross and social service providers to ensure that we’re ready to assist people living in unstable housing.

Extreme weather temporary shelter options for homeless people include intake shelters, overflow sites, recreation centers and overnight warming centers.

HandsOn NEO is collecting items at Pilgrim Congregational United Church of Christ, beginning January 5, for the 2014 Homeless Stand Down.

NEOCH is still collecting blankets, hygiene and other donations through March 15, 2014.

NEOCH’s work in 2013 included advocacy, public education, community organizing and assisting the Homeless Legal Assistance program.


Golden Week eliminated and early voting curtailed by Secretary of State Husted.

New Street Voices Speaker video available on NEOCH website.

Five years after The Recovery Act, Cleveland could use another infusion of funds to continue to help reduce homelessness.

The Cleveland Street Chronicle issue #21.1 is now available from vendors.

Michael Piepsny will be the guest speaker at the CAHA meeting on March 3, 2014.

Ione Biggs Award to be presented at NEOCH’s Annual Meeting on March 19, 2014.

Permanent Supportive Housing featured on WCPN February 12, 2014.

National updates on homelessness: Barb Poppe Stepping down at InterAgency Council; Surplus Military Property Available in Sandusky; Justice Department Urges States to Forgive Felons And Allow them to Vote; Psychiatric Drugs and Medicaid; National Coalition for the Homeless on Bitter Cold.

Quick Updates: CWRU Civic Engagement Conference and Learning Center along with the InterReligious Task Force on Central America had their 14th Annual Teach In; 100,000 homes featured on 60 Minutes; State legislature expected to kill “Golden Week”; Long-term unemployed still without help.

Social Security Administration will discontinue providing Social Security number printouts and will discontinue providing benefits verifications in their offices effective August and October, 2014 respectively.

Don Messitt among Street Voices Speakers featured in short promotional videos to be posted on the NEOCH website.

MARCH 2014

Hate crimes against the homeless: Three campsites housing homeless people attacked in the Flats.

New Street Voices video, featuring Angelo Anderson, posted on website.

Eileen Kelly and others, received awards at  the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Annual Meeting on March 19.

Jay Westbrook and Maria Smith were honored by the Homeless Coalition as the 2013 and 2012 Ione Biggs Social Justice Award winners respectfully.

NEOCH Community Benefit Report posted on website.

Councilman Jay Westbrook and Legal Aid Attorney Maria Smith to receive Ione Biggs award at NEOCH Annual Meeting March 19.

Changes in sentencing reductions for drug offenses, suggested by the Justice Department, may lead to an increase in homelessness.

With no clear rules for serving the population at the Central Intake site and no established grievance procedure, diversion process can be a nightmare for the homeless.

National Updates for March 2014 – NYC: number of arrests for panhandling tripled; Washington, D.C.: Courts demand changes regarding family homelessness; East Coast: Cleveland opens overflow sites for homeless not only in the winter; Chicago: story about a homeless young person and the teacher who helped him; Nashville: religious groups are ask for the freedom to give out food as part of their ministry.

Sound of Ideas radio broadcast regarding the big changes taking place in Ohio regarding voting.

Limits on Ohio voting include eliminating Golden Week, tightening controls over provisional ballots, restricting who can send out absentee ballot request forms, and limiting early voting.

NEOCH Annual Meeting set for March 19, 2014.

Housing 101 Workshop is directed at staff working with very low income or homeless people.

APRIL 2014

In the March Gallup survey on the concerns of Independent Americans about national problems, hunger and homelessness is sixth and unemployment is fifth.

National Coalition for the Homeless Updates - a new director, a new website, some new Board members and a renewed focus on community organizing and building a movement around housing and homelessness.

Coordinated Intake hurts homeless people who go to a private shelter before going to Central Intake.

Daniel Thompson Commemoration - Along with the fundraiser at the Algebra Tea House friends and activists will gather at Daniel's grave site in Lakeview cemetery, Tuesday May 6.

The six Democratic candidates running for the County Executive position attended the Candidates’ Night on April 10 co-sponsored by community organizations including NEOCH and the Homeless Congress.

Fair Housing training scheduled for May15, 2014 at 10 a.m.

Homeless Outreach Training teach In for those who minister to homeless people on May 8, 2014, on 4:30 p.m.

The Coalition on Housing and Homelessness in Ohio (COHHIO) has made progress with an amendment to lift the cap on the Ohio Housing Trust Fund.

New Street Voices video, featuring Simona, posted on website.

There is a rally and March on Saturday April 12 at Noon at the Market Square Park, to protest benefit cuts.

The National Coalition for the Homeless released a report about discrimination against homeless people in Washington, D.C.

Care Alliance Health Center is hosting their annual meeting at the Doubletree Hilton, 1111 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio, Wednesday, April 23, 2014, 12:00-2:30 pm.

Homeless people who go a privately funded shelters in the community before going to Coordinated Intake, they lose their ability to access rental assistance, transitional housing or any other publicly funded homeless service.

Meeting with many outreach workers, volunteers, some of the victims of the fires down in the Flats and the Cleveland Police Department.

Lutheran Metro Ministry, Organize!Ohio, and 30 social service/social justice groups are co-hosting a candidate night next week for those running in the primary for Cuyahoga County Executive, Thursday, April 10 at 6 p.m. at 4515 Superior Ave.

MAY 2014

Indictment of the officers and supervisors involved in the shooting death of Russell and Williams, who had experienced homelessness.

Donations and funds needed to help those burnt out in the Flats.

New “Street Voices” video features Quinton, a high school student.

Warnings issued for shelters to be aware of a dangerous new drug, “Spice” or “K-2,” that is sending homeless people to the hospital.

Arsonists arrested for starting fires at a homeless encampment were homeless.

Housing Forum for social service providers and clients to learn more about housing programs in Cleveland, Thursday May 15 at 10 A.M. at the Cosgrove Center.

National News Notes from the National Coalition for the Homeless meeting in April.

Outreach Training/Teach In discussion between the students and religious folks who go outside and serve homeless people with the "professional" staff hired to serve the population.

Homeless Congress meeting in May 2014,  included County Council Anthony Hairston as our guest and updates on Laura’s Home.

Where are the public restrooms located in Downtown Cleveland?

Housing homeless vet staff, Ruth Fiala passes away.

Bridge Support is a new newsletter tailored to those who go outside to serve homeless people.

John Corlett and Brian Davis both received awards from Care Alliance at the care Alliance Annual meeting.

Federal Court intervenes to keep early voting hours and to protect the rights of voters in Wisconsin and Ohio.

JUNE 2014

Veterans in Cleveland appear to be satisfied with the treatment they get at Stokes VA Medical Center.

Homeless Voting meeting with the homeless providers to talk about getting homeless people registered and ready to vote.

Unfriendly Honolulu is a beautiful place to live, but a horrible place to be homeless.

New shelter standards proposal outlining the most essential shelter standards, drafted and agreed upon at Homeless Congress.

An open letter to City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County government to develop an affordable housing plan similar to the one released by Mayor Bill de Blasio of New York City.

The Street Voices Program – speakers available to speak to groups about their experiences with homelessness.

A Street Chronicle newspaper personal story.

United Way of Cleveland announces that they are funding 70 fewer programs in the community.

Former Volunteer Coordinator and current board member Larry Davis talks about the importance of the Street Voices program.

New Street Voices video features Debbie the IRS Agent.

Meetings at ADAHMS Board on June 19, and NEOCH offices June 27, to make plans for getting homeless people to participate in voting.

At the June CAHA Housing meeting on June 2, attendees discussed various changes, updates, and projects concerning public housing.

Housing Cleveland is a wonderful free website for helping people to have access to affordable housing in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

New Street Chronicle issue 21.2 available for sale.

JULY 2014

National Alliance to End Homelessness Conference - cognitive dissidence between the national group and what is happening in the field with real homeless people.

Justice department to challenge recent changes to the election procedures and election law in Ohio.

Bishop Cosgrove Center celebrating 20th anniversary.

Permanent Supportive Housing and Homeless Outreach teach in scheduled for August 7 at 6 p.m.

Discussion about New York state’s effort to use health care dollars for housing on Morning Edition.

Advocates are pressing for a bill to change Maryland involuntary commitment law.

Homeless people need help with donated items in the summer.

NEOCH comments on open internet rules for FCC.

Do institutional violence and “quality of life” ordinances provide cover for hate crimes?

Family of Tim Russell releases a statement on the settlement.

Can the city of Los Angeles, with the highest population of homeless people in the country, afford to help children fleeing violence in Central America?

There is a huge split within the homeless community regarding the effectiveness of drug and alcohol addiction services available.

Video interviews with Columbus Street Speech newspaper vendors.

On Friday August 22, they are having a Mass and reception at 3 p.m at St. Peter's Church to celebrate The Cosgrove Center’s 20th anniversary.

Bill Resseger, one of the founders of CAHA (Cuyahoga Affordable Housing Alliance), is retiring this summer from his decades of service to the City of Cleveland Department of Community Development.

Remembering the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Senator Rob Portman becomes involved in coordinated intake in Cuyahoga County.


Cogswell Hall, a permanent supportive housing apartment building on the near West Side of Cleveland, celebrates 100 years helping those who have been homeless for a long period of time back into housing.

Cosgrove Center celebrates 20 years.

Cuyahoga County needs a better safety net for women fleeing domestic violence relationships.

Interesting national stories from media including National Public Radio and the Washington Post.

Hate crimes against the homeless in Ohio included in a report by published by The National Coalition for the Homeless entitled “Vulnerable to Hate”.

Ohio steps up on mental-health treatment legislation by changing treatment of mentally ill.

Several Cleveland City Council members attended the Teach In to focus on Permanent Supportive Housing and Outreach Services.

There is a need to overcome community opposition to affordable housing, and recognize that homelessness is a health care issue.

A nice note to NEOCH from Maribeth who said, “You give the homeless a voice.”

NEOCH invites you to participate in a campaign to stop Senate Bill 349 which would oppose Ohio’s Fair Housing Laws.

National news updates regarding homelessness from Washington, DC, Ohio, New Mexico and Florida.


US Supreme Court blocks Golden Week in Ohio.

Cleveland is pursuing a program called "Pay for Success," which will assist homeless families who have had experience with the foster care system.

Speakers at National Voter Registration Day event, at 2100 Lakeside shelter, stressed the importance of everyone participating in Democracy.

County Executive candidates will be asked how they will address health, human services, housing and other critical needs in Cuyahoga County, September 29.

Teen charged with murder of homeless person in Columbus.

The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless voted at our September board meeting to urge our members to support the Equal Housing and Employment Act.

National Voter Registration Day in Cleveland September 23, 2014.

What is the problem with “diversion”?

An article in The Atlantic addresses sleep deprivation among homeless people and the negative consequences on a person's life.

New voting hours and fake voting issues.

The Homeless Street Card which is available and on the streets.

Regulations of the shelters.

 Judge concludes ”…that SB 238’s elimination of Golden Week itself similarly burdens the voting rights of lower income and homeless individuals.”

Identification Collaboration out of money


NEOCH volunteers will be out driving people to the polling place for Early Voting.

NCH and the Center for Community Change host a 25th Anniversary celebration of Housing NOW.

Interesting news stories around homelessness, including an NPR story on Skid Row.

Interesting story from the “…faces of homelessness…” postcard campaign.

Cuyahoga County Visibility Summit: Accessible housing that welcomes all, scheduled for Thursday October 30.

Saturday, October 25 is the first Saturday for early in-person.

Follow instructions carefully when voting by mail, so that your vote counts.

The Office of Homeless Services "Advisory Board" approved another 2% cut for the transitional shelters and safe haven programs in Cuyahoga County.

Over 200 homeless people served at Hand Up Gala 2014 event on October, 17.

NEOCH looking for development/public relations volunteers.

How can Akron better serve homeless people who are resistant to shelters?

 A new way of thinking about Single Women's Shelter based on a shelter in Washington, D.C.?

CWRU students sue City of Akron over homeless policies.

Hope House cuts ribbon on first home given away.

A new class of chronically homeless?

Early voting has begun! Call to set up transportation to the polls from shelters/facilities.

Current edition of the Cleveland Street Chronicle available for sale.

NEOCH’s Postcard project hopes to change the impression of what homeless people look like.

2100 Lakeside resident survey results contradict many of the common stereotypes of the shelter.


Reasons for being thankful.

16-year decline in the number of homeless people sleeping in Downtown Cleveland.

The 12th Annual Woodchoppers Ball fundraiser to benefit NEOCH.

28th annual Homeless Memorial candlelight vigil to be held at St. Malachi—Metanoia Project on December 21, at 7 p.m.

Mental health and homelessness; Capitalism and homelessness.

NEOCH 2015 membership campaign has begun.

Articles in the news around homelessness.

Remembering Jim Skerl, friend of the homeless and the founder of the Labre Project locally.

City of Cleveland for clarifies the law and housing discrimination statutes to include gender identity issues.

Successes and failures discussed at well-attended NOBLE budget meeting.

News on homelessness in America.

Guest on NPR Weekend Edition Sunday spouts figures, but no facts, to back his claims that church feeding programs enable homeless people to live outside.

Ft. Lauderdale officials arrest 90-year-old chef and two religious leaders for feeding low-income and homeless people.

Goal for current Blanket Drive is 3000.

NEOCH files suit to protect provisional voters.

Second gallery of photos from the Hand Up Gala posted on website.

Early Sunday voting took place from 1 to 5p.m.


Denise Toth, an Outreach Trainee, is featured in a video on the website to demonstrate how important this service is to Cuyahoga County.

New Year’s Day—the worst day to be in a shelter?

Ohio News Updates include – introduction of a law to protect the homeless against hate crimes; and additional dollars given to shelters.

About 150 attendees at Homeless Memorial Day 2014.

News stories around the homeless for this week.

Pay for Success Program pays a dollar figure for every day that the children do not spend in foster care.

Cleveland Police come under fire from citizens regarding issues such as racial profiling and murder.

Random Thoughts – Who pays for Supportive Housing?; Remember the Homeless Memorial Vigil;

Blanket and backpack donations are beginning to come in.

If we want to maintain our commitment to keeping families together, we must open more shelter beds.

How can I volunteer for the Homeless Stand Down and Care Van Days?

Homeless Stand Down looking for new or nearly new donations.

Homelessness has not decreased; White House posted an entry on their blog about the Cuyahoga County Pay for Success program.

Judge has prevented enforcement of the Ft. Lauderdale feeding ban; Madison, WI struggles with how to shelter all those who need shelter; Chicago’s waiting list for housing is out of control.

Thanks to Joyce for putting this summary of 2014 together for NEOCH

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.


Priority Items for Congress

Priority Items for 2015

Homeless Congress

1. Shelter Standards Improvements in Regulations
We have proposed a series of issues that we would like added to the regulations at the shelters including a series of rules for the Coordinated Intake in Cleveland.  We want to make sure that a piece of paper is completed when someone dies in the shelters.  We want to make sure bed rest orders are followed.  We are looking for health clinics to be scheduled in the evening at the shelters.  Discharges should be in writing and there should be a way to complain if the shelter regulations are not being followed.  The fair housing rules should be respected and displayed at every shelter. Finally, we are looking at rules to reduce time spent in a line. 

 2. Shelter Law Passed in Cleveland or Cuyahoga County
We believe that there are a few items that are of such importance they need to be in law and not just left up to the shelters to enforce.  We believe that no one should be turned away if they seek shelter.  The broad conditions of the shelter including being kept clean, serving healthy food and treating everyone equally should be a law.  The shelters should meet the needs of the disabled and provide supportive services.  They should abide by the local fair housing laws and should have access to health care if they are larger facilities.  Finally, the shelters should develop a third party grievance procedure and a policy to receive, investigate and enforce complaints.

3. Follow up with Justice Department on Police Relationship with Homeless People
Two homeless people were executed by the Cleveland Police in 2012 after a police chase.  The Homeless Congress met with the Justice Department and have submitted items that we would like to see in a final consent decree with the City of Cleveland.  We will continue to follow up on these issues.

4. Homeless Bill of Rights Passed by the City of Cleveland
We would like to see Cleveland become one of only three cities in the United States to pass a “Homeless Bill of Rights” to protect those without housing from harassment.  This would protect people from moving around in public spaces and not being harassed from using the public sidewalks in an innocent manner.  Homeless people should be treated equally as housed individuals even if they cannot provide an address.  They shall have the right to vote even without having a residence.  They should be able to keep their personal information private and remain anonymous within the shelter system.

5. A  Separate Facility for Severely Mentally Ill Homeless Men and Women
For the protection and safety of homeless people with a severe mental illness, the Homeless Congress believes that the ADAMHS Board should fund a separate facility with professional staff to take care of both homeless women and men with a mental illness.  We see fights, staying up all night walking and talking and deplorable hygiene all related to their mental illness.  For both the mentally ill and the other residents of the shelter, it would be best if there was a facility with trained staff 24 hours a day who could help.

6. Fair Housing Regulation Passed to Protect Voucher Holders in City or County
As was passed in Warrensville Hts. we would like to see the City or County pass a law that would not allow landlords to discriminate against a person for their source of income.  They could not restrict people with a voucher from renting an apartment.  At this time only half of the available units in Cuyahoga County (on accept housing vouchers.  It should not matter how a person pays the rent if they can prove that they will have sufficient funds every month to cover the rent. 

7. Tiny Homes Campaign
This is a new concept in Cleveland that we are hearing a presentation about today.  This is to create small homes with group kitchen and showers forming a village.   It meets some of the goals we had when we were looking at converting abandoned houses to usable houses for members of the Congress. We tried for years to get funding for that project and could not.  This might fill that project goal.  We have assigned a number of Congress members to assist with this project.

If you would like to help contact NEOCH 216/432-0540 ext 103