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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.

The Cleveland Street Chronicle
Jim Schlecht Event
Thursday
Jul132017

Enterprise Gives Summary of Housing Bill

This is from Enterprise Community Development.  This is what we expected to happen.  We said that the administration would send a really low budget for the next fiscal year and then advocates would be happy that it was not cut as much as the administration proposed. We had previously expressed indifference to the necessity of the InterAgency Council on Homelessness.

"Last night the House Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Subcommittee held a mark-up for its fiscal year (FY) 2018  spending bill. The legislation provides $38.3 billion in funding for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which is $487 million below this year’s level and $6.9 billion above the president’s budget request. The cuts to housing and community development programs, though significant, are smaller than expected, indicating that appropriators understand how important these investments are to our communities.

The House bill includes:

  • $2.9 billion for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program and $850 million for the HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) Program, representing $100 million in cuts for both.
  • $20.487 billion in Tenant-Based Rental Assistance, an increase of $355 million over FY17 levels, of which $18.71 billion would go to renewing existing contracts. However, as the cost of operating the program increases each year due to inflation, this level of funding would result in a 6 percent, or 140,000 unit, renewal funding shortfall despite the increase.
  • $11.082 billion in Project-Based Rental Assistance, an increase of $266 million over FY17 levels.
  • Flat funding for the Public Housing Operating Fund at $4.4 billion.
  • $1.85 billion for the Public Housing Capital Fund, down from $1.94 billion in FY17.
  • $573 million for Section 202 Housing for the Elderly, a $71 million increase over FY17 enacted levels.
  • $147 million for Section 811 Housing for Persons with Disabilities, $1 million over FY17 enacted levels.
  • Level funding for Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS, at $356 million.
  • Level funding for the Native American Housing Block Grant Program, at $654 million.
  • $20 million for Choice Neighborhoods, significantly downsizing the initiative, which would be reduced from its current spending level of $138 million.
  • $2.4 billion for Homelessness Assistance Grants, level with FY17 enacted levels.
  • $30 million for the Section 4 Capacity Building for Affordable Housing and Community Development Program (Section 4), a $5 million cut from FY17 enacted levels.
  • Flat funding for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation (NeighborWorks), at $140 million.

Also of note, the legislation does not include any of the policy proposals included in the president’s budget request, such as mandatory rent minimums and rent increases for public housing residents. House appropriators also rejected the proposal to eliminate the Housing Trust Fund, which is not funded with appropriated dollars. However, the House followed the president’s guidance in proposing closure for the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH), without proposing any new mechanism for coordinating the programs aimed combating homelessness across 19 federal agencies.

The House has been marking up FY18 appropriations bills to a topline level for non-Defense discretionary (NDD) spending at $511 billion, which is $4 billion below the FY18 sequestration caps and $8 billion below the FY17 spending caps. The Senate THUD bill is expected before August Recess and may use higher spending caps, although the timing is unclear after Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s announcement that the Senate will remain in session through August 11, two weeks later than planned.

The fact that cuts to most of these programs were not as drastic as anticipated is a testament to the hard work of affordable housing champions across the country, who contacted their legislators to voice their support of these indispensable programs. HOME and CDBG, for example, are flexible sources of funding that target low-income communities and individuals and are proven job creators. When they were zeroed out in the president’s budget, organizations, businesses, and local governments spoke up for vital role they play in communities."

From the Enterprise Community Partners.

Thursday
Jul132017

Lead Safety Network Gathering Announced

Cleveland Lead Safe Network (CLSN) is hosting our Summer Convening on Thursday July 27th at 4PM at 3500 Lorain Avenue. 

 We're pleased to have Councilman Larry Sykes from Toledo City Council as our guest speaker. Councilman Sykes was instrumental in getting the Toledo Lead Safe Housing ordinance enacted one year ago. He was also active in the effort to fight off State Pre-emption of local lead poisoning laws.

 We expect to have a presentation on the proposed Lead Safe Housing ordinance that is being prepared for Cleveland City Council.

 Seating is limited so please register in advance by email (just hit reply and leave your name, phone and organization) or leave a voice message at 216/359-1060.

 Then share the below flyer with everyone in your rolodex or email contacts file.

 From Spencer Wells

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Tuesday
Jul112017

New Facebook Page for NEOCH

We were forced to create a brand new Facebook page which is timely with new leadership at the Coalition.  So, please like us on our new page. We will regularly update this page of items from the Cleveland Homeless Blog and updates from the NEOCH website.  This has a number of photo albums from our vast bank of 10,000 images at NEOCH.  It also has a number of videos from our NEOCH YouTube channel on success stories and the outreach workers. 

This is an easy way to keep updated on changes at NEOCH and easy links to events happening in the homeless community.  We will also post Solutions to homelessness this summer and the updated Street Cards as they get published.  We will keep you informed on the park being developed down at Riverbed Road and its impact on homeless people as well as any changes at the Community Women's Shelter.  We regularly update statistics and research taking place about homelessness.   NEOCH is involved in a couple of lawsuits and has regular updates on funding changes in the homeless community.  It is a convenient way to stay in touch with what is going on with homeless people. 

Chris Knestrick

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Friday
Jul072017

NEOCH Still Concerned About a Specialized Shelter for those with a Mental Illness

                                                      July 5, 2017

 Valeria Harper     

Vice President of Operations

ADAMHS Board   

2012 West 25th St. 6th Floor

Cleveland, Ohio  44114

Dear Ms. Harper: 

 In January of this year, the Homeless Congress voted to prioritize advocating to open a separate shelter for homeless individuals, who have mental health challenges, in order that they can get the help they need.  At the meeting on May 4, 2017, we were able to briefly discuss funding options, limitations, and concerns about opening a separate shelter. Furthermore, we attempted to show the need for a separate shelter for those with a severe mental health challenges.  Rosie Palfy from the homeless congress, who was in attendance at that meeting, informed us that Mr. Denihan was very concerned about this issue after having a conversation with him.

 We wanted to see what the next steps are for the Homeless Congress to accomplish our goal of improving services to those with behavioral health issues and find themselves without housing.  We know that those with mental health issues are exploited, have their valuables and medication stolen, and are abused and/or either raped in and around the shelters.  When residents are suffering from a mental health crisis and are hospitalized, they are medicated and released back to one of the two main shelters. Often times, there is no professional staff to help them with their mental health issues, such as   supporting them in consistently taking their medications.

 The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless believes that the shelters are unmanageable with all these untreated individuals with mental health challenges, who do not have access to personalized care.  They deserve trained professional staff to help them with their mental health issues. NEOCH has received multiple complaints about the current state of the shelters, particularly, the Norma Herr women’s shelter.  Furthermore, we are concerned about the recent comments in a County Council meeting made by Eric Morse of Frontline Services, who is the current provider for Norma Herr.  He stated that he “opposes opening a separate shelter” for this vulnerable population because the women at the shelter “all” have either mental health issues or drug and alcohol issues. He continued saying, “if a separate shelter is needed for residents that have mental health or drug and alcohol issues, there is already a shelter in place for that and it’s the Norma Herr Women’s Shelter.”

 We do not want our important concerns to get lost in your current transition as the new CEO.  We would like to invite you to present to the Homeless Congress. Furthermore, we are willing to support you in this endeavor.  We can work with you on a proposal to your Board.  We can partner with you on a presentation to the County Council.  Thank you for your consideration and we hope that you will make this a priority during your tenure as CEO. I look forward to hearing from you.

 Sincerely,

 Christopher Knestrick

Director of Operations

Editor's Note: This issue is a priority for the Homeless Congress members and will be discussed at the Homeless Congress meeting on July 13th at 1 p.m at the Bishop Cosgrove Center.

Wednesday
Jun282017

New Street Chronicle is Available in Cleveland

The new Street Chronicle was published today.  Angelo Anderson at the NEOCH Annual Meeting in March decided that the Board and the vendors should write something about Brian Davis for the new paper.  So the paper has many stories about the long time editor of the Homeless Grapevine/Street Chronicle.  I actually started as a volunteer with the paper before I had a job at NEOCH.  For one year, I edited the paper and delivered it to vendors when the agency was unsure of its future.  The only thing we were doing in late 1994 was publishing the newspaper and selling it to vendors for 10 cents each.  We had many vendors until Mayor White sent his police out to harass our vendors.  We sued the City and spent the next three years in court. This hurt our vendors and we also saw a noticeable decrease in the pedestrian population.

Nearly every vendor wrote stories about their interactions with me.  Staff also wrote articles and a number of former staff sent in remembrances to NEOCH.  Two long time board members put down a few words and we featured a story about Michael Stoops that I wrote.  If I annoyed you over the years, you might want to skip buying the paper.  It will be overwhelming to those who were not big fans of my advocacy and they will want to use the paper as the lining of a cat's litter box.  County Office of Homeless Services staff, Mayor Michael White, and many of the homeless service provider will want to avoid purchasing the paper at the West Side Market or downtown.  There are no refunds for those who have exploited, antagonized or harmed homeless people and were criticized by me.  The paper is sold by vendors and they keep all the profits, but they certainly do not give refunds to all the foundation staff who hated that I criticized other charitable organizations.  Sorry, but that is the way the vendors make their money and all sales are final!

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.