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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.


Transitional Shelters Will Disappear--82 Beds Lost

The Cuyahoga County Office of Homeless Services Advisory Board voted this week to eliminate funding for a number of transitional housing shelters in Cleveland.  Only three individuals (including the two NEOCH appointed representatives) voted against this plan.  It is another march toward elimination of the transitional shelters in America and a huge loss for Cuyahoga County. 

The feds created this situation by authorizing only 85% of the funding need to renew all the shelter and homeless housing programs in the community.  The 15% would have to compete against all the other programs in the so-called "Tier 2."  This second tier programs will only get 1 point for supportive services such as outreach, education or alcohol services.  Transitional shelters get 3 points while housing programs or rental assistance get 10 points in this second tier.  Communities will be forced to prioritize housing programs or risk losing in the competition and thus losing that 15%.  Cuyahoga County officials have decided to use all the below funding for rental assistance.  In 2016, youth and singles will be eligible for rental assistance while today only seniors and families are eligible. 

The above chart shows the programs that will be eliminated. Keep in mind that one year of rental assistance is worth about $6,000 per person.  The reason that the feds and the County staff do not like transitional programs because they are too expensive when compared to the success rate and there are too many people who fail out of the program.  You can see those two issues reflected above. 

What does this mean for Cleveland?  At this time the women and family system is a disaster with long waits for housing and the women's shelter extremely overcrowded.  Why are things so bad? In my opinion it is because we shut down all the transtional programs for women and families. We lost East Side Catholic, Family Transitional, THI, Continue Life, Triumph House and the County funded programs at Hitchcock and University Settlement.  Now the five women/family shelters are clogged beyond what should be discussed in County administration building. Note to Conwell check it out any night at 10 1722 Payne Ave. 

Y-Haven will find additional assistance from the Medicaid System to preserve the program.  Joseph's Home and PASS are going to get additional funding from the County to preserve those beds.  The Transitional Shelter for males age 18 to 24 will lose public support and the Railton House Transitional Shelter will also lose the support.  This will mean that 82 transitional beds are on the short list to be lost in 2016.  Unless the Volunteers of America and Salvation Army can find additional funds to keep these facilities open, it will be a huge blow to the men's programs.  Transitional beds are beds that turnover.  Permanent beds do not.  It will cause the kind of backup that the women are experience at Norma Herr. If this plan is accepted by the feds, we will have more money for rental assistance.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry


Medicaid Discussion Locally

We are so thankful that we live in one of the 30 states that has expanded Medicaid, and we want to do more!  The uninsured homeless population moved from 80% to under 50% in 2014.  It has been so helpful and we see now the close relationship between housing and healthcare.  There is a meeting next week in this building to talk about the specifics of the Medicaid program, which everyone is welcome to attend.

Brian Davis (Thanks NOBLE for letting us know about this meeting)

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.


School Liaisons Updated on the NEOCH Website

Every year thousands of families struggle with homelessness.  “According to National Association for the Education of Homeless Children and Youth,  ( 1,360,747 homeless students were reported enrolled by U.S. public schools in the 2013-2014 school year. In Cleveland, there were 4,048 homeless students in 2014-2015.  This is the highest number in the districts history despite a 25% decline in enrollment in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District since 2000. Statistics show that the percentage of homeless children in Ohio who graduate is less than 25% according to the National Center on Family Homelessness.  Education of today’s children plays an important roll in preventing homelessness.

The McKinney-Vento Education of Homeless Children and Youth Assistance Act* is a federal law that ensures immediate enrollment and educational stability for homeless children and youth. McKinney-Vento provides federal funding to states for the purpose of supporting district programs that serve homeless students. The purpose of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Children and Youth Program is to ensure that all children and youth have equal access to the same free and appropriate public education, including preschool education as non-homeless children and youth.

State and local educational agencies are required to develop, review and revise policies to remove barriers to the enrollment, attendance and success in school that homeless children and youth may experience. Local educational agencies must also provide homeless children and youth with the opportunity to meet the same challenging state content and state student performance standards to which all students are held. The goal is to get students back into school quickly after their family becomes homeless.  They also strive to provide tutors to keep students at their grade level.

Every LEA (Local Educational Agencies, otherwise known as school districts) must designate an appropriate staff person as a local homeless education liaison. Each school district in Ohio has a liaison which makes sure the McKinney-Vento Act is implemented for the district’s homeless children.  Below is a list of the liaisons for each of Cuyahoga County’s Public School Districts 2015-2016.  Each liaison can help with clothing, uniforms, student fees, school supplies, birth certificates, immunizations, medical and dental services, etc.  One student that a NEOCH staff member works with is very excited to know that help is available for her present homeless situation.  Her goal is to graduate from high school and get a secondary education but she did not know that there was so much help available through her school district. Please contact the liaison from the list below to find help.  You can also contact NEOCH offices at (216) 432-0540 for help if your child is in a school that is not listed below.

*Here is a link to the McKinney-Vento act at a glance which explains the definitions of homelessness and how each liaison serves their homeless children:

by Denise Toth

Opinions reflected are those of the author


We Need Help Printing Our Homeless Street Card

Cleveland Clinic Dropped a 25 Year Tradition of Collaboration

The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless is looking for help printing 10,000 copies of the Homeless Street Card.  These are a one sheet (front and back) list of important phone numbers and contact information for every social service provider who can help homeless people in the community.  It features the meal programs, health care facilities and all the help lines for drug and alcohol addiction.  We give them out in 75 locations throughout the community such as libraries, hospitals, shelters, and police stations.   We were informed on September 14 by the Cleveland Clinic that they exhausted their charitable dollars before June 3, 2015 (the day we sent our first request) and therefore could not print the Street Card this year.

For the past 25 years, the hospitals have rotated printing the card with one year MetroHealth then the next year University Hospital and finally Cleveland Clinic accepting the cost of printing.  Even during the recession and downturn when some of the hospitals were making huge cutbacks, they still maintained their commitment to this important publication.  It is one of the most important sheets of information for those who do not have a smart phone or easy access to a computer.  Chris Abood, the director of Community Partnership and Employee Engagement, gave a list of the services that they provide to homeless, underserved and disabled and said, “In short, urban Cleveland has been the focus for many years and our range of services, at no charge and above and beyond health care, are substantial.”  This leaves the Coalition without a way to print the 10,000 copies of the double sided Street Card so late in the year.   NEOCH wishes that the Clinic would have told us back in June that they did not have the funds to print the Street Card so we would have had an extra three months to search for a new donor. 

It typically only costs $900 to print the Street Card, but some of the hospitals do it internally and then we just pick up the finished product when they are done.  We thank the entity that prints the Street Card by adding their logo to the Card and thank them on our website.  The card is so valuable to direct homeless people to local health clinics and not to the emergency room.  The Street Card helps low income people find a local hot meal program, and can help find a warm place out of the cold.  We need your help to print the 2015-16 version of the Street Card.  Contact Brian Davis at the Homeless Coalition if you want to help.

by Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry


Thanks for the Pink Tie but How About Funds for Women's Health

Rep. Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) thought it helpful to say that “I’m wearing a pink tie in solidarity with women’s health issues.” Commentary in the  Washington Post by Dana Milbank

Yesterday there was a show of "support" for women with the choice of a "female friendly" and unmanly choice of wardrobe in the political theatre known as a Congressional hearing.  Supporters of Planned Parenthood were diverted to an overflow room in their pink shirts so that a bunch of suits could fill the front rows with scowls of disapproval on their faces.  This seems weird since the pink shirt crowd could compliment the pink ties worn by the Congressman from Michigan.  This all seems like political theatre and there are so many more important issues that our elected officials could be working on to show solidarity with women's health.

  1. Family homelessness is on the rise and they need the strength of the federal government behind solving this problem.  It is too big of a problem for the local or state government and it certainly unhealthy to be homeless.
  2. Additional funding needs to go health care clinics especially in rural and segregated urban communities.  We need to keep reaching out to women and children with more affordable options for health care.
  3. The Congress should direct the states that have refused to expand Medicaid to stop playing politics with their people's health.  Why are 20 states still not allowing the modest income population suffer?
  4. We need to put more people put to work to improve the health of America.  The Congress needs to pass a transportation bill to put people back to work improving our infrastructure with good jobs that has health care.
  5. We need more affordable housing created in this country to begin to reduce the homeless population because housing is healthcare. 
  6. We could use some resolution of the high cost of prescription drugs in our society.  Why are the costs of life sustaining medicine so high in the United States compared to everywhere else in the world. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the post.