Find Help

Donate to NEOCH

Hand Up Gala
Homeless Voting
About NEOCH

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.

Follow us on Twitter
Tuesday
Jan272015

Housing 101 Announced for March

Part of the mission of the Coalition is to better educate the public about housing and homelessness.  To fulfill this part of our mission, we try to organize periodic sessions explaining the complicated system of affordable housing in our community.  Our first session for 2015 is March 20 at the NEOCH Conference RoomWe have a page of our website explaining the workshop with a copy of the flyer to advertise the event. 

This year, we will have the following guests invited to present:

  • We will have an overview of the HousingCleveland.org website with a focus on the fragile populations functions.
  • We will have a look at the Cleveland Housing Court/mediation services and special services available for those facing an eviction.
  • We will be provided an overview of the services offered by the Department of Veterans Affairs locally and the other programs serving veterans.
  • There will be a presentation on fair housing and how to assert your fair housing rights locally. 
  • Finally, a look at Permanent Supportive housing and Coordinated Intake at the workshop.  Staff from Frontline Services will talk about access, supply and program expectations within the homeless programs.

The workshop is $15 for those who will need Continuing Education credit for social workers and $10 for those who who do not need the CEUs. The workshop is March 20, 2015 from 10 to 1 p.m. at NEOCH. There is a flyer to complete and send back or you can check out our webpage

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Monday
Jan262015

HUD Announces Funding for Cuyahoga County

The Department of Housing and Urban Development ahead of the Secretary of HUD appearing on the Daily Show, awarded to Cuyahoga County $25,342,376.00 in funding for homelessness and housing. 

a) Every shelter and service provider seeking renewals funding received the money they requested.  They get what they got to fund the shelter or service when they opened--no cost of living increase ever in the HUD world.

b) Renewals involving leasing/rent assistance received increases from the amount requested because of the recalculation of the rent amounts to align with Fair Market Rents in Greater Cleveland. This is true for all except one Shelter Plus Care program.  The County is going to ask for a correction on the one program.

c) All other renewals were approved for the amount requested.

d) The County wrapped a bunch of programs into two "reallocation requests" for funding from funds that were left once HUD funds all the renewals.  These projects may not have scored high enough locally, but changed their program to meet current expectations. The County rolled a bunch of programs together to submit two big requests for funding. This strategy was risky, but worked in putting them all together into two projects.  "All in" approach to funding requests.

 

The bad news was that the one new project submission for housing vouchers attached to the new Permanent Supportive Housing building on Detroit Ave was not approved.  We will see what impact this has on the funding for supportive housing locally.

$3.88 million of the funding goes to transitional shelters and supportive services or 15% of the funding.  The other 85% of the funds go to housing long term homeless or disabled homeless people in Cuyahoga County.

  • Cincinnati received $15.38 million.
  • Toledo received $4.88 million in support
  • Columbus only received $11.06 million which seems low to me.
  • Dayton received $8.37 million.
  • Akron received 4.47 million.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Saturday
Jan242015

Homeless Stand Down 2015

Over 1,500 people including 300 veterans attended the Stand Down today.  It was a very well run and smooth operation thanks to Hands On NEO.  There was an extensive transportation system thanks to Ken from the NEOCH staff.  There were residents of nearly every shelter in Cleveland.  Many social service providers attended including the Department of Aging, Legal Aid Society and the Salvation Army. 

They gave away thousands of pairs of boots and provided over a thousand meals.  The Food Bank were passing out literature and chapstick while First Call for Help talked about all the things they do to assist.  There were foot doctors, eye doctors and people signing the guests up for Medicaid.  There was an entire section for veterans and the Cleveland Photographic society did portraits of hundreds.

It was a really nice event and we posted the first gallery of images on the front page of our website.  The Plain Dealer also posted a nice gallery on their website here.  WKYC and WEWS all showed up to feature the story.  There were 400 volunteers including congregations who put together bag lunches or hygiene kits. 

NEOCH did a survey of some of the participants to ask them about their new year's resolution and their priorities to solve homelessness.  We will publish the resultsin the upcoming Street Chronicle. In the evening we gave out winter socks and thermal hoodies at the Metanoia Project.  This was part of the Community West Foundation Socks Plus campaign.  Community West Staff went out on Outreach and found that most of the people that they met complained that they never could keep their feet warm in the winter.  The Foundation agreed to give the Coalition funding to expand our blanket drive with winter socks and boots.  We did not want to compete against the Stand Down so we picked out items for Stand Down evening that they probably did not get at the Stand Down.  Today we gave really nice Thermal Socks and zip up hoodies with a thermal lining as part of the Community West Socks Plus campaign. We will give out additional items over the next month to keep people warm and safe all thanks to Community West Foundation.

Sunday
Jan182015

Homelessness Updates

Did New Orleans really solve veteran's homelessness?  Media in the Big Easy have spent the past few weeks examining the proclamation by Mayor Landrieu that veteran's homelessness has been ended in New Orleans and found the program lacking.  There is always the problem of counting homeless people that makes it difficult to proclaim victory.  There is the problem of the varied definition of what is a  veteran that complicates the matter.  Are you a veteran after 2 months of service or 2 years of services? Then there is the problem that homeless people are so fluid and fall in and out of homelessness on a daily basis.  It is bold to make this proclamation, but until you end all homelessness it is impossible to declare victory with just one population. 

It is true that there are tons of veteran's resources available now. If you spent time in the military and were not dishonorably discharged, there is so much help available right now.  We really have all the tools at our disposal to end veteran's homelessness.  But there are a lot of hard core vets who have no contact with anyone and will be hard to reach.  It would be unnerving for a retired Marine corporal to be sitting in the library waiting for the rain to subside and read in the Times Picayune that your city had "solved" veterans homelessness while you struggled with PTSD and were bouncing around from family to living in a car.  The Marine is thinking once you solve a problem, you stop dedicating resources and staff, and move on to something else.  It would seem like you missed the train that will never come around again. 

Toledo Blade wrote about what homeless people do during the extreme cold.  This was an interesting story about the huge number of people who use the library as a drop in center.

Lakewood teens again spend the night outside in the cold to call attention to homelessness on the North Coast.  We have featured stories about previous groups from Lakewood Congregational church about their sleeping outside in the Street Chronicle.  We appreciate them calling attention to the plight of homeless people in the cold.

Bloomberg has a good article about why the President never talks about rent.   The same could be said about homelessness, and the president only mentioning homelessness when he is volunteering on a service day.  I think that the architect of modern homelessness, Ronald Reagan, was the last President who was forced to talk about solutions to homelessness.  But half the population rent from a landlord and state or federal elected office holders rarely talk about it.

The City of Cincinnati became the third city to enact a homeless hate crimes bill.  Cleveland has one of the laws, but it is rarely used.  Most of the time a hate crime is a felony and local laws do not address crimes of that severity.  The State of Ohio would need to pass legislation to include homeless people in the existing hate crimes statute to make it real.  It is good that the city is trying to do something about the attacks on homeless people and were willing to talk about these issues. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Friday
Jan162015

Welcome to the Neighborhood...Care Alliance

There is a new building nearing completion in the Central neighborhood next to Cedar High Rise and right down the street from Cuyahoga Community College Metro Campus.  With the dramatic changes in the health care, Care Alliance is positioning itself to be the health care provider to low income people in Cleveland and those living in public housing or those without housing.  The new clinic hosted a preview party this week to show donors the brand new digs. 

I am biased with regard to Care Alliance since I received an award from them in 2014 and we partner on outreach efforts on a daily basis.  I appreciate that they have prioritized dental coverage as critical to the care of low income people.  All of their clinics feature dental services, because most experts believe your oral health is representative of your overall health.  The new clinic sits in the rubble of the Cedar Estates which was demolished in 2014 and will begin reconstruction in the spring.  These new or returning tenants will need a good neighborhood medical clinic. 

It is a beautiful clean facility with the official ribbon cutting in March.  The staff and board welcomed their neighbors, council members and social service providers into this new two story facility.  There were staff from many of the other health care facilities in the community on hand to welcome Care Alliance to the neighborhood.  It is amazing how much the program has grown since it was started in a basement by volunteers at the Federation for Community Planning.  They are expected to have nearly 150 employees and have an outreach team that helps those living outside.  At one time, NEOCH led a protest regarding the bad decisions being made by the organization including the poor management of the women's shelter.  Now, we view Care Alliance as one of our closest partners. 

Welcome to the Central neighborhood...Care Alliance.  You have built a fine facility that the lower income residents of the neighborhood will cherish.  They have set a goal of providing a respectful place to receive care for those without the ability to pay.  The elderly folks next door will be proud to call this new facility their doctor's office. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry