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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.

Homeless Voting
Tuesday
Jun282016

Updates to Homeless Voting Section of Website

In preparation for the important upcoming November 2016 election, we’ve updated the Homeless Voting section of our website! Click here or on the “Vote” Button on our many of the pages on the website and you’ll see an updated menu with current information for the 2016 election.

We have an overview of the pertinent voting information, NEOCH’s voting plan for 2016, FAQ about homeless voting, a voting checklist, and a flyer on the importance of voting. There are also links to external sites with relevant information. On the Voting Blog, I’ve added posts about recent changes in Ohio voting laws. These include NEOCH’s victory in its lawsuit against Secretary of State Husted, the restoration of Golden Week, Gov. Kasich’s veto of a potential restrictive voting law, and the recent purge of voter registration records.  

by Megan Shanklin

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Monday
Jun272016

ACLU Settles Lawsuit with City of Cleveland Over RNC

ACLU representing NEOCH, Organize Ohio and Citizen's for Trump sued the City of Cleveland two weeks ago.  In a whirlwind case before Federal District Court Judge James Gwin.  The ACLU and NEOCH won in the first hearing on this issue, and the City of Cleveland immediately filed an appeal.  There were hours of negotiations last Thursday and then back and forth hammering out a written settlement.  As soon as we get the settlement agreement, we will post it.  Here is some new coverage, both national and local on the issue. 

The PBS Newshour covered the story here. 

  • District Judge Gwin ruled City’s protest regulations unconstitutional, ordered negotiations
  • ACLU argued that City’s Event Zone was too large, and that rules within it were too restrictive; judge agreed
  • ACLU and City came to an agreement Friday, settlement is likely to be finalized Monday
  • Citizens for Trump and Organize Ohio sued due to protest restrictions
  • NEOCH sued because some prohibited items in the Event Zone are needed by homeless who live there

The Cleveland Plain Dealer had some very good coverage of the lawsuit and the settlement here.  They also published a nice editorial about how bad these rules were for protestors and homeless people here.

  • Agreement reached Friday between ACLU and City will result in smaller Event Zone
  • New Zone will exclude west side of Cuyahoga River and public parks
  • The hours of the protest will be longer so that they correspond to when delegates are actually present in Cleveland.
  • Deal includes longer parade route that are closer to the site of the convention. 
  • Event Zone restrictions will not apply to homeless population.
  • "Negotiations are being handled by U.S. District Judge Dan Polster, who is known for his ability to broker settlements," according to the Plain Dealer.

The Toledo Blade had a good summary of the story here and tied the story to the lawsuit filed in Philadelphia over the Democratic convention. 

  • District Judge Gwin ruled Thursday that City’s event zone restrictions violated First Amendment
  • Dismissed lawsuit filed by ACLU on behalf of Citizens for Trump, Organize Ohio and NEOCH and ordered mediation by District Judge Polster on Friday
  • Shortly after settlement announced Friday, ACLU of PA filed a lawsuit in US District Court in Philadelphia regarding restrictions during Democratic National Convention.

The LA Times also gave a summary of the story here and had colorful language about the free speech implications.

  • In court Thursday, ACLU argued that RNC Event Zone was a “black hole for 1st Amendment activities”; City countered that Cleveland’s regulations were less restrictive than other cities
  • District Judge Gwin ruled that “unduly large” security zone was not tailored to security issues
  • Gwin ordered negotiations between the ACLU and the City in order to narrow the restrictions

Here is the coverage from Channel 3 WKYC

Here is the Atlantic magazine coverage is here.

Politico's story focused on how both pro and anti-Trump protests under the City's original plan were going to be in the same are causing issues of possible turmoil.

The American Bar Association Journal talked about the judge questioning how the City could successfully stage a CAVS championship parade for a million, but could not handle a couple thousand protestors.  "However, Gwin questioned the city’s reasoning and asked how the convention protests were different from the more than 1 million people who filled downtown Wednesday for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ NBA championship parade and “traveled through streets in what will become the event zone,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported."

by Brian Davis and Megan the 2016 Intern

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Monday
Jun272016

End Poverty Now Protest Set After Lawsuit

After the Federal Court decision, the protest can go on.  Make your plans to travel the East Side of Cleveland to end at Chester Commons.  Hope that you can make it.  There is a nice t-shirt available from Organize!Ohio for a $15 donation. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Sunday
Jun262016

Posted Hearing Transcript on Our Website

NEOCH HAS POSTED VIDEO AND TRANSCRIPT OF COUNTY COUNCIL’S

COMMUNITY WOMEN'S SHELTER HEARING

Many of you have been following NEOCH’s role of assistance to the women who live at the Community Women's Shelter to challenge those who administer the shelter for much needed change.  After hundreds of complaints funneled through NEOCH by the women who live at the facility and have ardently labeled the shelter “House of Payne” or HOP for short, the County Council finally had a formal hearing on May 4th.  The Health and Human Services Committee opened the door for the women to formally air their grievances and discuss their frustrations about the conditions at the shelter.

NEOCH has posted the hearing on their website in two ways.  1) A link to the actual YouTube video of the hearing so you can watch it, and 2) a transcription of the actual hearing for you to read.  We have divided it up into easier to read sections (see below).

To get to the video and transcript of the hearing:

From our homepage: (http://www.neoch.org/) - across the top and under our banner is the directory, Go to “Solutions”, then click on “HOP Shelter Hearing”, both the video and transcript can be found there. 

Here is a direct link to both video and transcript:

 http://www.neoch.org/hop-shelter-hearing/

The transcript of the resident's part of the hearing is on one page, starting with the introduction, roll call and agenda.  Following the agenda, four women who are current and one former residents of the shelter address the council with their personal concerns and grievances who speak for many women.  Ramona Turnbull, Linda Reynolds, Iris Wiley, Danielle Smith and Alyssa Wiemer gave testimonies of the struggles and the suffering faced by the residents on a daily basis.  Their voices are representative of uncounted women who have had the same issues and obstacles over the years with staff members, condescending attitudes mistreatment, and disrespect.   There were problems discussed around health issues including problems with a lack of bedrest to very little help for a pregnant woman.  Discussion involved issues with overcrowding, safety, fear of being beaten up, a lack of help for drug and alcohol issues and a continuous list of items that demoralized these women and still goes without solutions.

We have two pages of testimony by the executive director of NEOCH, Brian Davis.  He responded by  letting council know the issues are real, the environment is toxic and that it’s been difficult getting anyone to respond.  In working with the women he asked for four items to be that would have an immediate impact on the success of the shelter.  Council then questioned Davis and that is another page.  Then the County staff who funds all the shelter, Ruth Gillet of the Office Homeless Services testified and answered questions.  She surprisingly did not have any prepared statement about the shelter even though the women have complained about this shelter for years.  Then Frontline Services 2cd in Command Eric Morse and Director of Emergency Services, LaTonya Murray responded to the list of issues.  Morse did have a prepared statement.

We at NEOCH appreciated the opportunity to have this hearing and bring up the concerns of the residents at the women’s shelter.  These concerns provide a horrible experience for those taxpayers down on their luck, and we have heard the same complaints and problems over and over for the last decade.

NEOCH would appreciate your feedback.  What do you think about the complaints of the women and the answers given by the county and Frontline Services?  Please feel free to leave a comment at our discussion page.

by Denise Toth

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Wednesday
Jun222016

Voter Participation Center Creates Own Registration Form

I don't understand why this group out of Columbus and Washington would create their own form and send it to voters in Ohio?  They know that our Secretary of State has found reason after reason to kick out voters so why take the risk. We are engaged in two lawsuits with the Secretary of State including one for an improper purge of voters, so it is only natural for the Secretary to find a reason to kick out registrations.  None of the numbers match the Ohio form and they ask confusing questions like "ID number."  They ask a race question, which is not on the Ohio form.  Will each of the 88 counties accept this form or will this group have to file another lawsuit?  There was a citizen from Columbus who is trying to get her BOE to accept the form in Franklin County.  This just seems strange and asking for trouble.

We had nothing to do with this form or the group and would have said, "Don't try to do a national form. Do a form for each state."  They are just asking for the Secretary of State to reject these forms.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry