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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.

The Cleveland Street Chronicle
Jim Schlecht Event
Wednesday
May172017

Open Doors Cleveland Will Display Homeless Art Project

Open Doors CLE emerged as a result of the projectFIND students from the Cleveland Institute of Art surveying the landscape of homelessness in Cleveland.  They met with the vendors of the paper, members of the Homeless Congress, and residents from both shelters.  The students decided to work with the population to decorate doors in an attempt to bridge the gap between the homeless community and those in stable housing.  They finished their project and are now ready to display them.  They will be at the Rooms to Let: CLE event this weekend in Slavic Village and then at Willard Park/Free Stamp on May 27 from 11 to 5 p.m.  Here is a brochure that you can print out and distribute.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Tuesday
May162017

Michael Stoops Memorial Announced

Michael Stoops

Written by Annie Leomporra on May 1, 2017.

The Board and staff of the National Coalition for the Homeless are heartbroken to share the passing of long-time organizer Michael Stoops. Michael passed away on May 1, 2017, due to illness incurred while recovering from a stroke.

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There will never be anyone like Michael, with his dedication to others, his tenacity, his quiet leadership and quirky humor. We all loved Michael as a mentor, a colleague, a brother and a friend.

Michael began his career in the early 1970’s, after receiving his bachelor’s degree in social work. His Quaker community encouraged him to travel from his native Indiana to Portland, Oregon to assist veterans. This is where Michael found his passion for ending homelessness. He was a founding board member of NCH, and joined NCH’s staff in 1988. Since 1988, he has worked to establish and provide ongoing support to local/statewide homeless/housing coalitions, and homeless self-help and social justice/action groups. In 2004, Mr. Stoops took on the role of Executive Director of NCH. Working to mobilize NCH’s grassroots network, Mr. Stoops traveled nationwide giving workshops, providing technical assistance, and testifying before state and local legislatures. Mr. Stoops was one of the founding members of the North American Street Newspaper Association and served as Board Member of Street Sense, Washington, DC’s premier street newspaper.

We will all remember Michael as a caring friend to each one of us. He has mentored us, and thousands of other advocates across the country. Michael could see potential, and did not waste time in getting us all to work. He has been steady, being the rock of NCH, through financial, political and personnel upheavals. Though he might have cut you short, he returned every call he ever received. He made time for each and every student doing research, for every mother crying because she couldn’t find shelter for her family, for every filmmaker wanting to make a difference, for each traveler who happened upon our office looking for help, and for every advocate looking for a way to fight for change. For many of us, Michael was a super hero. For the 10 years that I have had the honor to know Michael, he has worked 12 hour days, 7 days a week. We could never get him to go home to rest, and he would at most take off one week a year to go visit his family (stopping at shelters and visiting advocates all along the way).

This is the Michael Stoops that we know, the Michael Stoops who we will remember lovingly, and the Michael Stoops who will continue to inspire us to work tirelessly until all of our neighbors, friends or family can sleep safely in their own homes. Rest in power Michael, we will keep the fight going.

-Megan Hustings, NCH Director

A Memorial will be held Thursday May 25, 2017 at 12:00p.m. at the Church of the Pilgrims, 2201 P Street, NW Washington, DC (map). A reception will follow in the church fellowship hall.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the National Coalition for the Homeless. Memorial organizers would appreciate any photos or stories you would like to share. Please email them to info@nationalhomeless.org.

Please visit the National Coalition for the Homeless to make a donation in the name of Michael Stoops and see more information about Michael Stoops. 

Here is the link to this page as it appeared on NCH website.

Saturday
May062017

When Will the Women Be Considered?

My biggest concern about Frontline Services continuing as the provider for the women’s shelter is the total lack of empathy, consideration, and failure to take responsibility for their actions.  After all the complaints that were made, no one seems to be listening!  The problems that have been presented were totally ignored and all the grievances that have been filed were not even considered. 

There is either a lack of communication here or the people making the decisions have no regard for human life, specifically the lives of women.  It seems that women have been targeted as outlets for people who are supposed to be responsible professionals as a way to practice doing the extreme opposite.  A lot of the women residing at the shelter have children or don’t want to be a burden to their family or possibly running from domestic violence with nowhere else to go!  They all have their own lives and responsibilities to address. 

The people that were selected for the committee don’t have a clue what homelessness really is or what to look for to make this type of decision and I’m pretty sure that it is totally unethical.  They should be more representative of the population being served.

The women residing at the shelter aren’t even getting enough consideration to have programs in place or a television to watch and keep up with what is going on around them.  This is a form of isolation which is also abuse, not to mention the horrible food that is served with no real nutritional value.  Under the current conditions, I’m sure that if they could every women in the shelter would leave tomorrow. 

I feel that the decision to continue to let Frontline, even with Lutheran Metro Ministry as a partner, provide services for the women’s shelter would be mean, heartless, and cruel.  When will the women be the focus of which group should be providing services for the only single women’s shelter in the entire city…and it has no TV!!!!  I feel that it is the provider’s responsibility to make sure to provide necessities that will eliminate chaos and boost morale?

by Ramona Turnbull

Editor's Note:  Ramona testified before the County Council.  These are her adapted comments without the County time limits.  These are the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of NEOCH.  The legislation is going forward, but there may be a limiting of the time frame of the contract from 19 months down from 31 months which was in the original legislation.

Thursday
May042017

Metanoia Needs Your Help

Your Gift Could Save a Life!

Did you know that The Metanoia Project provided over 6,000 warm and safe beds this winter to some of the most vulnerable homeless men and women in Cleveland? Metanoia also was able to assist 43% of its chronically homeless guests into permanent housing or substance abuse treatment.

Now, we NEED your help to continue. Donations have been extremely low due to unpredictable weather.

Donate Now

Help us Keep Street Outreach

 Street outreach is one of the most effective programs nationwide at ending homelessness for individuals. The Metanoia Project runs an overnight homeless hospitality center in the winter months as well as a street outreach program in the spring, fall and summer months. Street outreach workers visit homeless dwellings in under bridges and in alleyways to bring services and resources to those that are struggling. The Metanoia Project runs on your donations. Due to a low donor turnout this year Metanoia is in danger of loosing its street outreach program.

Mail checks to

The Metanoia Project

P.O. Box 93453

Cleveland OH 44101

Or make a donation online

Donate Online

The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless strongly supports Metanoia and we believe that it is an essential service in Cleveland. We hope that they can move to a full time year round program to meet the needs of those who traditionally sleep outside.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Tuesday
May022017

County Councilwomen Slept Overnight at the Women's Shelter

 NEOCH did an open records request for all documents sent to County Council about the Community Women's Shelter on Payne Ave. from last May until the present.  We wanted to see if taxpayers were sending complaints directly to the County Council.  Most of the information that we got back were actually e-mails from NEOCH.  We did learn two interesting items from the 28 pages we got back from the County.  1. The CEO of Frontline Services (current social service provider of the shelter) does not read our blog or pays attention to NEOCH.  Susan Neff sent an e-mail to the County last May on the day of the hearing about the women's shelter saying that she had just found out about the hearing and would not be able to attend.  We put up flyers at the shelter, the drop in center, and all over our website, but I guess the power players don't pay attention to the little guys down in the trenches. 

The other interesting news was that two County Councilmembers slept over night at the Community Women's Shelter on August 1, 2016 which by the way the first day of the month is typically a lower population day.  People have money at the beginning of the month, and so many do not stay in shelter.  We found out about this overnight excursion because Susan Neff sent the two Councilpeople a request to meet on August 2, 2016 in order to talk about their "anonymous" stay at the shelter.   Below are the notes from the meeting held later in the month. 

Some of the interesting items from the notes:

  1. The residents who saw the notes laughed that there could possibly only be 142 people in the shelter.  Something must be wrong with the counting system at the shelter.
  2. The Councilwomen spent most of the meeting talking about the number of residents who were not moving out of the shelter.  Forest for the trees?
  3. There is no visit to the shelter without some level of shock over the number of people on the floor or the distance between staff and residents, but that was not mentioned.
  4. Evidently, the Councilwoman missed the food as part of their visit.
  5. The recommendations made by the Councilwoman are solid and we all agree would benefit the shelter.
  6.  They wanted to reduce the stay to 6 months, but we have always been told that the length of stay for the majority of the residents is around 60 days.  This is confusing.
  7.  They still have not fixed the problem with men hanging out around the building.  One problem is that there is a bus stop right outside, which makes it difficult to control traffic.
  8.  We agree that there should be an overflow shelter for women and the West Side Catholic proposal would have involved Metanoia opening that facility.
  9. "Beds should be rotated" was a good suggestion especially for those with a disability who are new to the shelter.   I am sure that women would give up their beds to a disabled or elderly woman.
  10.   Grouping like minded individuals into a community is another good suggestion, and we hope that this is the one improvement that LMM will bring to the shelter.
  11. Rule changes should happen by January 2017.  Nope, still waiting for resident input on rule changes. 
  12. Eight months and still waiting for the County or Frontline to engage the community on rule changes. 

by Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.