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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

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A Way Home for Homeless Youth in America

We are excited to share with you today's announcement that Cleveland/Cuyahoga County has been selected as one of three communities across the country to launch a 100-Day Challenge to end youth homelessness. The announcement was made by A Way Home America, a national initiative to build momentum toward preventing and ending homelessness among young people.

100-Day Challenges in Cuyahoga County, Austin and Los Angeles will foster ambitious and innovative approaches to support youth facing homelessness. Each community will be supported in the journey by the Rapid Results Institute, a non-profit organization that works with government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and communities to rapidly innovate and test new approaches.

The Cuyahoga County 100-Day Challenge will be led and facilitated by A Place 4 Me - an initiative that works to ensure every young person in our community has a safe and stable place to call home. The challenge will build on our community's coordinated strategic plan to prevent and end youth homelessness and will focus on developing and implementing partnerships to support the housing stability of youth transitioning from the foster care system.

As a key community stakeholder, here's what we want you to know:

  • A 10 to 12 member community team will be assembled to set an ambitious 100 Day goal to be pursued through intensive collaboration and innovation, with technical assistance by the Rapid Results Institute.
  • The 100-Day Challenge will kick off at a Launch Workshop in Austin on September 7th and 8th.
  • The first day of the 100-Day Challenge will be September 9th.
  • You can expect regular - at least monthly - updates on the progress of the 100-Day Challenge and opportunities for your participation.
  • Learning from each community to inform national dialogue and policy to end youth homelessness is a critical component of the 100-Day Challenge. If you are interested, you can sign up to follow the three communities' 100-Day journeys at
  • There will be a mid-point review at around Day 50 of the journey.
  • The 100-Day Challenge will wrap up in mid-December with a sustainability review.
  • Our community will celebrate our successes and lessons learned at a stakeholder convening on youth homelessness in January 2017.

We look forward to learning alongside our colleagues in Austin and Los Angeles and with each of you to demonstrate promising approaches to preventing and ending youth homelessness. Most especially, we are grateful for your partnership as we work toward our shared vision of a community where all young people have a safe and stable place to call home.

Please be in touch with your thoughts and feedback:

Kate Lodge, project director, A Place for Me at the YWCA

Angela D'Orazio, program officer, Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

About A Place 4 Me (Cleveland/Cuyahoga County)

A Place 4 Me is a cross-sector initiative that harnesses the strengths and resources of its partners to prevent and end homelessness among young adults age 15 to 24 in Cleveland/Cuyahoga County. A Place 4 Me is a collaboration of the YWCA Greater Cleveland; Cuyahoga County Department of Health and Human Services, including the Division of Children and Family Services and the Office of Homeless Services; FrontLine Service; the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative of the Annie E. Casey Foundation; and the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland.

From Press Announcement issued by the Sisters of Charity Foundation


Community Organizer Reflects on March to End Poverty

March to End Poverty

Held in Cleveland on July 18, 2016

 In the words of the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, “a change is gonna come!'  America has a long history of economic and social injustice.  We’ve come a long way as a people by overcoming substantial hardships, but we have a long way to go.  The struggles of the past made the changes that have been made to this day possible.

 Today, we have a broader view of what is going on around us and better tools at our disposal in terms of technology.  Everything that was put in place in the past is to help us to move forward, yet we seem to be going backwards.  Why is that?  Because we need the government to work with us as citizens, not working against us and destroying everything that was put in place.  An example is not funding vital programs such as women's shelter or renovating abandoned buildings in Cleveland.  We do know, one way or another, a change is going to come!  We would like for it to be a positive one, and not a fight against a government that is supposed to protect.  We want to put forward solutions that are in the best interest of our nation as a whole and not one group over the others.

The Call for a March to End Poverty was in response to Cleveland hosting the Republican National Convention (RNC) for four days.  It addressed a lot of the problems that we still need to overcome as a nation. The first one being the fact that “Northeast Ohio is one of the most segregated regions in the country, while its largest city, Cleveland, is one of the poorest.” Cleveland won the bid to host a celebration, according to organizers on the End Poverty website, “for a political party that has distinguished itself over the past generation by rolling back the gains of the Civil Rights and anti-poverty movements, and has done everything in its power to de-fund and disempower residents of Cleveland."  A lot of the residents that I spoke to in Cleveland were very upset about the convention being hosted here because they feel the money could have been put to better use by spending it to address the poverty and hunger issues in Cleveland.  Many wanted that money to go to address homelessness in Cleveland.  I agree and think that there should have been some long standing outcomes from the RNC like a new shelter or new affordable housing built that would improve the City after the delegates go home.  Many I talked to feel that all the abandoned buildings in the city could have been renovated and the numerous potholes could have been filled in so that we are left with something we can use.  All in all, they feel that money could have been used to address the problems we have in the city at the same time we are raising millions of dollars to host a party.

Organize Ohio! is the organization that enforced the call to End Poverty Now! with a march on the east side of Cleveland.  The priority issues that they feel need to be reformed to help to alleviate poverty are:

  • human rights,
  • economic justice,
  • racial justice,
  • criminal justice
  • and immigrant rights.

Some of the key issues for the march were: “a minimum wage that is a living wage, equal pay for equal work, the right to water for all, the right to affordable and decent, safe housing for all, universal health care that is affordable for all, and an end to mass incarceration of minorities and the poor." These are just a few, but I should also add one of the other key issues they said must be addressed “voting in the United States that is free, fair, and accessible for all Americans. I agree with all of these and that is the reason I marched.

They also acknowledged that “Cleveland is the city that launched the Welfare Rights Movement” and the United States has ignored “Articles 23, 25, and 26 of the United Nation’s Declaration of Human Rights signed in 1948” which endorses “the right to food, housing, healthcare, education, and living wage jobs”.  The fact that there is a 37% poverty rate and 53% of its children in poverty” proves that these endorsements are not being met.  It also states that “our country has turned its back on the economic human rights that the country committed to uphold”.  It seemed strange since the Republican Party is not really that popular in a city dominated by Democrats. 

In my opinion and many on the organizing committee believed that the March was an attempt to push back against those who believe that the US laws are being used to increase the wealth of a few and holding back the rest of us.  There are many being pushed into poverty and income insecurity because of the fundamental injustice of wealth creation, debt associated with higher education, racism, and the criminal justice system.   So, having the RNC in Cleveland was insulting to a lot of the residents that don’t have access to these rights or being denied these rights.  The March to End Poverty was to address the issues and an attempt to get people to pay attention to poverty and homelessness.

On July 18, 2016, the first day of the RNC, approximately 2,000 activist met at a preplanned rally and marched from East 45th and Superior Ave. to East 12th and Chester Avenue where there was a second rally.  The group was trying to call for a change in our society and shout to the media, other Clevelanders, and the Republican delegates that: “No more complicity with the crime of poverty!  No more building your political career on the backs of the poor!  No more silence from those you have stepped on!  We demand to end poverty now!”

*The quoted material is from the Call for a March to End Poverty documents posted on the front of the website.

by Ramona Turnbull

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry


News Media About Homelessness and RNC

Three articles in Huffington Post and two from the Stranger in Seattle over the last week.  We got a nice piece on WEWS Channel 5 and one in Scene Magazine regarding the RNC and homelessness.

The Stranger Alternative Paper in Seattle

Interviews with Homeless People and West Side Catholic:

Panhandling article:

Local News Channel 5 ABC Affiliate:

Drop in Center Closed:

Huffington Post National News Outlet:

Visiting the Campsites:

Homeless Interactions with Police:

Visting Laura's Home:

Cleveland Local Alternative Paper Scene Magazine:

Intake Tightened to Get to Shelter:

KMRG Local Television station from Tulsa OK

Esquire National Magazine:

Homeless mentioned in the security plan:

Here is another story from FastCompany that we missed in the lead up to the RNC

America Magazine (National Catholic Magazine)

St. Malachi Food Window:

by Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.


Assessment of the RNC for Cleveland

I can't believe that the RNC went so well for Cleveland and homeless people.  It started out last week when there were people, strangers and out-of-towners, showing up looking for help at the Coordinated Intake for shelter and there was a contingent down in the Flats looking to pitch a tent.  This was worrisome and there was concern that we were going to be flooded with additional homeless people looking for a place to sleep.  The only other city to have guaranteed access to shelter and host a convention was New York City and there is not a lot we can learn from a city with 50,000 people sleeping in shelter every night (Cleveland has 1,800 in shelter every night). 

We were ready and the social service providers really pulled together to make this work and not face disruption.  We tried to find an alternative place for the daytime on the East Side of Cleveland in order to replace the Cosgrove Center.  This did not work, but HandsOn NEO and the Foodbank really stepped up to provide bagged lunches everyday for those staying outside in Cleveland.  Thanks to Catholic Charities for helping with the lunches.  It was helpful to have the shelters open 24/7 so people did not get caught up in the demonstrations or had to interact with the 2,800 police from out of town. 

The Coordinated Intake stepped up to screen people and find alternatives for those who were not really homeless and not from Cleveland.  The outreach team stepped up to provide transportation to the West Side and they regularly talked to those staying outside to make sure they were safe.  We also must thank all the services on the West Side who extended their hours including West Side Catholic, St. Herman's, St. Pauls and St Malachi.  A special thanks to Metanoia for opening in the summer and serving 60 people per night.  They really helped to keep people safe, and were critical to keeping down problems with overflow.  Metanoia being open was critical to our successful management of the homeless situation in a caring and dignified manner during this major event.

Roger from the Cleveland Foodbank

We did not forcibly displace anyone in Cleveland.  We started this last month with the City forgetting to include homeless people in the plans.  NEOCH went to court with the help of the ACLU to correct this oversight.  The Police and all the law enforcement were very helpful and treated homeless people as they treated other residents.  They visited many of the encampments to warn them about "outside agitators."  Once the convention started, I did not hear any complaints or concerns about interactions with law enforcement.  I did not get any calls from shelter providers, outreach workers or homeless people. 

It was all amazingly smooth.  The demonstrations were peaceful and extremely hot.  Organize Ohio did a great job with the March to End Poverty and we have two reflections on our blog about the walk from Ramona and Megan.  Public Square was packed full of strange people and delegates who had very little in common with Clevelanders.  There were older hippies, religious zealots, law enforcement, media and average Cleveland amazed by all the guests visiting our city.  All of these diverse groups were interacting in peace and without the anger we saw on the convention floor.  It was a good week for Cleveland, but we all have to admit we are glad it is over.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry