Find Help

Follow us on Twitter
SocksPlus Donations
Donate to NEOCH

   Donate Now

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

Entries in homeless youth (12)

Tuesday
Jul212015

WCPN Looks At Homeless Youth in Cleveland

A nice portrait (not of any of the guests on WCPN) by David HaganFrom The Sound of Ideas episode on July 9th, 2015 with Mike McIntyre, Tasha Jones, Gary Stanger, Robert L. Fischer, Kate Lodge, and Angela D’Orazio

A link to the story http://www.ideastream.org/programs/sound-of-ideas/plan-young-adults-aging-out-foster-care

Recently, on WCPN’s The Sound of Ideas, a discussion was hosted on aging out of foster care and youth homelessness. Mike McIntyre hosted five members of the community related to poverty and homelessness, including a homeless youth by the name of Tasha Jones, Gary Stanger of Jim Casey Youth Opportunities, Robert L. Fischer of CWRU, Kate Lodge of A Place 4 Me Initiative, and Angela D’Orazio of the Sisters of Charity Foundation. 

Tasha was a foster child, who aged out of the foster care system, and at graduation she found herself homeless with nowhere to go.  Sadly, this is the story for many young people locally. Every year 120 teens age out of foster care in the area, and CWRU’s studies show that these youth are five times more likely to be homeless.  Tasha found herself staying at family member’s house, and then living in bus shelters.  Though Tasha points out that homelessness is technically defined as being registered under a shelter or on the streets, but does not count those who stay with friends in basements or on couches.  Eventually, Tasha found herself at a woman’s shelter in Cleveland, but was not there often due to being in school at the Cuyahoga County Community College.  After a month at the shelter, Tasha was lucky enough to meet Kate Lodge and received a place at a transitional housing unit.

Tasha talked about her difficulty getting food while staying at the Women's Shelter with her Tri-C class schedule.  "I wasn't eating, I did not eat for almost two months,"  according to Tasha.  She could not get the shelter staff to save her a dinner because she got back in the evening and she was in class during lunch.  Breakfast was too late and dinner was too early for Tasha to be able to get food at the shelter. She suggested that the shelters need to work with the people on their specific issues and not force people to work around the shelter's schedule.  She was taking classes so she did not have money to buy food, and she was starving all the time. Thanks to the people at the Tri-C foodbank for intervening and figuring out that Tasha was not getting enough food. 

Despite Tasha having a hard time, Gary Stanger mentions how many youth are not even as lucky as Tasha to meet the right people to get into programs. He also notes that the technical definition of homelessness does not really count the numerous youth that are going from place to place. He goes on to state, “when they [young people] show up to the shelter that means that they ran out of friends.” 

When asked about increased funding, D’Orazio notes that funders are focusing on coordination between groups to see how their results turn out.  With continued planning, a strategy has developed among many agencies and there is an important need to show those funding programs where they fit in the strategy. 

Fischer studies poverty and in his research has found that among the homeless youth only those unaccompanied by a guardian are counted.  So, in actuality, the number is much higher.  Also, the numbers show that, in the area, 95% of unaccompanied youth are 18-24 and 85% are African-American.  The average homeless youth is 20 years-old and 81% of the unemployed homeless youth are actively search for a job.  As for LGBTQ youth, the numbers are staggering.  Fischer mentions that about one third of homeless youth are lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender, or queer.

Later, the discussion shifts to transitional housing and permanent supportive housing.  Kate Lodge makes the argument that, though funding is shifting from transitional to supportive, transitional housing is pivotal for the youth.  She goes on to mention the importance of living in a college dorm for many youth and how that shapes them for the future.  To Lodge, transitional housing helps to provide a similar effect for homeless youth, while also providing a safe place to live.  

by Dan the intern

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Friday
Jun052015

News Updates on Criminalization, Youth and Other Homeless Stories

by Dan the Intern

Homelessness, Government, and Politics

Homeless Youth

Miscellaneous

Opinions are those who sign the entry.

Wednesday
May202015

Weekly Update on Homeless Stories in the News



Here are a few interesting news stories about homelessness from the last week.  Click on the blue text to view the source article.

by Dan the Intern

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Wednesday
May062015

Project ACT/City Music Conference and Concert

Our friends over at the Cleveland Metropolitan School District Project ACT are hosting an event over at the Masonic Temple.  This will be a conference and concert around the issue of homeless youth in our community.  Project ACT is one of the leading school programs in the country in serving kids who become homeless during the school year.  They rapidly respond to make sure that their school term is not interrupted.  They work with the community to provide transportation and additional tutoring to the 3,900 kids who become homeless.  We have the contacts for every school district in Cuyahoga County here if you need additional help.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Tuesday
Feb032015

COHHIO Gives Summary of Ohio Budget

February 2, 2015

MEMO TO HOUSING ADVOCATES
FROM: Bill Faith, Executive Director, COHHIO
RE: Biennium Budget Bill Housing Provisions

Today, the Kasich Administration released its budget proposal for the next two years. Over the coming days and weeks, there will be lots of details to uncover but we want to highlight a few issues related to housing and homelessness where we know the administration is taking some action.

1.) The Ohio Housing Trust Fund - The OHTF will continue to receive the $50 million in each of the next two years, but an additional helpful step is the formation of a reserve fund to help stabilize year-to-year funding fluctuations. Since 2003, the OHTF has been supported by a fee tied to recording of documents at the county level up to a maximum of $50 million per year. The budget proposal amends the OHTF statute to create a $15 million reserve amount to be used to fill the gap in years when the $50 million level is not reached.

2.) Homeless Youth Employment Assistance - Historically, funds available through WIA (Workforce Invest Act) -- now WIOA (Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act) -- have not worked well in many communities assisting homeless people or other vulnerable populations, such as transition aged youth. WIOA funds are now being shifted to focus on disconnected youth (including homeless youth) ages 16 to 24. Additionally, the Administration has committed to focus more job opportunities and supports to homeless youth, with a portion of the governor’s discretionary WIOA funds helping homeless youth gain employment as they stabilize their housing.

3.) Continued Health Care Coverage – Everyone remembers the battle two years ago to extend health care coverage for more low-wage workers and vulnerable people left out of the Medicaid program. The Governor’s budget provides for the ongoing funding and coverage necessary to support this critically important health care coverage.

4.) Supportive Housing and Medicaid -- The Administration has signaled that it supports, through changes in the state Medicaid plan, an expanded package of supportive services which will allow housing and service organizations to help people who experience chronic homelessness remain in stable housing.

5.) Other Housing Resources in Budget Plan

a.) The budget plan includes $5m to expand the recovery housing capacity over the next two years. This continues and expands on the $10 million provided last year in the mid-biennial review.

b.) Initiates a pilot program for a subsidy to housing providers that support low-income people with disabilities at $1 million a year through a partnership with the Department of Medicaid the Ohio Housing Finance Agency.

c.) Sustain funding for Residential State Supplement program at $15M annually while MHAS works to improve the quality of the RSS housing.

6.) In addition to the budget points mentioned above, the administration will leverage the following additional resources it has received or is expected to receive in the near future:

a.) Ohio will begin preparing for the receipt of National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) dollars, expected to be approximately $10 million a year. The Kasich Administration announced February 2nd that the Ohio Development Services Agency will administer the NHTF and OHFA will develop the allocation plan and allocate program funds. The NHTF will provide revenue to build, preserve, and rehabilitate housing for people who are extremely low income.

b.) A $3.6M Cooperative Agreement to Benefit Homeless Individuals (CABHI) grant was awarded to OMHAS to provide programming and services for individuals who are chronically homeless. The funds will be used to leverage PATH to reach 820 people over the next three years in 5 Ohio cities.

c.) Finally, Ohio is expected to receive news in early 2015 of being awarded almost $12 million in HUD Section 811 grant that will allow OHFA and Medicaid to develop and subsidize over 500 units of rental housing with supportive services for low-income adults with a disability. This resource will work with existing units to create long-term housing success.

To learn more about how these and other budget measures will impact housing across the state, consider attending the COHHIO conference April 13-15.

All the best, and thanks for your support.

Bill Faith, Executive Director
COHHIO