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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.

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Entries in outreach (39)


Socks Plus Campaign Begins at Stand Down

In 2014, staff from the Community West Foundation toured some of the encampments around Cleveland and sat down to talk to those who live outside.  Nearly every one they talked to said that they needed warm socks and boots.  The outreach workers also agree that boots and socks are in short supply for most of the year.  Health care clinics are regularly dealing with foot issues because of all the walking done by homeless people.  The Community West Foundation staff caucused and decided to focus some funding on what they are calling the "Socks Plus" campaign to raise support for socks and boots for homeless people who spend a great deal of time outdoors. 

NEOCH is gathering quality socks and boots along with other winter items to distribute to as many people as possible over the next few weeks.  Community West staff, Peter Schindler, attended the homeless Stand Down and then came to the Metanoia Project to see the first distribution of the Socks Plus campaign.  NEOCH outreach worker, Denise Toth, gave away thermal winter socks and thermal hoodies on Saturday evening to everyone at the Metanoia Project.  We are gathering backpacks now that the Stand Down is over to give out to homeless people who are reluctant to go to shelter.  These backpacks will be full of thermal tops, handwarmers, gloves, boots and the thermal socks.   We will continue the distribution through the spring and may add rain ponchos or other items to keep people dry. 

The Second District Police also gave away items this weekend that they collected including new underwear and new socks at Metanoia.  We want to keep people warm and dry this winter. We do not want to see people losing limbs or dying because of the cold in Cleveland.  Our primary goal while working with homeless people is to keep them safe.  The most dangerous time for hypothermia is the spring when it is hard to keep dry.  The lower temperatures and the rain is a killer for homeless people. Thanks to the Community West staff and all those who donate to the Socks Plus campaign. We will keep the community updated about the distribution of these critical items as part of the Socks Plus campaign.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry


The Importance of Outreach 3

We have another outreach video from Mike Grogan of St. Ignatius Labre.  These are students who go out every weekend to help those resistant to shelter in Cleveland.  Mike does a good job capturing the importance of outreach.


Importance of Outreach 2

Jim Schlecht of Care Alliance has dedicated his life to homeless people.  He works outside building trusting relationships.  We honored him in 2013.  Here is the photo gallery from that celebration.  This is a longer interview than the previous interview with Denise.  Jim is one of the best to give his thoughts on the importance of outreach.  While the federal government does not put much funding into outreach, we believe that it is an invaluable service in Cleveland.

It is hard to measure the success of outreach, but spending some time with people with a mental illness or PTSD victims is important.  Helping people overcome their disabilities to get into housing is extremely rewarding.  Jim gives some real world examples of how outreach changes lives.  Let us know what you think here or leave a comment below.


The Importance of Outreach

Denise Toth is our current Outreach Trainee.  She has learned a great deal over the last two months in working to find housing for those living outside.  She is learning about all the services available and trying to encourage people to come inside.  Denise is building a trusting relationship with those outside everyday in Cleveland. We are hosting a series of videos with outreach workers to demonstrate how important this service is to Cuyahoga County.

NEOCH is trying to show the value of outreach services in our community.  The federal government has been reducing its commitment to supportive services, but we want to show how important is to keep in touch with people discouraged from "the system."  We want to try to reach people who choose not to go to shelter and are struggling to make it through the winter.  We are out on the streets helping to keep people alive, but also to not waste their talents living outside.  This program is funded by the Community West Foundation.

Brian Davis


I Am Thankful for...

Jim Schlecht of Care Alliance...for being non judgemental in helping people who have made poor choices or are struggling with demons. 

Tyrone H now of Care Alliance...for quickly learning the ins and outs of providing help to the shelter resistent and getting a full time job to work with people struggling with housing issues.

Denise (her picture is on the front of our website now) our latest hire for the training position...for being so compassionate to the people in her care.  For learning how to move from offering comfort to offering a hand up. 

Metanoia...for offering a safe warm place inside on the coldest nights of the year and for helping the most vulnerable in our society. 91 people found help on this last Sunday.

Cosgrove Center...for helping keep people, families and children fed on cold days and for being willing to become the host for the Central Intake site.

Transitional Housing programs...for working to move people into stability during their own time.  Some people cannot be housed quickly.  They need time to get their life together.  They need time to get a skill that will lead to a job or get clean or get medical help for their past trauma.   Transitional shelters have a role in our society and should not be shuttered as HUD and Cuyahoga County are pushing. 

Putting families into housing...I am thankful for Habitat for Humanity and the City Mission program to place families with children directly into houses.  It is always amazing to see a child's face light up when they go into a new place to live.  When they have overcome so much living in a shelter and then realize they have a safe place to live is the best part of this job. 

First Call for Help/211...It is often overlooked, but having a phone number to call 2-1-1- or 436-2000 is an essential service that should be more valued by all the social service community.   Since no agency (except NEOCH) has humans answer the phones anymore, we should give more praise to this amazing service of answering the phone 24 hours a day.   The people over at United Way really care and know more than anyone what is really going on in the community.  They knew first that family homelessness was on the rise and that suburban hunger was getting out of control.  I am so thankful for First Call for Help. is one of only 2 communities in Ohio that helps low income people find housing without having to go through a case worker.  We have 800 units available today on the site and a database of 32,000 units.   It is a free service for both landlords (4,500 landlords use the service) and homeless people looking for housing.  It is an affordable service that 33 states have adopted. 

Toni Johnson...A veterans affairs employee who knows everything about homelessness.  She is out in the community keeping her ear to the ground about resources for her clients.  You will see her on the East Side and in East Cleveland.  She has contacts for children and 80 year old veterans.   We are so glad she is working to serve homeless people. 

The ID Collaborative...It took a hit this year with funding running out, but it is an amazing program.  It is a model for the United States and serves hundreds of people every year.  This should be considered an essential service funded before other programs.  It is amazing how one small piece of paper (birth certificate) or a card (State ID) can stop a person's life.   Without ID you can't vote, get into housing, get a job or get preventative health care.  We need the ID Collaborative to be healthy and fully funded. 

What are your ideas for what you are thankful for in the homeless community?  Submit in the comments section or in the discussion section of the website.  We will post other ideas on our blog.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.