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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 (27)

Tuesday
Jul292014

August 7 Teach In

We are planning an event to highlight the amazing work of the outreach teams.  We want to show off the amazing Permanent Supportive Housing Programs in Cleveland and the impact they have on people's lives.  We will hear from a couple of residents and then have the ability to go see where these guys came from by visiting their former campsites. We would welcome that you join us.  We just ask that you RSVP to attend.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Monday
Jul212014

Homeless People Need Supplies in the Summer

It is not just the winter that homeless people need help with donated items.   We have a new outreach consultant, Tyrone, who is out on the street everyday building trusting relationships, but we do not have hygiene kits, blankets or other items to distribute.  We see a big decline in donations during the summer.  There are not the religious groups, schools in sessions, or general public members who think about homelessness in the summer.  In actuality there are more people outside in need of help in July then there are in January when we are flooded with donations.  What do we need in the summer?

  • Tents
  • Bottled water (gallons are good as well)
  • Bus Tickets
  • Hygiene kits (trial size soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, brush, comb, deodorant, plus other personal care items in a bag)
  • Bug spray and sunscreen
  • Back packs or gym bags
  • Rain ponchos

We are open from 9 to 4:30 every day to drop stuff off over near Cleveland State University.  Many Saturdays we are open (call ahead 432-0540).   We can distribute the items to people living outside or in places that are not appropriate for humans, but we need your help collecting the items.  We hope that you can help.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Friday
Jun062014

Hi Friends,

Please send the attached announcement of the Metanoia Spring Pentecost Concert to your circle of friends.  The concert will be on June 8, 2014 at St. Colman's Church, 2027 West 65th Street, Cleveland, OH, from 2 to 4 PM. Free-will offering. 

Metanoia had budget-busting winter:  107 days and 36 unscheduled critical temperatures nights.  Now it is time to celebrate the Spirit and give thanks for the opportunity to serve. 

Please contact me or Jim Schlecht if you have any questions. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.

Saturday
May172014

Arsonists Arrested for Starting Fires in Flats

Two men and a woman who were homeless were arrested early this morning in connection with the fires of homeless encampments.  This is unbelievable and terribly sad that three people who are homeless and living out of a tent would set fires to their own tens and those of others.  The police believe that the fires set this last week were intentional in order to get sympathy and three nights that a local charity paid for a motel stay.  Let it never be said that most homeless people want to sleep outside in a tent.  This group was willing to set their own tents on fire and endanger others for three nights in a motel.  They risked going to jail to get a short time off the streets. 

We know that one of the guys was branded for life as a sexually based offender, and so he would have a nearly impossible time finding housing.  Please don't leap to the conclusion that all homeless people are criminals.  Some are fragile mentally, some are criminals and some are just looking for work.  Any collection of over 4,000 people (the number of people homeless in Cleveland on any given night) will have criminals, con artists, and mentally ill people as members of the group.  We can't paint the whole group based on the actions of a few.

Everyone was on edge after two fires this week, and we hope that these arrests put an end to these fires.  We were not sure if these were outsiders coming down to the sites out of hate or was this a personal grudge.  We got out the word to try to keep people safe.  If these three did what the police are alleging, we hope that they are prosecuted.  We know that many valuables and important documents were destroyed in a previous fire.  We know a cat was killed at one of the other encampments.  We know these fires terrorized the individuals living rough in Cleveland.  We know that people were relocating to safer and less visible places.  This make it more difficult to provide services or housing to people who are hiding from the world.  We will work with those outside to rebuild trust and peace of mind.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry

Friday
May092014

Great Evening for Outreach Training

Last night was a first in Cleveland-a discussion between the students and religious folks who go outside and serve homeless people with the "professional" staff hired to serve the population.   We had Jim Schlecht, Toni Johnson, Michael Lawson and Karen McHenry (pictured above in order left to right) who lead the discussion.  This was a chance for Labre students, groups representing various churches and other agencies to get together to talk about the goals and issues associated with serving people who live outside.  The first order of business was to give a standing ovation to Mike from St. Ignatius and St. Augustine for his patience in finding housing for the stroller lady who has been on the streets for much of the last 20 years.  Nuns on the near West Side had found her housing about eight years ago, but she quickly lost the housing.   We hope that she keeps her housing, but it was a huge step to build a trusting relationship with her to convince her to go inside.  

We had around 30 people attend the training/teach in, and that included a couple of representatives from the Homeless Congress who had experience with homelessness. The agenda was to discuss who exactly stays outside with Karen of Bellefaire talking a great deal about young people who we do not always think about when talking about homelessness.  Michael from Frontline did a very good overview of some of the safety issues he reminds his staff about before they go outside.   Jim of Care Alliance talked a lot about "compassionate relationships" for those on the streets.  We discussed putting aside expectations and working with the existing social service provides to "hand people" into the capable hands of others. Toni talked about the resources available to veterans and warned everyone of the resources drying up for women and families.  Of course, the training dealt with ethical issues and boundaries necessary to do some of this work.   Finally, we all contributed some often overlooked resources in the community that might be available to those living outside.  We talked about ways to get people into detox and to use the Youth Hotline that is available 24 hours a day (570-8010). Finally, there was a discussion of the Seasons of Hope safe haven for women. 

NEOCH had a couple of resources available to the group.  We talked about the Street Card and how valuable that could be to homeless people.  NEOCH has also produced a bright green card for those who go outside to use.  This card can be left at a campsite if there is no one home when you stop by.  It has the direct phone numbers to those who are paid to assist homeless people. It gives drop in center locations and times along with meals available downtown.  Finally, we introduced the new outreach trainee funded by the Community West Foundation.  His name is Tyrone H. and he started last week.  This was a chance for all these groups to be introduced to him and he will be shadowing all the outreach teams locally to learn and pass along information.  Tryrone will be a link between the volunteer groups and the professional staff typically out during the day.  We will do a longer look at Tyrone and his job in a follow up post.  We will also have another training in September when many of the students have returned from summer break. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.