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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 (25)


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.


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

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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.


Bridge Support Archive Posted

We have added a newsletter tailored to those who go outside to serve homeless people.  This newsletter called Bridge Support will be delivered weekly to those who go outside to serve the population, and we have added a section to our outreach section of our website.  This is a weekly update to those working with homeless people.  It has upcoming events and program updates.   This is part of the expansion of our outreach effort funded by the Community West Foundation.  The Bridge Support weekly update has resources available to homeless people and new or expanded programs. It gives information to those who are building trusting relationships with homeless people. 

To sign up just send NEOCH and e-mail and we will put you on the list or you can go to the Bridge Support archive to read the updates. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.


Training for those Who Minister to Homeless People

If you belong to a church that goes out to feed homeless people or a student group that goes to the streets of Cleveland to help those sleeping rough, we have a training opportunity for you.  We have a group of experienced outreach workers who will provide resource information and answer questions based on their years of service.  They will talk about ethical issues and the philosophy of serving those outside. 

It is tough to build a trusting relationship with those who have nearly given up on society.  Many have faced tough times and have seen the system fail for them.  Others have made huge errors in judgement that they are not willing to admit.  There are those who have trauma or mental health issues that leave them nearly paralyzed with depression or fear.  There so many reasons that lead people to the streets, and it takes a special person to work with these individuals. 

We will have a discussion of resources that are available and talk about problems facing the population.  There will be pizza available so we need those who attend to RSVP for the training session.  Any group that goes out to the streets of Cleveland are welcome to attend. The training is May 8 at 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at NEOCH.  Call 216/432-0540 to reserve your space.

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.