For a one page summary of the organization go here...
Advocacy Alerts: NEOCH regularly comments on local state and national policy. We partner with the Ohio Coalition of Homeless Advocates and COHHIO on state advocacy. Staff have a board position on the National Coalition for the Homeless Board and chairs the National Civil Rights Organizing Committee. NEOCH has regular advocacy and comments on public policy on our blog, and we communicate regularly with our members. NEOCH convenes a Homeless Congress every month, which is a representative body for those experiencing homelessness to work on problems that impact all those experiencing homelessness. Our advocacy has its own page on the website here. In addition, in the member section of this website there is an advocacy newsletter and a blog just for members. If you sign up to be a member with a donation, you will gain access to the member section.
The Cleveland Homeless Legal Assistance Program (CHLAP) is a joint project between NEOCH and the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association. The program is designed to provide legal assistance to those without housing or those in danger of becoming homeless. There are clinics throughout the community with a schedule here. A volunteer attorney can answer legal questions or can refer a case to a pro bono attorney with the Bar Association. We also coordinate a pro se divorce clinic in cooperation with Cleveland Legal Aid.
The Cleveland Street Chronicle newspaper is a project of NEOCH and was previously known as the Homeless Grapevine newspaper. This publication is distributed and promoted by homeless people. Vendors can buy newspapers at 35 cents per copy. NEOCH believes homeless people are too often excluded from expressing their views and concerns on matters that will personally and directly affect their lives. All articles in The Cleveland Street Chronicle are about homelessness and homeless and formerly homeless people write many. The articles are not intended to reflect the views of NEOCH, the NEOCH Board of Directors or our member agencies, but to help homeless people and advocates express their opinions. We also have an archive of the Homeless Grapevine and the Street Chronicle here.
The Homeless Outreach Collaborative: If you are having problems with homeless people, then there are agencies that can assist you. These agencies include Care Alliance, Veterans Administration, Mental Health Services, Salvation Army, 2100 Lakeside Avenue Shelter, and NEOCH. For social service assistance, please call 216-432-0540. Here is a flyer that you can use to distribute Outreach flyer and the Street Outreach has its own page here. We do a fund raiser every year called the Hand Up Gala to support our outreach efforts, here is a photo display on the 2011 Hand Up Gala. We have posted a photo display for the 2010 Hand Up Gala event at the Bishop Cosgrove Center.
In addition, we host a monthly meeting called the Cuyahoga Affordable Housing Alliance meeting to preserve and protect affordable housing. For more information on CAHA go here.
The Homeless Congress is a monthly meeting with representatives of all the shelters in Cleveland. The Homeless Congress is organized by the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) and residents of Cleveland’s homeless shelters and those resistant to shelters. It is a way for a diverse group of homeless people to come together, share ideas, make connections and push for changes. The Congress works toward the creation of shelter standards. In the past, reps had problems with their shelters and discovered that there are no basic operational standards for homeless shelters in our city. In response, the Congress created its own shelter standards and are planning to get the legislation passed by the City. The Congress has also enabled its members to Meet with State, County and City officials. Representatives from the Mayor’s office, Cleveland City Council members, County Council, representatives from the County Office of Homeless Services, the media, and State Representatives and State Senators have joined our meetings to listen to the concerns and respond. Finally, the group appointments to various community boards representatives were appointed to two County advisory boards, and the Coalition for the Homeless Board. We have a page on the Homeless Congress here. We also have a page on the successes of the Congress.
This is not a venue for filing grievances about a specific shelter, but you can file a grievance directly on our website here.
The Homeless Stand Down
The Homeless Stand Down is an annual event providing hot meals, respite, and access to services that help to break the cycle of homelessness and encourage hope, vision, and health. A wide range of services are offered at the Stand Down, including hair cuts, medical, dental, and eye examinations, job-readiness training, alcohol and drug services, and legal assistance. The 2012 Homeless Stand Down is being organized by Hands On Northeast Ohio.
HousingCleveland.org is an affordable housing website co-administered by NEOCH and 211/First Call for Help. The website began in 2005 as Cleveland was relocating Katrina disaster victims, and is overseen locally by eleven non-profits and government organizations. The site is operated by Socialserve.com, a national non-profit that, designed and maintains sites in over 30 states. All the properties on the site are regularly contacted to assure that they are still available, and socialserve administers a call center for those with questions or concerns. The goal is to expand the website statewide in the next few years.
The Movable Wall is a collage of pictures, statistics, and quotes designed to depict the true experience of homelessness and to inspire action to end this problem. Individuals who experienced homelessness and were trained in a professionally instructed photography class offered by NEOCH took the pictures.
Paired with NEOCH's Street Voices, a program in which homeless or post-homeless individuals share their stories, the Movable Wall makes a great contribution to any social justice awareness event. Your church or organization could help the homeless by hosting the Movable Wall at one of your events. We would be happy to provide a Street Voices speaker and brochures relating to homelessness.
For more information regarding the Movable Wall or Street Voices, or to schedule a Movable Wall exhibition, please contact NEOCH at 216-432-0540.
Policy and Research
The Coalition is in regular contact with homeless people and with their input we formulate policy responses to the problems faced by homeless people. To view our policy objectives go here.
The Street Card is a NEOCH publication. The Street Card is updated yearly and contains information that helps a homeless person find access to services in Cuyahoga County. If you would like copies of the Street Card, visit our Street Card page or call NEOCH at 216-432-0540.
The Street Voices Speakers’ Bureau is composed of several well-trained homeless and formerly homeless speakers who want to share their stories with your audience. With each unique tale, these individuals strive to expose the community to the real faces of homelessness and inspire all people to serve and get involved in their communities. Street Voices has its own page on the website here. To arrange for a speaker, call 216-432-0540.
Part of NEOCH’s mission is to educate the public about homelessness. NEOCH will spend about three hours touring several key facilities that provide services and talk about the gaps, the successes, and the solutions to the growing homelessness problem. We have experts on hand to answer questions and talk about future strains on the governmental system. NEOCH will provide the transportation and some light refreshments as we conduct these Teach-In programs.
NEOCH requires the time and skills of volunteers to help implement programs and achieve its mission. NEOCH has many opportunities for volunteers. To learn more about our volunteer opportunities, please visit our online Volunteer Registration Form or call at 216-432-0543.
NEOCH has been involved in registering homeless people to vote since 1987. NEOCH settled a lawsuit with the state of Ohio in 2010 and continue to monitor access to the ballot box by those who are experiencing homelessness. NEOCH partners with the Office of Homeless Services to assist shelters implement plans to encourage voting within the homeless community. NEOCH has created a special section of our website to educate the public about the rights of homeless people to vote.