By A. Forbes
Edwardo Loriano was born in New York, raised in Chicago and came to Cleveland in 1986 with his mother and two sisters. Throughout his life he has been in 11 foster homes, 3 group homes, and 4 penitentiaries. The foster homes were all right but he didn’t like being away from his family. He lived in foster home in Toledo, Bowling green, West Virginia, and Kentucky.
The Phoenix Society of Cleveland was instrumental in helping him secure his housing by referring him to the Shelter Plus Care program. The Phoenix Society helped him compose a letter to reinforce his situation and the fact that he was a recovering addict, who was in receipt of Social Security benefits by not had secured housing. They saw that the potential for success was there, and the obstacles that were keeping him out of housing. He was being turned down continually because of policies from different housing agencies and landlords regarding felony convictions. This policy is very different since many individuals who are homeless, or who have mental health issue, or are living with AIDS have criminal records and therefore are automatically ineligible to apply for housing.
He sent Agency Staff and Shelter Plus another letter verifying that he was living in the area shelters, and proof on his Social Security award letter. He then sent all documents into the program on the 21st of December and was accepted on the 5th of February. He pays 30 percent of his income toward his rent and Shelter Plus pays an additional 70 percent.
Copyright for the Homeless Grapevine July 1999 Issue 36 Cleveland Ohio.