By Ellen Kriz
For twenty years, the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless has printed a comprehensive guide to services available right from the street to homeless people. NEOCH’s Cuyahoga County Street Card has provided an invaluable service to Cleveland’s homeless community for two decades and has been replicated in cities across the United States. This pocket-sized guide to social services in the Cleveland area is easily accessible and comprehensive. It provides up-to-date information about shelters, health clinics, job training agencies, meal sites, addiction centers, and more. An individual who is homeless or in danger of becoming homeless can utilize any of these resources directly from the streets, and the Street Card even lists bus routes to any of the sites.
NEOCH distributes up to 10,000 of these handy cards to libraries, police stations, schools, as well as the meal sites, and encourages people and organizations to make as many copies as they can for distribution. NEOCH would like to thank the Cleveland Clinic for generously printing the Street Card this year and allowing us to continue this important service. Without the dedication of community partners like the Cleveland Clinic, NEOCH’s efforts to connect the homeless directly to vital resources would not be possible.
Distributors can hand out the Street Card in the suburbs, food pantries, neighborhood centers, and even pass them to panhandlers in lieu of money. NEOCH also publishes specialized versions of the card for veterans families struggling with housing. If you need a Street Card or would like to pass some out, you can download it at http://www.neoch.org. There is a quick link right on the front page of the website.
Copyright NEOCH October 2012 Cleveland, Ohio