A Look Back at 22 Years of the Street Paper and Homelessness in Cleveland

By Tyler Thompson

Twenty two years is a long time to exist in today’s world, especially in the news print world. But we made it.  The paper now call The Cleveland Street Chronicle, formerly The Homeless Grapevine has seen a rise in the numbers of homeless men, women and children across the country. We spoke out against laws that criminalize being homeless in big and small cites that depend on dollars from tourists.  We marched against gentrification of neighborhoods.  In an effort to bring in and keep younger professionals in the neighborhoods while business owners and the public try to hide homeless people by claiming that they are bad for business and harm the city.

We applauded when new programs took risks and develop outside the box approaches to solve homelessness. We also cried foul when they didn’t work or an agency fell short of doing what they claimed they were doing. 

The paper and the Coalition for the Homeless are always and will always be a place where homeless people will have a voice. Our programs have teamed up with professional volunteers to help teach writing and photography to some of our venders.  Many of those future journalists or story tellers started out homeless and overcame those barrier through hard work and encouragement from you. the consumer of this product, and the support of the staff at NEOCH.

The speaker’s bureau at the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) has given our venders a platform to tell their stories across Northeast Ohio and the country. Building in them a confidence and belief in themselves that has strengthened them beyond measure.   

Thank you, and here’s to another 22 years of writing the stories that may never get told without us and to helping people one paper and one person at a time.   

Copyright Cleveland Street Chronical and NEOCH June 2015