Local News Updates Around Homelessness and Housing

By Brian Davis

Central Intake Moves into their Own Offices

In February, the Central Intake site moved from the shelters to the Bishop Cosgrove Center on the second floor.  This means that everyone seeking shelter in Cuyahoga County goes to one place to complete an application for help.  This is extremely helpful for those who are unwilling to go into a shelter to seek help because all homeless assistance goes through Coordinated Intake.  They are on the second floor of 1736 Superior and are open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. everyday.

NEOCH and the Housing Center Offer Training

NEOCH has organized trainings to teach housing caseworkers about affordable housing in partnership with the Housing Center.   They have featured 45 people at a time and the next training is in October 2015.  The trainings feature the Veterans Affairs Department, Frontline Services and the Cleveland Housing Court and have become popular.  The hope is to get people more familiar with the affordable housing landscape, fair housing laws, the Housing Cleveland website, and the eviction process in Cleveland. 

Cleveland Shelter Remain Calm After Not Guilty Verdict

The 60 plus officer chase of Malissa Williams and Timothy Russell began in front of 2100 Lakeside Shelter and ended in a hail of 137 bullets in an East Cleveland elementary school.  After the not guilty verdict in the one officer charged with a felony involved in this case, there were no issues at the Cleveland shelters.  Both Williams and Russell were homeless, and Williams was well known throughout the homeless community.  NEOCH will offer time on the agenda at an upcoming Homeless Congress to Police officials now that the court cases are winding down to explain all that went wrong with this case. 

Cleveland Approaches Functional Zero for Veterans

Frontline Services, Volunteers of America, and the Department of Veterans Affairs are close to declaring “functional zero” number of homeless veterans in Cuyahoga County.  We anticipate an announcement in the near future that Cleveland has effectively solved homelessness among veterans.  The County has seen only a small number of veterans living outside (2 in May 2015) and everyone in shelter has a plan to move into housing in the near future.  There are vacant beds in the veteran only shelters and there are resources available to get veterans into housing.   This shows that with political will and resources, government can accomplish anything in the United States.

Homeless Congress Focuses on Problems at the Women’s Shelter

County Councilwoman Yvonne Conwell attended the May 2015 Homeless Congress and heard an earful about the conditions with the shelters.  Conwell is a previous staff person of Care Alliance and had actually worked at a previous women’s entry shelter.  She heard about problems with bed rest, grievances, and staff disrespect especially at the Community Women’s shelter called the Norma Herr Center.  She said that she would take the concerns back to the County Council to see if there was interest in legislation or at least improvement in the regulations. 

Cleveland Tough Featured Two from the Homeless Community

WCPN did a series called “Cleveland Tough” which featured people who had overcome adversity and are succeeding.  This program (www.wcpn.ideastream.org/tags/cleveland-tough) featured two individuals working in the homeless community in Greater Cleveland.  One was Metanoia program staff and St. Herman’s chef, Carl Cook who overcame gangs and homeless to get his life back in order.  The other was NEOCH staff member and veteran, Joyce Robinson who left shelter and found housing earlier this year.  Both are now giving back by working to help other homeless people find stability.  Pictured here is Robinson helping to put together items for the Socks Plus Campaign. 

Copyright Cleveland Street Chronical and NEOCH June 2015