This workshop is directed at staff of agencies (social workers, case workers and advocates) working with very low income and homeless populations. The workshop training focuses on all aspects of obtaining and maintaining housing and shelter for their clients. The training includes landlord/tenant and fair housing laws which can help clients maintain housing and take appropriate steps should there be a fair housing complaint or discrimination or inappropriate landlord behavior.Read More
For the remainder of the meeting the YWCA was in charge. Nicole Evans of the YWCA, who as of May 1, 2018, will take over as the Executive Director at the Norma Herr Shelter as the YWCA takes the reign from Frontline
- What can we do to help make your homeless experience be as brief as possible?
- To empower women to receive the institutional services that they are entitled to overcome the homeless experience, trauma, physical abuse, substance abuse, and self-suffering.
- Encourage women to make Informed decisions for themselves
- To increase resources that are available to women in the shelter to establish independence in the community.
Before SocksPlus, it was common to see homeless individuals with bags tied over their tennis shoes to serve as boots. It was normal to find individuals with holes in their shoes and wet socks and feet. It was typical to find people suffering without gloves, hats and warm socks. It was never easy knowing that people were suffering in the cold and you have no hats or gloves or socks to give them to provide some warmth. Before the SocksPlus campaign outreach workers would have to call on churches and put out notices of what was needed for an individual and what sizes was needed and then wait. It could take days or a week to get an individual geared up with warm socks, boots, gloves and a hat. They were definitely hard to come by because there were so many who were sleeping outside and they all needed winter gear once the weather started changingRead More
Homelessness continues to be pervasive problem in Cuyahoga County. Family homelessness is on the rise. The women’s shelter is housing forty more women than they have beds. The men’s shelter is regularly operating an overflow. Your support for this concert would help us improve the conditions in the shelter and house people in our community.
Join Concerts for Good and NEOCH for an afternoon of music performed by classical and jazz musicians from the world-class Oberlin Conservatory of Music to help end homelessness The concert will take place at 4:30pm at Bay Presbyterian Church in Bay Village, Ohio and will bring to light the issue of homelessness in Cuyahoga County. Donations are accepted on Eventbrite as well as at the event. All proceeds will benefit Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless.
Appetizers will be served. All ages are welcome, and parking is available.
For questions or concerns, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you to our Event Sponsors:
1833 Restaurant at The Hotel at Oberlin offers seasonally inspired menus showcasing locally sourced ingredients and regional artisan products. A cool atmosphere, unique beverage selections, and a friendly staff make 1833 Restaurant the ideal gathering spot for colleagues, family and friends. https://thehotelatoberlin.com/1833-restaurant/about/
We provide expert painting and carpentry services to clients across Northeast Ohio. Our company was built on the foundation of quality work, complete customer service and lasting value. We want you to have the best experience you have ever had with a painting contractor. http://pattonpainting.com/index.html
Sponsor the event
We know that many organizations and companies have a desire to give back to the local community. We hope that you can join us in ending homeless through your sponsorship.
Below are the details concerning this year’s sponsorship levels:
• $500 - Gold Medal: Your organization would be named prominently on the invitations, press releases, full page ad in the event program, and advertising on the event flyer and NEOCH’s website (including a link to your organization’s website).
• $200 - Silver Medal: your organization name and logo would be listed on the press materials, a ¼ page-sized ad in the event program, and NEOCH’s website (with a link to your website).
• $100 - Bronze Medal: Your organization’s name would be listed on NEOCH’s website and would receive a business card-sized page ad in the event program.
• If you cannot give now but will advertise the event within your network, your organization will be listed as a sponsor in the event program.
If your organization would like to participate in this special event as a sponsor, please fill out the below form and donate online through our website.
If you have any questions contact Celina Kobetitsch at 630-800-8363 or email@example.com. You can also contact the director of NEOCH, Chris Knestrick, at 216-432-0540 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you
The Cleveland Homeless Legal Assistance Program (CHLAP) is a program of the CMBA. It works with the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) and homeless shelters in the area to focus on the legal issues that are of concern to those in Cleveland who are experiencing homelessness or are at-risk of becoming homeless. The program offers an important service to the individuals in need by providing access to justice through brief advice and counseling clinics at regularly scheduled times in shelters and social service sites where they reside or gather for meals and other services.Read More
Just the Facts: Homeless and Poverty in our community. This is 2017 year data and speaks to the reality of poverty and homelessness in our community. Looking at who is impacted by homelessness, we see that 70% of the people in shelter identify as black and that family homelessness has increased by 24% since 2015.Read More
Music is a bridge that can bring awareness and spur action. Emerging from Phil Collins's installation, my heart's in my hand..., currently on view at MOCA Cleveland, this special concert seeks to generate attention and support to help improve the conditions for homeless people in Cleveland. Benefitting Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH), the concert will feature musicians and bands from here and beyond who address social issues in their music and practice. The event will be held at Beachland Ballroom, a venue that has long provided a stage for musicians who inspire change.Read More
This editorial, by Director Chris Knestrick, was published on Cleveland.com on the day of the Voter Purge case at the US Supreme Court. NEOCH was one of the plaintiffs in the case.
CLEVELAND -- Every vote counts -- and our democracy is strongest when each voice can be heard, and every eligible citizen can cast their vote. The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) believes that participation in the democratic process is critical for those struggling with their housing.
For decades, we have worked with Cuyahoga County officials through litigation and organizing to assure that homeless people have access to voting.
Our work - and more importantly the fundamental rights of the populations we serve - is at stake in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute, which will be argued before the Supreme Court of the United States today.
I have over 10 years of experience working with the homeless community in Cleveland and directing advocacy efforts with the international and local community, and in July 2017, I became NEOCH's director. Since then, my time has been devoted to our mission to organize and empower homeless and at-risk men, women and children to break the cycle of poverty through public education, advocacy and the creation of nurturing environments. My work is about having people experiencing homelessness gain access to the seats and halls of power where decisions that impact them are being made.
Because the voting booth is one of the last places that people can turn to change policy, ensuring that our members and the people we serve can participate in the democratic process is at the core of our mission. Over the years, we have conducted voter-registration drives at homeless shelters and drop-in centers, coordinating and providing transportation to the polls, and conducted educational training sessions about how homeless men and women can cast a ballot and have it counted.
We know that members of the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless were purged from the voting rolls. Therefore, speaking out against the practices challenged in the Husted lawsuit - in which NEOCH is a plaintiff - is a necessary piece of our mission and work to ensure long-term success and prevent those struggling with housing from feeling disempowered in our democratic system.
Ohio's county boards of elections used a "supplemental process," under the direction of Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, that, for example, unfairly purged hundreds of thousands of otherwise eligible voters in 2015 from the Ohio voter rolls who had not voted in an election since 2008. More than 40,000 citizens were removed in Cuyahoga County alone.
Furthermore, voters were notified by mail and those who did not affirmatively respond triggered the process, which could lead to their ultimate removal. This process falsely assumed that voters who fail to vote in multiple elections have moved, ignoring the multitude of other reasons someone might not participate in each election.
Being un-housed makes life precarious, and getting to the ballot box can be difficult when you are simply struggling to survive. Many members of NEOCH and the people we serve, for example, are frequently on the move and are unable to provide a permanent address at which they would receive such a notice. While Ohio allows such individuals the ability to use intersections and other nontraditional addresses, it makes it that much more difficult to receive notices via mail or ensure that they remain registered to vote prior to elections they wish to cast a ballot in. Furthermore, it is not uncommon for these same individuals to not participate in every single election due to difficult personal circumstances or otherwise unforeseen events. We know that homelessness is difficult, but voting should not be.
This process is particularly troubling as Ohio is historically one of the key states that factor into who wins presidential elections.
It is critical that the Supreme Court strike down Ohio's illegal process to ensure that all eligible Ohioans can vote, and that other states around the country are not able to remove voters in a similar fashion. Thus, the Ohio voter purge should not just trouble my fellow Ohioans, but all U.S. citizens.
I worry that if processes like the one used to remove otherwise eligible Ohio voters are upheld by the court, it will send a clear message to the homeless community that their votes do not matter, and their voices should not be heard.
There are already enough barriers for Ohioans - and individuals around the country - struggling with housing day to day; the constitutional right to vote should not be one of those barriers. Voting may not be a priority for each of these individuals at the time of each election, but protecting their right to vote is just as important to their survival as finding housing so that they can have a say in the laws and actions of the United States.
Chris Knestrick is director of the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless.
Ohio’s Supplemental Process targets voters who fail to vote in a two-year period for eventual removal from the voter roll based on the presumption that such voters have moved. As a direct result of this process, countless voters who remain fully eligible to vote are stripped from the registration rolls and denied their fundamental right to vote.
Last year, NEOCH along with the Ohio APRI, and Ohio resident Larry Harmon sued the Ohio Secretary of State, alleging that the Supplemental Process violated federal law. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit struck down Ohio’s controversial purge of infrequent voters, finding that Ohio’s Supplemental Process violates the National Voter Registration Act’s prohibition on removing voters from the rolls by reason of a voter’s failure to vote.
We filed this lawsuit because we believe that the right to vote should not distinguish between rich and poor but the supplemental process appears to do just that: targeting the most vulnerable among us. The supplemental process send a clear message to Ohio’s homeless population that their voice should not be heard. That is not what democracy is all about.
Furthermore, The day-to-day challenges that the homeless face may already keep them from getting out to vote. And because the homeless do not reliably receive mail, the supplemental process penalizes them, making it even less likely they will be able to vote. This is neither sensible nor just; it is cruel.
As a result of the Sixth Circuit’s ruling, the federal district court entered an injunction for the November 2016 presidential election that ultimately allowed more than 7,500 Ohio voters to cast a ballot. All of these were eligible voters who would have been denied their right to vote under Ohio’s unlawful process, if the Sixth Circuit had not enjoined Ohio’s improper practices.
In February 2017, Secretary Husted requested that the Supreme Court review and overturn the Sixth Circuit’s decision. The Court agreed to hear the case in May and set oral argument for January 10th.
Here is a great video from the ACLU.
The Street Vendors community lost one of our own this weekend. Melvin “Buzzy” Bryant passed away quietly in his sleep over the Christmas Holiday. He sold the Cleveland Street newspaper for around 20 years and in doing so touched many people’s lives. His smile and eagerness to greet people made him one of the most loved vendors at the West Side Market.
He was an incredible person with an amazing story. He was homeless for 10 years, spent time in prison and became a community activist and educator. His lived experience taught him deeply about politics and the need for a deeper sense of community. He brought a deep wisdom to every conversation. He was always looking out for other vendors. When our meetings got tense, Buzzy would step in and mediate disagreements and seek resolutions. His presence will be missed by so many. Buzzy, thank you for wisdom shared.
Buzzy was scheduled to sell the paper outside the West side Market on Saturday, December 30th from 10 to noon. In honor of him, Angelo Anderson will sell the paper to raise money for his family in this time of need.
Memories of Buzzy from The Vendors
“He was an amazing person, friend and co-worker and I am really going to miss him. My heart is still broke that he is gone. It is not going to be the same without him.” - Tammy Hobbs
“I am going to miss Buzzy a lot without him being at the Westside Market and NEOCH offices things will not be the same because he was part of the crew.” - Mike Owens
“Buzzy was a good friend and he would do a lot to help a person out. He was a lot of fun to be around. I have known him for a long time and I will miss him. “ - Kim “Supermutt” Goodman
“I’ll never forget Buzzy, we did a lot of things together. Nobody could have been a bigger Indians fan than he was. He went to many games a year down at the stadium. He was my friend for 30 years. I am totally going to miss him, I was to go before him. We harassed each other all the time." - Raymond Jacobs
"He had a winning smile, a great attitude and he would give you the shirt off of his back. That is one thing people didn’t realize about him. Damn, I am going to miss him." - Angelo Anderson
"I lost a dear friend on Christmas Day. His name was Melvin 'Buzzy' Bryant. August 17, 1947-December 25, 2017. Buzzy was a sweet man. He never had a bad word against me or anyone else. I went to his funeral adn his family treated me like a human being. The vendors at West Side Market came to See him. There was a dinner for Buzzy after the services. I went with his neice to the gathering. Buzzy only got flowers for his casket. Buzzy was cremated. Buzzy, you will be missed by me especially." - Delores Manley
Words from NEOCH's Staff:
"I am going to miss Buzzy. He was fun, flirty and in his mind, a Lady’s Man! He always had a smile on his face as well as a quick wit. I’m going to miss reading his wonderfully informative articles and just miss his presence.” Joyce Robinson
“He always had an amazing smile and a genuine greeting. He always enjoyed people and made everyone feel like you were his best friend. He was full of wisdom and always looked at things with a mature perspective and he tried to learn from everything. He will be truly missed.” - Denise Moore
"Buzzy one of our leaders at The Street Chronicle. He taught so many of us how to live through the hardships of life. His heart was for his people and his wisdom was shared with everyone." - Chris Knestrick
Below is Buzzy's last article which was published in the November 2017 issue of The Street Chronicle
The State of the Country
Well the election is over and we have a new president, Donald Trump. Let’s review these first 100 days and the state of the country since he has become president of these UNITED STATES. The Dow is still going up, there are a few more people working, we don’t have a new Health Plan, poor people are expecting to become poorer, he still has Russia hanging over his head, and he has hired most of the people close to him and they are now FIRED. It’s like watching The Apprentice in real life, but it’s happening at the White House.
His popularity has gone down. So it really hasn’t been a great 100 days for President Trump. I as an American citizen feel upset. Not because I didn’t vote for him, but because from my observation he is running the country like he ran his TV show, The Apprentice. He doesn’t have a clue about how to run a country. I hate to think of the future after Trump. He’s hired all these people with no experience in public service, but all were put in positions that can cripple the United States. They are learning secrets about this country that the average citizen doesn’t know. Who knows what they will use it for once they leave their positions. We already have Bannon saying he can help the president more by his dismissal because of what he has learned being by his side. Now we have a White Nationalist who has obtained secrets about the United States back on the air stirring up more trouble and the United States being torn apart at the seam.
Trump supporters are distancing themselves from the president. The country is in disarray. What is it as Americans that we can do or say? Where do we go from here? Can we ever get back to being America? Are we headed down the road of no return? America what will our future hold for our children? These are questions we must begin to answer for ourselves and our children. Something positive has to be done to get America back on the right track. I ask all Americans to stand up for what is right. Let’s get America back to where America needs to be, on top; a country where people want to come, because most of us still believe in Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
I just hope that we don’t get into war with North Korea, because more middle to low income people will die for America while upper middle class and rich people stay home and tell the returning soldiers, “Thanks for your service.” Let’s bring back the draft so those who weren’t around can witness how people dodge serving this country in the Armed Forces.
As I remember, during the campaign for President Donald Trump’s message was, “Let’s Make America Great Again.” Well how great has he made America? Stand up America. We deserve better; not with force, but with Peace. Until next time, keep the faith.
The meeting opened at approximately 1:05p.m., in the St. Peter Room at Bishop Cosgrove Center.
After opening the meeting, Chris mentioned that two members of the homeless community had been found dead in the East 23rd and Superior Avenue area.
Chris mentioned that usually, everyone in attendance would introduce themselves, however, because of the larger than normal number of attendees, personal introductions would not take place. He did, however introduce Natasha Wynn, NEOCH’s newest outreach trainee.
OVERVIEW OF CONGRESS/WORK TO DATE:
LOH – as the representative for the Homeless Congress at Cuyahoga County Council Meetings and the ADAHMS Board, asked those present to spread the word about Homeless Congress to those unable to attend meetings.
NORMA HERR RESIDENT – food is bad, and Staff does nothing to nip altercations
LOH – Re: Eden and Frontline: Finally, doing things that should have been done all along because a new provider is coming on board.
Norma Herr finally has a microwave, a television, and film on the windows of the shelter, so that people outside can’t see inside the shelter.
NORMA HERR RESIDENTS – Voiced concerns regarding the shelter and staff:
- Chopped meat looks green…
- Will we ever have Wi-Fi?
- Will the food improve?
- Ongoing issues with the bathroom…
- EDEN was unable to fix the faulty renovations to the shelter…
- Staff takes donations intended for the residents…
- Have to go through the worst to get to the better
- Problem: People in recovery housed with people who are currently using…
KATIE DONOVAN ONDERS – from the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association Homeless Legal Assistance Program (CHLAP), talked a little about what CHLAP is and how it works.
- Pro bono attorneys will visit homeless shelters to provide legal advice and assistance to homeless and at risk individuals.
- All shelters have access to the list of services the pro bono attorneys can provide
- Attorneys will volunteer at various levels, ranging from intake interviews, providing brief advice, or accepting cases for direct extended representation.
- Ms. Donovan stated that she would take issues to attorneys to see what actions can be taken, in response to the following incidents that Congress attendees experienced:
- 2100 Lakeside resident was robbed and assaulted, but had to call 911 himself, staff did not
- Residents at 2100 Lakeside need to be separated by age and situation; because they aren’t situations occur.
LARRY BRESSLER -- Organize Ohio, spoke about the number of reports of homeless individuals who had received poor treatment at St. Vincent Charity Hospital.
St. Vincent Hospital is the closest hospital to both 2100 and Norma Herr shelters, but homeless people are treated badly there.
Example: A resident of 2100 Lakeside who had been “examined” following an assault, was given pills and discharged from St. Vincent, only to later discover that he had broken bones that had not been dealt with.
Mr. Bressler asked that Homeless Congress members join with United Clevelanders Against Poverty Poor People’s Campaign, which meets once a month on Thursdays. The next meeting is January 11, 2018. At this meeting, the testimonies of homeless individuals who’ve been mistreated by St. Vincent will be collected.
ERIC AND HEIDI – Cleveland Federal Community Leadership Institute They are participating in a project to gather information about issues that a certain population such as the homeless, or veterans, or youth, or aging people face every day. Working on a small scale and with no budget, Eric and Heidi’s goal is find out what they can do to help the homeless with issues such as: finding employment, finding God (spirituality), financial literacy, housing obstacles due to felonies.
METANOIA: Will be open Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays. Please spread the word to others living on the street so that they know that Metanoia is a safe place they can go to to get out of the cold.
NEXT MEETING: Thursday, January 11, 2018, to be facilitated by Joyce Robinson and Vishal Reddy, as Chris will be in Washington, D.C.
Notes taken by Joyce Robinson
Last night I ate chicken wings from the garbage can on 4th street it’s a good place to find doggie bags from the restaurants on that street. I walked over to the alley next to May Company, got in the corner and slept.Read More
The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless announced the publication of the Homeless Street Card for 2018. We are so thankful to University Hospitals for sponsoring this years printing. The Homeless Street Card is a front and back piece of paper updated every year that contains extensive information on resources such as shelters, meal sites, job training agencies, health clinics, chemical dependency services and drop in centers. This valuable and convenient resource makes it easy for homeless individuals to find the assistance they need to get out of their situationRead More
In the back room of the Cosgrove Center on Wednesday, November 8th (had to reschedule from the normal Thursday time), about 45-50 folks gathered around for November’s Homeless Congress meeting. We discussed several items and then jumped into the main agenda. The main agenda items were:
- YWCA Update on Women’s Shelter
- Campus District Inc. Efforts
YWCA Update on Women’s Shelter
From the YWCA, we had two guests: Teresa Sanders, Vice President of Social Services Programs and Operations, and Tish Gomez, Family Engagement Specialist. Teresa Sanders gave an update on the situation with YWCA and the Women’s Shelter.
YWCA Mindset: When Teresa mentioned to someone that the YWCA was interested in running the women’s shelter, someone remarked back, “Why would you run into the burning building?” Teresa said that for her, homelessness is a social justice issue and that everyone deserves to be housed. Teresa knows that one of the goals of the women’s shelter should be to ensure women secure housing so they can stay out.
Transition: Teresa felt that the transition needed to happen smoothly. This meant that if the contract was signed by December 1st, then it would be by March that the transition would be finalized. Teresa guaranteed that shelter operations would continue during that transition period. During the transition period, Teresa will be reaching out to
Changes: Teresa outlined several potential changes which included bringing more service providers into the building, increasing the number of case managers, and regularly meeting with the women in the shelter. Teresa also suggested that the YWCA’s highly transparent culture would reduce the likelihood of there being a toxic culture in the Women’s Shelter. The YWCA will create a highly transparent grievance protocol.
Staying the Same: Despite the YWCA’s religious roots, Teresa reaffirmed that no religious programming would be imposed on the women in the shelter. Also, Teresa confirmed that the women’s shelter would remain a shelter for just women.
Campus District Inc.
From Campus District Inc. (CDI), we had two guests: Bobbi Reichtell, Executive Director, and Rachel Oscar, Community Organizer.
Bobbi spoke at length about the importance vitalizing of the neighborhoods around the CSU campus, especially because many of the homeless services are centered in this community. Bobbi spoke about the Campus District’s recent ideas to beautify some of the spaces near the shelters in the neighborhood. The area around Norma Herr was of particular concern for CDI. Taking questions from the Congress, Bobbi said that the Mayor’s office is against any type of proposal that would dislocate or move the current shelters. Several members of the congress felt that cosmetic solutions for the neighborhood would not deal with some of the deeper issues in the community. Bobbi acknowledged that beautifying the space alone would not solve all the issues. She said that CDI is serious about working to also address those other issues, but that creating a community that is more visually appealing can also play an important part in vitalizing a community
In the back room of the Cosgrove Center on Thursday, October 12th, about 15-20 folks gathered around for October’s Homeless Congress meeting. We discussed several items and then jumped into the main agenda. The main agenda items were:
Potential involvement with the Poverty Truth Commission
Revisiting Homeless Congress’s 2017 priorities and brainstorming some potential 2018 priorities
Women’s Shelter Update
ADAMHS Board Letter
Prior to setting the agenda, Chris opened the space for the members of the congress to share non-agenda items.
Rude Treatment from Homeless Services Staff: One gentlemen mentioned the condescension he experiences from homeless services staff, whether it be at 2100 Men’s Shelter where he stays at or at the Welfare Office. Other members of the congress agreed.
Some members pointed out that this rudeness from staff is particularly strange because many staff in these institutions are previously homeless. However, they no longer empathize with the currently homeless, forgetting that “one missed paycheck is all it takes to be homeless”. Staff that were previously homeless instead now use their relative position of power to rudely treat people currently experiencing homelessness.
One gentlemen mentioned that it would be useful to have a monitor or auditor who ensures that homeless services staff are friendly and kind instead of patronizing.
Specialty Shelters: One gentleman mentioned that the current shelter situation is only based on one’s gender. He remarked that this causes an issue as some of the individuals at the shelter are experiencing severe mental illness. This an issue for those experiencing mental illness, as they are not provided the resources (caseworkers, therapy). This is also an issue for the other individuals in the shelter, as they feel the level of security protocol they are subject to is not suited for them. Having a separate shelter for those experiencing mental illness was suggested as a possibility.
Another member of Homeless Congress quickly suggested that Specialty Shelters used to exist in Cuyahoga County but were slowly phased out as funding has decreased. Chris mentioned that this occurred also due to HUD’s extreme focus on Permanent Supportive Housing to the detriment of developing a better shelter system. One member asked if foundations in the area, particularly Cleveland Foundation, provide funding for homeless services. Another member of Homeless Congress replied that foundations have become more focused on educational/youth initiatives than those focusing on homelessness.
2016-17 and 2017-18 Homeless Congress Priorities: Homeless Congress’s 2016-17 priorities were 1) shelter standards through regulations, 2) shelter requirements by law, 3) medical/health support at shelters, 4) Passing the Homeless Bill of Rights in Cleveland, 5) separate facility for severely mentally ill homeless men and women, 6) addressing discrimination of voucher holders, and 7) tiny homes campaign.
In this discussion, several things were mentioned:
Jobs: One member would like to see jobs and securing employemnt be an added focus. She felt that many individuals experiencing homelessness are still capable of working. Yet, the stigma associated with being a homeless individual limits their job opportunities. The inability to find employment through this disenfranchisement only makes it harder to no longer be homeless.
Addiction: Another member of Homeless Congress cautioned against seeing money as the only barrier to escaping homelessness. He feels that there needs to be a serious and genuine push to deal with addiction and mental illness within the homeless services provider. Even if individuals with mental illness and/or addiction secure housing or employment, they often return to the shelter system. They are often unable to maintain housing and employment without the proper emotional/mental support.to
Toxic Culture At Norma Herr: One gentleman remarked that a staff member at Norma Herr remarked that going to Norma Herr without knowing anyone already there who could protect or take care of you meant that “you were f******!”
Women’s Shelter Update: Chris explained the situation regarding the Norma Herr Women’s Shelter, currently run by Frontline Services. The YWCA was the only bidder to offer to run the shelter. However, the County’s offer fell short of their requirements to run a dignified shelter. The city’s offered budget of ~$2 million was well below what the YWCA felt was reasonable based on the standards they wanted to see in the Women’s Shelter. Ultimately, the YWCA declined the County’s current offer to run the women’s shelter, though they left the door open if the offer were to change.
The next meeting is Wednesday, November 8th at Cosgrove Center. We hope you can join us there.
Notes taken by Vishal Reddy
Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.
Four months! It been only that long since I started as the new Director of Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless. The work of defending the rights and dignity of people experiencing homelessness in our community is important as ever. The lack of affordable housing because of gentrification continues to fuel a rise in homelessness. There is no doubt that NEOCH will be an important organization to advocate when our community is impacted by federal policy and local development decisions. We have already won some important advocacy campaigns. None of this was possible without your involvement.
When the Irishtown Bend project sought to forcefully displace the two dozen homeless residents, we organized and advocated. We called for a relocation plan that respected the dignity and agency of the people that call the Riverbed home.Through our efforts, those involved in the project committed to finding the funds to make sure there is a dignified relocation plan for the residents.
However, for every success, there is more critical work to be done. Today, family homelessness is on the rise in Cuyahoga County. Appoximately 50 woman and children are sleeping on a gym floor every night. The Women’s Shelter is housing forty more women than they have beds. The Men’s Shelter is regularly operating an overflow shelter. With federal cuts and increasing demands for supportive services, we need to make sure that people have access to and knowedge of the services. This is why we put hours into research to publish a Street Card, which provides people in crisis quick and easy information to access services.
With your continued financial support we will be able to do even more. Our goal is to continue making a difference in our community and in the lives of those experiencing homelessness in Cuyahoga County. Your support can make our outreach more effective, our advocacy more courageous, and our relationships stronger.
That is why I am writing to you today. We need you to make us strong. We need you to become a member of NEOCH. In exchange for your membership you will receive: a subscription to our advocacy newsletter called The Bridge, advocacy alerts, invitations to special events, Street Card updates, a voice for homeless people, and a strong coalition and social change.
It is through your support that we continue to be a force for change in this community. Please consider donating and becoming a member. As always, your contribution will be tax deductible and your membership will further the good work being done in our community.
If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
P.S. Because of you, Cleveland’s homeless have a friend!