Over the past few months, NEOCH, Frontline Services, formerly MHS Inc., and Cuyahoga County have been working to address the rising problem of family homelessness. Each May, Cuyahoga County sees a rise in families in need of housing—a rise that continues to increase throughout the summer and lasts into early fall. Many reasons can cause this rise in homelessness, ranging from relocation in warmer weather, an end to the school year for kids, or personal reasons unique to each family. For more information on the causes of family homelessness, see our past blog post here.
So far this summer, we have reached out to local religious organizations and been offered generous support and overflow space. We have dedicated a page to how religious organizations can get involved located here, including a list of the current religious organizations supporting our response to family homelessness.
We are working to gain support of these organizations who are dedicated to serving the religious needs of the community and have helped support NEOCH and other homeless agencies in the past. Already Cuyahoga County has located overflow space that has been used to support families. In one typical night, there can be 15 families (for a total of roughly 63 family members) in need of housing and it is thanks to the support of these religious communities that these families have safe shelter.
However, now we look at equipping these spaces with the essential goods they need to continue to house families. We are hoping to collect donations of healthy snacks and breakfast foods for both overflow housing and Central Intake. By providing these foods, we can ensure these families have breakfast on weekends when food centers may be closed.
If you are interested in getting involved with the family homelessness initiative, please contact NEOCH at (216) 432-0540 or advocacy (at) neoch (dot) org where you can learn more about what we need and how you can get involved.
By Laura Dunson (NEOCH Intern)
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