Jim Schlecht of Care Alliance...for being non judgemental in helping people who have made poor choices or are struggling with demons.
Tyrone H now of Care Alliance...for quickly learning the ins and outs of providing help to the shelter resistent and getting a full time job to work with people struggling with housing issues.
Denise (her picture is on the front of our website now) our latest hire for the training position...for being so compassionate to the people in her care. For learning how to move from offering comfort to offering a hand up.
Metanoia...for offering a safe warm place inside on the coldest nights of the year and for helping the most vulnerable in our society. 91 people found help on this last Sunday.
Cosgrove Center...for helping keep people, families and children fed on cold days and for being willing to become the host for the Central Intake site.
Transitional Housing programs...for working to move people into stability during their own time. Some people cannot be housed quickly. They need time to get their life together. They need time to get a skill that will lead to a job or get clean or get medical help for their past trauma. Transitional shelters have a role in our society and should not be shuttered as HUD and Cuyahoga County are pushing.
Putting families into housing...I am thankful for Habitat for Humanity and the City Mission program to place families with children directly into houses. It is always amazing to see a child's face light up when they go into a new place to live. When they have overcome so much living in a shelter and then realize they have a safe place to live is the best part of this job.
First Call for Help/211...It is often overlooked, but having a phone number to call 2-1-1- or 436-2000 is an essential service that should be more valued by all the social service community. Since no agency (except NEOCH) has humans answer the phones anymore, we should give more praise to this amazing service of answering the phone 24 hours a day. The people over at United Way really care and know more than anyone what is really going on in the community. They knew first that family homelessness was on the rise and that suburban hunger was getting out of control. I am so thankful for First Call for Help.
HousingCleveland.org...Cleveland is one of only 2 communities in Ohio that helps low income people find housing without having to go through a case worker. We have 800 units available today on the site and a database of 32,000 units. It is a free service for both landlords (4,500 landlords use the service) and homeless people looking for housing. It is an affordable service that 33 states have adopted.
Toni Johnson...A veterans affairs employee who knows everything about homelessness. She is out in the community keeping her ear to the ground about resources for her clients. You will see her on the East Side and in East Cleveland. She has contacts for children and 80 year old veterans. We are so glad she is working to serve homeless people.
The ID Collaborative...It took a hit this year with funding running out, but it is an amazing program. It is a model for the United States and serves hundreds of people every year. This should be considered an essential service funded before other programs. It is amazing how one small piece of paper (birth certificate) or a card (State ID) can stop a person's life. Without ID you can't vote, get into housing, get a job or get preventative health care. We need the ID Collaborative to be healthy and fully funded.
What are your ideas for what you are thankful for in the homeless community? Submit in the comments section or in the discussion section of the website. We will post other ideas on our blog.
Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.