Cleveland City Council members, Mamie Mitchell, Phyllis Cleveland, and Zach Reed attended the Teach In last night to focus on Permanent Supportive Housing and Outreach Services. We had Peter from the Community West Foundation and Valeria from the Alcohol Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board of Cleveland attend the event. It was a nice event with our gracious host Gerald, the Property Manager of Greenbridge Apartments.
We heard from a couple of residents of the buildings who spent years living on the streets of Cleveland. A few men and a woman talked about being "rescued" from living outside and the outreach workers saving their lives. One gentleman who now lives on the west side in one of these brand new beautiful Permanent Supportive Housing Projects talked about it being time to come inside. He was so thankful for meeting Jim Schlecht to help him relocate to his own apartment building.
Paul, one of the volunteers, included a touching note from a guy who lived in a hole in a wall in the folder for each participant who was so thankful for all the work in trying to get him into housing. We may publish this in an upcoming issue of the Street Chronicle. Paul talked about the mental illness and fragile people he sees outside. We got to hear from three professionals working on building trusting relationships with homeless people including, Toni Johnson, Steven Campisi and Jim Schlecht. Thanks to EDEN Inc. and Frontline Service for help in setting this up and presenting at the forum last week. Thanks to Elaine and Christine for offering the space and talking abou the history of these fantastic buildings.
With federal sequestration over the last two years, we are losing funds for homelessness and housing in Cleveland. Federal cut backs are potentially costing us outreach staff and state cutbacks will mean that we will not have a ribbon cutting in 2016 of a new Permanent Supportive Housing project. This will break an eight year streak of opening brand new buildings. The purpose of this event was to highlight to the community the great partnership among the many groups. From the Department of Veterans Affairs and Care Alliance finding people on the streets to Frontline Services and EDEN moving people into apartments, it is a nice system that is working for 570 people in Cleveland. We need the local community to step up to support these programs to make up for the loss of federal funds.
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