Homeless Congress Notes for December 2017


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.


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