Transitions are an important part of organizational growth. As we know from living in northeast Ohio, the four seasons transition every year from summer to fall and winter to spring, just as social justice organizations slow down, speed up, and transition. These moments are important to inspire new ideas, build new alliances, and produce organizational growth. Established leaders step back to make room for fresh people to bring new energy and innovation. Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless is in this moment.
As I start my position as the new Director of Operations of NEOCH, I want to recognize this moment of transition. I am filled with gratitude to be chosen to lead an organization with such a legacy of defending those marginalized in our community. I take this position determined that NEOCH remains on the front lines struggling for the rights of the men and women in our community who are unhoused by calling for dignified treatment and advocating for public policies that benefit those most in need.
I promise to uphold our mission statement that has guided us in our work. I will continue to work “to organize and empower homeless and at risk men, women and children to break the cycle of homelessness through public education, advocacy, and the creation of nurturing environments.” We have a strong and ambitious strategic plan that centers around improving the daily reality of those experiencing homelessness. As I start my first days in the office, I am excited about continuing to implement the programs and achieve our goals moving forward.
I bring years of experiences working with and building relationships with people experiencing homelessness in the city of Cleveland. I have traveled the globe partnering with human rights defenders struggling for a more just world. In Colombia, I worked alongside local small-famers as they defended their land from mass displacement by documenting human rights violations and calling for accountability. I bring these experience with me to this position as I return home to do social justice work in Cleveland.
I cannot do this work alone. In the coming years, we need to come together to strengthen our work. Federal and local policies being implemented will deeply impact the communities that we serve. NEOCH will be more important than ever in our community and we will need your support. Please consider volunteering your time or offering your continued financial support for our Hope for the Homeless campaign. There is a Hope for the Homeless Brochure on the page.
I genuinely look forward to having the opportunity to meet all of you in person or you can provide feedback to us here. I am excited about the projects we will be working on together in the future.
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me by e-mail chris (at) neoch (dot) org.
Director of Operations
Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless