On March 8th 2018, NEOCH hosted our 2018 annual meeting entitled, The Right to Speak: From Voting Booths to Shelters and Street Corners. Around one hundred people came to learn about our work, celebrate our successes, and dream of the next steps we need to take to end homelessness in our community and center the voices of those experiencing homelessness in our work. We are thankful for all the people that showed up. Your voice is important and your membership makes us strong. Thanks to you we will continue advocating, educating, and outreaching to those experiencing homelessness in our community.
At the meeting, We released our 2017 Annual Report. Please take a look if you have not yet seen it. The report highlights our work, demonstrates the facts of homelessness in our community, discusses our financial health, and thanks our supporters. Some of the highlights are 1) we published 3 editions of the the Cleveland Street Chronicle, which is an empowerment project to provide a venue in the media for homeless people as well as income for those who sell the paper. 2) For years, we have celled for changes in the the services provided in the woman's shelter. This year, thanks to the work of the homeless congress, the YWCA will take over operations with a $1 million budge increase. 3) Thanks to SocksPlus, a initiative of The Community West Foundation, we gave $303,000 worth of winder items, boots, socks, shoes, sleeping bags, We also prevented homelessness for 75 people in our community.
Finally, we recognized two leaders in our community that are working to end homelessness and defend the rights of those un-housed in our community.
Homeless Advocate of the Year
For the outstanding commitment to ending homelessness in our community and support and empowering those experiencing homelessness.
Angelo Anderson started the street newspaper, the Homeless Grapevine, first as a photocopied newsletter and then a real newspaper with the words of homeless people. Anderson worked to expand the Homeless Stand Down to include veterans and non-veteran homeless people. His hobbies include fishing, and he sometimes organizes outings for the guys at Lakeside shelter.
Social Justice Advocate of the Year
THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION OF OHIO
For outstanding contribution to the advancement of equality, structural change, as well as increasing the opportunities of the politically, economically, and socially marginalized in our community.
Freda Levenson received the award. She is the legal director for the ACLU of Ohio. Her responsibilities include litigation, management of the legal team, and legal analysis of pending legislation and other emerging civil liberties issues.