Thank You for the Donations: Keep them Coming

 

We have been getting a lot of donations over the last two weeks.  We also got boots in from the SocksPlus program through Community West Foundation.  We take these items for donations.

  • New Socks
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Tents
  • Plastic Tarps
  • Tissues/Baby Wipes
  • Gloves/winter hats
  • RTA one day bus tickets
  • Backpacks
  • Sleeping bags
  • Blankets esp. outdoor heavy duty blankets with plastic on one side
  • New Underwear (any sizes) esp. long underwear.
  • Towels/hand wash cloths
  • Bottled water
  • Hygiene Kits to include: Trial size soaps, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, toothbrush, disposable razor, lip balm in a freezer bag.

We typically do not take clothing or sweaters because we would just be overwhelmed and we don't have the space.  There are many who would take the clothing items and make it available to homeless people.  I know that all the organizations are struggling with space as well, but there are plenty of groups who take the clothing.  It is okay to donate clothing to those who come and pick them up.  Sure, they sell the clohing, but it goes to a good cause.  Why do we care where our cast off clothing goes? 

Here is our page on donations available.  Here is the page on SocksPlus to give more details on how to donate. 

Brian Davis

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Homeless Need Blankets and Hygiene Kits

It is that time of year again to remember the hundreds of people who do not use the shelters in Cleveland.  Socks Plus, our partnership with Community West Foundation, Care Alliance, St. Pauls Community Church, and Metanoia.  We have already received our first shipment of boots and other supplies. We are real low on blankets and hygiene kits.  We are available for drop off from 9 to 4:30 p.m. nearly every day.  We need your help with winter items to give out on the streets. We have an updated flyer that you could print out and distribute.

Brian Davis

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Socks Plus Program Announced for 2016-17

What can I do to help?  NEOCH, Metanoia Project, Care Alliance, St. Pauls and the Community West Foundation are partnering again to deliver hard to find supplies to those who live outside and in inappropriate places.  We delivered more than a quarter million worth of donations last winter and we want to increase that to $400,000 this year.  NEOCH is the place to bring donations of socks, hygiene kits, water, bookbags for distribution to the outreach teams.  Community West is the place to donate funds to support the Socks Plus program.  With those funds we buy boots, sleeping bags, tents, winter socks, hand warmers and other items that we do not typically see donated.  All the outreach workers can come to NEOCH to pick up winter items and other life sustaining items to give out on the streets. The Winter Drive started in November and runs through April.  We hope that you will participate in the Socks Plus program. 

Brian Davis

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Double Your Giving Tuesday Donation

 

Make a donation to the Community West Foundation next Tuesday and they will match the gift.  This means we will be able to double the number of socks that we buy.  We can provide twice as much help to get people inside on the coldest winter days coming up.  We can buy two tents instead of one with your donation, and we can buy twice as many boots this winter as we did last year.  In 2014-15 season, we purchased over 400 pairs of boots for the men and women who do not go into shelter.  We helped 28 people with housing assistance or first months rent and we gave out 1,200 really warm winter socks.  Help us do the same in 2015-16 as we prepare for a wet Cleveland winter. 

We have a web page dedicated to the Socks Plus campaign, and we ask that you tweet about your donation on Tuesday.  Maybe send a picture of your socks that you are wearing when you make your Giving Tuesday donation.  We are at the Clevhomeless on Twitter and use the hashtag #SocksPlus. 

Brian Davis

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Other Things to Donate

One of our friends who lives outside saw the post about donations needed in the summer and wanted to add a few things to the list.  We give out items all year round, (click on the link to view our list) but here are a few things that we need for the summer:

  • Rope and plastic canvases especially larger plastic with ring holes for the rope are very helpful.   This is to fortify places against the elements. 
  • Blankets--we are actually out of blankets right now.  We are overwhelmed with blankets in the winter, but at a loss in the summer. 
  • Tents are at a premium during the summer, and we can always use those portable for the guys who decide not to utilize the overcrowded shelters.
  • Towels, washcloths and sheets.  We typically give most of the sheets to the shelters, but most homeless people need towels and washcloths.  These are big items that go really fast when we get them in.

During the summer the number of families increase, and over the last three years this has been especially acute.  We have had to start busing families to an overflow center to serve everyone asking for shelter during the summer.  This overflow center is closing this month, and I have no idea what will happen to families in September.  I have not heard from anyone what will happen if more families show up asking for shelter than we have beds.  Here are a few items that the Coordinated Intake could use:

  • Baby Formula and small new play toys
  • Diapers and car seats
  • Strollers and snacks for young kids (breakfast bars, dried fruit, dry cereal, etc.)

If you have items for those living outside or for Coordinated Intake, you can drop them at NEOCH and we will get them to the appropriate people seeking help.  You may ask, "Why do I have to drop them off when some groups come out and pick them up?"  That is true that there are groups that pick up clothing and household items, but those groups often sell their items to fund their transportation and storage.  We are not spending our time going to the suburbs to pick up items.  We are spending our time distributing the items donated to those seeking help.  If you want to guarantee that the items you donate will go to people in need for FREE, then you have to do part of the work.  You will have to drop them off at those groups who are distributing the items to those living in the shelters or on the streets.  If you don't mind that a percentage of your donation is sold to make money for the non-profit then call one of those groups who comes around to pick up your gently used items. 

Brian Davis

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Donations Still Needed

We made it through the horrible winter.  We had a report of one person suffering from frost bite and losing fingers, but no reports of people freezing to death.  We have to thank Community West Foundation for helping with all the donations and helping with putting people into motels during the extreme weather.  It was tough, but outreach teams, St. Pauls, Labre and Metanoia did a ton of work keeping people safe.  

It is spring and still a dangerous time.  Hypothermia is still a threat because people get wet and then it gets cold at night.  They may have prepared for the winter and the snow, and may let their guard down for the spring.  They may not have as many blankets or plastic or clothing as they had for the winter.  We are still collecting and distributing items. We have updated our flyer for the spring and that is available to print out and distribute. We give out items to the outreach teams every week. 

Flyer to print out and distribute

SocksPlus Update

R.A Washington, poet

There was a really nice fundraiser last week at 78th Street Studio a facility that I had no idea existed in Cleveland.  Spending most of my existence on the East Side, I cannot understand how I missed this place.  It is a giant warehouse full of artists from all different media.  It is definitely worth a walk through.  Thanks to RA Washington, Katie Daily, and Russell Vidrick for performing poetry at the #SocksPlus benefit last week.   I recorded Vidrick years ago when I did a poetry show on WRUW-FM 91.1 so it was nice to see him again. 

Community West Foundation also held a #SocksPlus campaign this weekend in the Gordon Square area.  We are nearing the end of the second round of boots and backpacks that we are distributing on the streets of Cleveland.  We are purchasing new items for the upcoming month. We are focusing on keeping people dry over the next few months.  We will have a backpack and boots but also rain ponchos, sleeping bags and tents available. We are still working on building relationships with people to get them inside.

Katie Daily, poet

We received a large number of hygiene items from Fairview Hospital this last week.  People have been dropping off socks at the Community West Foundation and sending it to both us from Amazon.com.  We received blankets from Pat Catans and some additional panels to be made into additional blankets.  People have dropped off comforters, and winter items.  We have delivered boxes of clothing to the Cosgrove Center for their weekly giveaways.  We have also involved a couple of additional partners to giveaway the items.  Last weekend, we had a family drop off backpacks full of small gifts and hygiene items for homeless people.   And we are still getting blankets for our blanket drive.  We gave a little over 100 blankets to 2100 Lakeside this week. 

One item that we have not gotten as many as we had hoped through our blanket drive is towels or wash cloths.  Many of the outreach workers have been calling asking for towels, but we really have not seen many donated this week.  We are still doing the blanket drive for another month. 

Brian Davis

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Donations Are Starting to Coming In

Thanks to my sister for sending a blanket from Kohls.  Thanks to Jennifer for the 19 back packs.  A homeless guy called me and wanted to thank her for the donation and said that he was surprised there was money in the back pack.  I told him that we had not looked in the backpacks so I had no idea what was in the bags.  We gave them out at the Homeless Congress, Metanoia (weekend overnight drop in) and to Tyrone who travels the streets at night for Care Alliance helping those resistant to shelter.   The people who received them were very thankful.

We got blankets from Berkshire School District and a few boxes from of essentials from a family on Friday.  We received a couple of bags full of items from another woman last week.  We appreciate anything that you can donate.  Any winter items are helpful.  Here are the suggested items.  You can drop them off at our office from 9 to 4:30 p.m. any day.  While you are doing your online Christmas shopping you can send us a donation at 3631 Perkins Ave. Suite 3A-3, Cleveland Ohio 44114.  You could bring them to the Metanoia Project on Sunday December 21, 2014 at the Homeless Memorial Day at 7 p.m. when we conduct our Homeless Memorial Day. 

We give the items directly to people newly homeless or those who do not want to go into a shelter.  We have an outreach worker, Denise, who spend 25 hours a week on the streets building a trusting relationship with homeless people.  She and the other outreach workers use the donated items to help with what people needed immediately, but as the opening conversation into their long term needs.  We also coordinate local outreach so many of the outreach workers show up at our office regularly to pick up items to give out on the streets.  The stuff you give goes to the people in need in our city.  In January, Community West Foundation is going to donate to the blanket drive with a Socks+ Campaign focusing on the hardest to collect items such as boots and winter socks.  We will have more details on this in the near future. 

Brian Davis

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Blanket Drive Starts Now

It is that time of year to help us out collect items for out blanket drive.  We have set a goal of 3,000 blankets this year.  We are going to ask our members for help as well as local businesses, unions and religious groups who might have congregants or employees collect items for those resistant to shelter.

We have a flyer available at the bottom of this entry that you can use to print out or distribute to family or employees.  We also have a webpage dedicated to the blanket drive here.  We collect blankets and donations at our office then give them to the outreach workers in the community.  We give to Care Alliance staff, Frontline Services, Metanoia, Labre and Volunteers of America and others.  We give to the people who are developing relationships with those living outside. 

This year we have an outreach trainee, Denise, who is working with people who are reluctant to go to shelter.  She is learning about all the resources available to homeless people and all the programs that may be able to help.  The trainee position is funded by the Community West Foundation and they have blogged about our blanket drive here.  She will be working with the religious groups who minister to the people living outside and then attempting to connect with the "professional" organizations.  Denise will be distributing these winter items to the veterans, couples and homeless individuals trying to stay warm this winter.  By the way, the last trainee, Tyrone, our previous trainee, was hired by Care Alliance as their afternoon/evening staff. 

We can come and pick up donations if there are more than 35 items.   Just call 432-0540 to make arrangements.  We are near Cleveland State University and you can drop off donations anytime between 9 and 4:30 p.m.   We also have some Saturday hours.

Blanket Donation Flyer to print out and distribute.

Brian Davis

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We are Still Collecting Blankets

The NEOCH Blanket and donation drive is November 15 to March 15, 2014.  With the weather expected to get down to dangerous lows over the weekend and then next week, we are ready.  We have had scores of people dropping items off this week.  The shelters are ready to keep people inside if necessary. Typically shelter residents leave in the morning and return in the evening, but if it is too cold the County declares an emergency and people stay inside all day.  We will open the overflow shelters so that we do not turn anyone away.  We will most likely open the Metanoia Program on Monday or Tuesday if the temperature continues to decline as is forecast.  All the shelters will do whatever it takes to keep people safe.   Here are the items we collect as part of the blanket drive:

  1. New Socks
  2. RTA one day Bus Tickets
  3. New underwear (any sizes)
  4. Trial size soaps, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant
  5. Toothbrushes, trial size soap or deodorants, disposable razors, Ziploc sandwich bags
  6. Blankets
  7. Towels/ hand wash cloths
  8. Tissue/Kleenex
  9. Hand sanitizer
  10. Water Bottles

Here is the page on our website detailing what we collectYou can drop stuff off M-F 9-4:30 and this weekend Noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday. If you want to help in other ways, we have a number of suggestions on our website.

Brian Davis

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Forest City Donates Supplies and Funds to Homeless People

Forest City Enterprises

 

Thanks to the staff at ForestCity Enterprises in Cleveland, Ohio for collecting hygiene items and delivering six big boxes today to our offices.  They have a "Jeans Day for Charity" program in which staff pay for the ability to wear jeans to work.  They took our list from our website and collected items such as soaps, toothpaste and deodorant, blankets, towels, and hand sanitizers.  They also donated over $1,700 to help NEOCH and our outreach efforts. 

We give out these donations as part of our Homeless Congress meetings and during our every other week outreach meetings.  We have outreach workers come to our office every two weeks and give out all the items we have collected to distribute on the streets.  We use these items to build relationships with those living outside or resistant to shelter with a hope that they will agree to come inside eventually.  We also provide items to the shelter at 2100 Lakeside, our state's largest shelter which provides overflow assistance to any man in the community who requests a place to stay at night. 

We forgot to thank the Cleveland Browns who provided a huge donation to 2100 Lakeside and West Side Catholic two weeks ago.  They both collected a busload of clothing items for homeless people nearly all with the Browns logo from the Brown's organization.  So there are many happy homeless people who will be fans or at least billboards for the Cleveland Browns this summer and fall.  Thanks to the Browns for their help. 

Thanks especially to the ForestCity Enterprise staff for picking out the homeless for their Jeans Day program in March.  They did a great job collecting just the items we said that we needed.  Homeless people thank all the employees for the help. 

Brian Davis

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Blanket Drive Continues

Diane (pictured here) participated in the Brown's Blanket drive in December.  Thanks to the Browns for donating the tickets to assist with the 2012 Blanket Drive.   We collected over 500 blankets in one week.  We are still working on collecting blankets.  Thanks to Shaker Heights Congregational Church for the van load of blankets they delivered this week.   We will be collecting blankets through March 2013. 

Some of the other items we collect include bus tickets, back packs, new socks, towels, and new underwear.   We also work with Handson Northeast Ohio to collect items for the upcoming Homeless Stand Down.  We help to distribute winter items at the Stand Down (gloves, hats, boots, etc.).  We are willing to pick up for donations of 35 or more blankets.  We are open 9 to 4 every week day for drop off of any of the above items. 

We distribute all the items collected to people who stay outside or in one of the overflow shelters in the community.   Please call if you have questions 216-432-0540.

Brian Davis

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Browns Blanket Drive

Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless Winter Blanket Drive

NEOCH, in partnership with the Cleveland Browns, are working to provide blankets to those who sleep outside or in the overflow shelters.  We do this every year with a goal of collecting and distributing 3,000 during the winter.  The Cleveland Browns are partnering with NEOCH this week to assist in the collection of blankets with a goal of 1,000 blankets this week.  Starting December 8, 2012 and while the supply of tickets last, we will give one ticket to the Cleveland Browns game vs. the Washington Redskins on December 16, 2012 for every two blankets that are donated to NEOCH before the game. 

You can drop off your blankets* at the NEOCH offices

3631 Perkins Ave. Third Floor (Push Call 32 to be let in the building).

 We will have extended hours so that you can drop off your blankets while you are downtown:

  • Saturday December 8 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 
  • Monday to Thursday December 10-14 from 9 am-7 p.m.

All blankets are provided to people living outside or staying in the overflow shelters/churches in our community. 

Call Larry Davis at NEOCH 216-432-0540 for more information.

*new blankets or “like new” clean blankets only!

 

Blanket Drive Starts This Month

Thanks to UAW employees of ALCOA who kicked off our blanket donation drive with a sizable donations of blankets and other items, which went out the door to homeless people on the same day.  We collect blankets and other items for the winter to distribute to those sleeping outside.  We try to collect 500 to 1,000 blankets and distribute it to those who are resistant to shelter. People who sleep outside go through plastic and blankets quickly and need refresher gear every couple of weeks. 

If you collect more than 35 blankets, we will come out and pick them up.  This can be a small thing, but a blanket can be the ticket to building a trusting relationship with the guys on the streets.  It is a tool used by the outreach workers to relate to the individuals living outside. It is the first step toward returning to stabilty.  If you want to make a donation call us at 216/432-0540.

Brian Davis

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