Educating and Advocating
We practice a multifaceted advocacy approach that centers on relationship building. However when dialogue breaks down, we are also willing to put pressure on agencies, government officials, and companies through the media, street protests, direct actions, and legal means. NEOCH also seeks to educate about housing issues through our Street Voices program and Housing 101 workshops.
When thinking about policy, NEOCH always places the interests of homeless people first. NEOCH has a long history of advocating for better shelter conditions, less criminalization of homeless individuals, more affordable housing funds, and more. We continually engage the homeless community to see the kinds of policies and reforms they would like to see. As an advocacy organization, we take seriously the responsibility of having a strong focus on policy.
Every year, we hold several workshops directed at staff working with very low income and homeless people. This includes social workers, case worker, and advocates. We bring in presenters from various agencies to discuss both housing services in Cleveland and the difficulty in navigating these services for low-income people.
NEOCH's speaker’s bureau program Street Voices has sent out trained speakers for 10 years. Street Voices is made up of several well-trained homeless and formerly homeless speakers who want to share their stories with your audience. With each unique tale, their goal is to expose the community to the real face of homelessness and inspire people of different ages and backgrounds to serve and get involved in their communities.
University IMmersion Program
NEOCH works in coordination with John Carroll University to design an immersive week for university students. This immersion seeks to put a human face on statistics. Over the course of the week, participants will have the opportunity to visit local organizations to understand the interconnecting issues around poverty and homelessness. Participants will build relationships with people who are experiencing homelessness and understand the deeply human and systemic reasons why people struggle with housing.