Beginning June 1st, The Bishop Cosgrove Center will stay open until 7 p.m. in order to serve dinner. Currently the Catholic Charities operated agency serves breakfast and lunch to over 200 people each day. The agency, located on E. 18th and Superior serves homeless and very low income people, some of whom took up residence on Superior Avenue in the evening. This caused some controversy with regard to the homeless who sleep on Superior and neighbors including St. Peters Catholic Church. Currently homeless people reserve dinner from a Salvation Army Food truck.
Last year the administrators of the Cosgrove center submitted a grant to the county for the funding needed to serve evening meals. In late 1998, they were awarded this grant from Cuyahoga County. However, shortly after this news, plans for the evening meal were shelved. “There was a great deal of speculation around why Catholic Charities suddenly shelved plans for extending hours. In the end it was never confirmed who or what was the source of the neighborhood opposition,” remarked Brian Davis, Director of the Northeast Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH).
Councilman Joe Cimperman of Ward 13, where the Cosgrove Agency is located, held a series of meetings with representatives from St. Peters, the county, Catholic Charities, the Quadrangle, homeless people, NEOCH and the city. The homeless people who attended were allowed to explain how dinner would actually reduce the number of people just “hanging around” the area and how it would help them in other ways. Catholic Charities was also able to explain details of the plan to neighborhood representatives. Finally when Cimperman asked if there was an opposition by any parties present, the room was silent. In late April, Catholic Charities was once again planning to use the County Grant.
When asked for a quote about the situation, Catholic Charities declined, but did confirm on June 1st they will begin serving dinner at 5:30 p.m.
Copyright for the Homeless Grapevine Issue 35, June 1999, Cleveland, Ohio