Homeless Have a Voice

By Melody Bueler

We did a second annual homeless conference in Cleveland on September 18th, 1993 at Our Lady of Angels St. Joseph Center. The conference was entitled, the “Poor People’s Conference”. In preparation we did a survey where we asked the homeless individuals to vote for the top four issues that were the most important to them. These issues were: 1) jobs 2) housing 3) education and 4) accessible health care.

Although there was a lower than average age turnout, those who attended said that they gained some necessary skills to empower themselves to make some changes in their particular situation.

The local conference was designed to lead to the state homeless conference, entitled “Poor No More”.  Approximately one hundred people from around the state of Ohio participated. The cities represented were Cleveland, Columbus, Ravenna, Toledo, Dayton, and Cincinnati. It was held on October 4-5 at the Radisson Hotel Columbus North. Mr. Michael Stoops from the National Coalition for the Homeless gave the welcome address on October 4th.

The issues we addressed here were : 1) welfare 2) housing/homelessness 3) health care 4) education 5) child care 6) utilities 7) transportation and 8) employment.

The conference concluded on the 5th with a rally to the statehouse, where individuals could meet with legislators for personal appointments. In conclusion I would like to thank all the community member who helped to organize and make the conference a huge success.

Copyright the Homeless Grapevine and NEOCH Issue 4 December 1993- January 1994