Local Homeless News Briefs

Low Wages Worker Union Update

The Low Wages Worker Union (see Grapevine47 on the web www.neoch.org.) has asked both the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities, the largest administrators of homeless social services, to take action against the temporary labor organizations. LWWU has documented abuse and exploitation by temporary labor organizations and are asking that homeless service providers demand these corporations sign a code of conduct before they can recruit within the shelters, meal sites, and drop in centers. The LWWU are attempting to get public hearing locally to document to the general public the exploitation of homeless people that takes place on a daily basis.

Homeless People Under Attack by the Housed of Tremont

 For years, homeless people have sought shelter under the bridges and in abandoned fields on the near West Side of Cleveland near the industrial flats. These group of homeless people have yet to develop a trusting relationship with the social service community to come in doors and seek shelter. One vigilante has taken it upon himself to eliminate homelessness in his neighborhood. According to the homeless campers, the man has harassed the individuals who sleep in the field verbally and by turning on bright headlights at night. He has assaulted one of the individual s and has left booby traps of broken glass and barbed wire for the homeless. Recently, he has given the campers two weeks to leave or he said that he would bring a group of his friends to “get rid of you.” The police and Cleveland City Council were made aware of this situation.

Shelter Growing Out of Control

 Salvation Army 2100 Lakeside Shelter, which houses 400 homeless men every night, was the site of vicious attack by one of the clients of an employee monitor of the shelter. The shelter worker was taken to the hospital and had to undergo 74 stitches including reattachment of part of his ear. The client was suspected having a mental illness. The worker had worked 15 straight hours and seemed irritable according to witnesses. Other staff had tried to separate the two who were arguing, but could not convince the worker to “cool down.” The Salvation Army is initiating a training program of staff to prevent  future problems. The Coalition for the Homeless is urging an immediate doubling of staff, a reevaluation of the operations of the shelter, and the construction of an arbitration board.

 Don’t Buy the Street Card

 Two former vendors of the Homeless Grapevine have been spotted in various parking lots throughout the region offering pedestrians copies of the Homeless Street Card in exchange for a monetary donation to help “homeless people.” Reports have come to the Grapevine that these women have collected fraudulent donations from East Cleveland to Willoughby Hills from Richmond Hts. To Rocky River, The street card is a free publication intended for homeless people to give them an idea of the services available in the community. The only organization that raises money on the streets is the Salvation Army and they are easily identified by identification and the famous red kettle. One of the fraudulent solicitors was recently arrested in University Circle.

Homeless People Release a Report on Homeless Services

 The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless published a report of comments on various shelters and social service programs in the community. It includes comments from over 120 homeless people interviewed over a three weeks period. Many shelters faired very poorly including: Volunteers of aAmerica,2100 Lakeside, and Catholic Charities Women’s Shelter. One facility received only praise—West Side Catholic meal site and drop in center. Other shelters that had a majority of complimentary comments included Y- Haven and Salvation Army PASS. The complete report can be found on the NEOCH website at www.neoch.org under Resources/Shelters and Services.

Aids Housing Conference Held in Cleveland

 The AIDS Task Force, Cuyahoga County, Universal Health Care Action Network Cleveland and the St. Luke’s Foundation convened a conference to convince activists, community development organizations, health organizations to relate housing as one of the primary needs of people with AIDS and HIV. The conference attempted to get neighborhoods of Cleveland to make a commitment of one housing unit for people with AIDS.

 Copyright Homeless Grapevine and NEOCH published in Cleveland Ohio in July of 2001.