Local Homeless News Briefs

 Grapevine Founder Terminated by Salvation Army Shelter

          Angelo Anderson was terminated from the Salvation Army 2100 Lakeside Shelter.  His story was detailed in Grapevine #46 on the web www.neoch.org under programs.  The story of his departure from the Army was featured in the local alternative newspaper the Free Times which can also be found on the web in the November 7 edition.  Anderson was one of the founders of the Homeless Grapevine and sold the paper until the year 2000.  He was a fixture in Coventry and was the subject of Mayor Michael Rd. White’s last inaugural speech.  White is not retiring and Anderson was forced to retire prematurely.  Word on the street is that they are starting a gardening club together and will resurface as a team next year at the Cuyahoga County Fair in the pickling competition.

 Holiday Observers Bring Peace to the Streets

          During previous holiday seasons in Cleveland, the police, under Mayor Michael White’s administration, have conducted broad “sweeps” to get the homeless people off the streets.  This has included kidnapping homeless people and dropping them off on the outskirts of town, arresting them, and harassing them.  Volunteers for the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless were concerned that these aggressive tactics would occur again during the 2001 Thanksgiving weekend.  This past Thanksgiving was May White’s last holiday in office.

            Volunteers signed up for 3-4 hour shifts to walk around downtown to simple pose as “human rights observers.”  NEOCH sent groups of people out to observe police and city official’s interaction with homeless people.  The intention was to immediately go to court if volunteers viewed any infraction of the 2000 agreement signed with the City of Cleveland.

            The Coalition was happy to report that there were no infractions of the agreement.  In fact, there was little involvement of the police and those who choose not to find themselves on the streets.  According to staff at the Coalition all was quiet, and there were no incidents.

 Care Alliance Update

            The shelter for the mentally ill reopened under the direction Mental Health Service in October.  They should expand their services to also include outreach to the other large shelters in Cleveland in the near future.  Care Alliance is still in negotiations with Cuyahoga County to save their buildings.  The department of Housing and Urban Development is still insisting on repayment of all HUD money spent to renovate the two buildings.

            Questions are surfacing around town about the services extended to those with AIDS in the community.  Care Alliance receives a sizable grant from the Department of Health and Human Services under the Ryan White Act to serve low-income people with AIDS.  Despite the reality that AIDS has increased dramatically in Cuyahoga County over the last year, experts in the community are questioning whether this moving is being spent wisely by Care Alliance.  There is a lack of information and contact between Care Alliance and the other Ryan White funded organizations.  In addition, the doctor hired by care Alliance does not have a background in infectious diseases.

 Copyright NEOCH published December 2001 in Cleveland, Ohio for Issue 51