Local Homeless News August 2003

            Cleveland Women’s Shelter: The current proposal that the County is working on is to relocate the women’s shelter to the two buildings previously owned by Care Alliance on Payne Ave. Grapevine readers will remember that these buildings were the subject of some dispute two years ago when the programs were abruptly closed and the residents discharged. Eventually, the Department of Housing and Urban Development intervened and forced Care Alliance to either give up the buildings or pay a substantial fine to the Federal government. HUD gave Cuyahoga County the responsibility to recommend a final disposition of the two buildings.

            2219 Payne Avenue had housed a temporary overflow shelter for men. In the beginning of 2003, there were as many as 60 men using the facility every night. The original plan was to use the facility to house a small safe haven for women. Eventually, it was decided to avoid the neighborhood opposition and the problems associated with relocating a shelter, the County decided to utilize these buildings as a replacement for the Catholic Charities shelter at the Bishop Cosgrove Center. This will involve the relocation of the health and dental clinic.

            There is some community opposition to the existing provider selected by the County (see page 5), and there were a few providers who wanted the building to be used for other purposes. Activists are pressing for a meeting with the women who use the shelter to resolve the issues.

            CMHA Annual Plan: The Public Housing waiting list has grown over the last six months to 9,000 people, and the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority proposed ending the preference for homeless people to alleviate some of the strain on the system. The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless asked supporters, shelters, and elected officials to condemn this idea. The City of Cleveland sent a letter saying that this proposal violated their planning efforts. At the public hearing, CMHA said that they had changed the plan to include homeless people again, because of the number of calls they received in opposition to this plan. The Plan for 2004 will include homeless people. There were a significant number of changes in the housing authorities in the plan for 2004. The changes can be viewed at the CMHA website www.cmha.net.

            Bring America Home Conference: There are 25 homeless people from Cleveland taking a bus to the conference in Washington D.C. convened by the National Coalition for the Homeless. A group of activists who serve a meal on Public Square went around to the shelters and drop in centers and encouraged homeless people to sign up to attend the conference. Twenty five were selected from Cleveland to attend the conference. There will be information on planning a shelter, domestic violence, health care, day laborers and jobs as well as the Bring America Home Act (HR2896). There will be a story in the next issue of the Grapevine about the conference.

Copyright of the Homeless Grapevine Cleveland Ohio September 2003 Issue 62.