Resident Leaders Guide Shelter

The men who stay at 2100 Lakeside have elected leadership, and they have compiled a list of the items that they want to see for the future of the shelter. These are the suggestion of programs or policies that need to stay in place or need to be improved with a New Contract for the Men’s Shelter. This was agreed on at the Meeting of the Resident Council of the 2100 Lakeside Avenue Shelter on August 10, 2004

Keep the sobriety in the shelter by utilizing different communities.

Need to keep the current management in place as well as their philosophy for how to run the shelter.

Should keep all Communities, so that the shelter is divided up into smaller, easier to manage units.

Need to keep “overflow” site to keep the peace at the shelter.

Need to maintain relationships with agencies that currently come in to work with residents, like Care Alliance, VA, AIDS Task Force, and Community Resources. Activities, like anger management groups and morning reflections work well also.

The system of staff, monitors, and stipend workers that is in place is effective, but can use improvements, like having more paid professional staff.

More professional staffing will help residents link up with jobs, housing, and other opportunities.

The Community Service Institute that is set up is valuable to many of the residents and the local community.

The current building at 2100 Lakeside Avenue is certainly workable with additional space needed.

Should take possession of an empty building (maybe the building next door) for use as housing/overflow/shelter.

Should bring in a GED program or have a connection to make a GED program more accessible.

Need to have more variation in food offered. Not balanced at all.

Should have library access and access to computer terminals to allow residents to learn how to work with computers and allow them to take advantage of this valuable resource.

Improvement of mental health services at the shelter.

Should improve job training and jobs program.

Should have more 24-hour services offered to the men.

Should get a medical staff on-site. In other cities, hospitals take over one section of the beds and provide medical staff. This should not come out of the existing budget

Should have an internal communication device, like a newsletter.

Should get State and County Agencies to come in, like they do with Food Stamps. Residents need help getting Disability Assistance, SSI, Child Support, etc.

 Copyright Homeless Grapevine Issue 66 in September 2004 Cleveland, Ohio

Raising the Bar on Treatment of Day Laborers

by Tammy Antonille

    According to Sarah Garver, the new Executive Director of the Community Hiring Hall in Cleveland, the Hiring Hall will be completely functional by the first of October with a grand opening later in the year. She has been a part of the Hiring Hall project since it was conceived by community activists from NEOCH. Garver served as a board member of the Day Laborers Organizing Committee and served on the board as the project moved into the pilot stage. During the pilot stage the Rev. Tony Minor was charged with the task of getting the project on its feet. He was responsible for writing many of the grants that were recently awarded to in fact make the project a reality.

   The program was able to hire Rev. Minor because of a grant given by the AFL-CIO and the United Labor Agency in 2003. During the pilot stage Sarah went on to serve as the Board Chairperson until she accepted the job as the Executive Director. She says the overall goal remains the same as it was since the activists began organizing day laborers in November 2000.

   That goal is to create an organization that can be utilized by the Day Laborers in lieu of the current Temporary Companies, that, according to many workers, have abusive practices and standards. But Sarah Garver takes the goal even one step further, “I want to make real structural changes that will make the other temporary agencies and hiring halls treat workers with respect and pay a decent wage.” To Sarah it is not just about creating an agency to give the day laborers another option, it is about elevating and influencing the entire community. She wants to make an impact on pulling people out of poverty.

   When the pilot was completed the organization placed an average of 6 people during the week and had put 8-10 people in permanent jobs. But the pilot also uncovered some issues that slightly redefined the way the new Hiring Hall will operate.

   One goal was to pay the day laborers a minimum wage of $9.25 an hour. Many employers shared feedback that they were currently paying only $8 an hour to the agencies they were currently using. Originally the Hiring Hall had estimated that the employers were paying fees to the temporary agencies. They found out through the process that most of the fees the agencies collected were coming directly from the worker’s pockets. The fees that the agencies charge workers include check cashing fees and charges for safety equipment. Workers report that many of the for profit temporary labor companies employ unfair practices such as putting their overtime pay in separate checks so that it disappears.

   “Being a non-profit is part of the key to our success,” Garver states. But the Hiring Hall still need to recoup some kind of expense to keep the project running. In light of the employer’s feedback, the CCHH had to lower their minimum pay expectations to $8 dollars an hour. Still, Garver expects that once a marketing program is in place to present to Cleveland area employers and word spreads on the benefits of using the CCHH, the hourly wage will rise. She admits it will be difficult to persuade employers when you are just talking dollars but she is convinced that when the employers look into the other benefits, such as better prepared workers with positive attitudes, the CCHH will gain their confidence.

   The CCHH is enjoying significant support from organized labor with unions either putting the CCHH and its services into their bargaining contracts or directly recommending the project where they have strong relationships with employers. The AFL-CIO, the Hotel and Restaurant Union and the United Labor Agency are among those who have provided significant assistance.

    Community organizations have also volunteered their time and support, among the groups represented on the board of the CCHH is the Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, NEOCH and the Catholic Commission on Community Action.

   Sarah Garver has a passion for her mission and the support of key community and labor organizations. If she can meet the challenge of convincing the employers to use the CCHH, the Greater Cleveland will have a tool to return more money and hopefully employment security to its workforce. The Hiring Hall will be looking for public and private support to assure long term success.

Copyright Homeless Grapevine Issue #66 September-October 2004 Cleveland, Ohio

Ohio Foreclosures: Large Growth in 2003

     The number of Ohioans who lost their homes to foreclosure and sheriff sales grew again in 2003. Foreclosure filings increased 3 percent in Ohio, while sheriff sales of foreclosed properties continued to soar, up 26 percent from 2002. Those were among the findings of “Home Security 2004: Foreclosure Growth in Ohio,” a new report issued today by Policy Matters Ohio. Foreclosures usually occur when a borrower, unable to meet mortgage payments, defaults on a loan. Sheriff sales are the actual auctions of the foreclosed homes. Policy Matters Ohio analyzed foreclosure data from the Ohio Supreme Court and obtained data on sheriff sales by surveying the state‚s county sheriffs. Our research finds:

During 2003, 57,083 new foreclosure filings were made in Ohio courts, up 3 percent from a year earlier, up 31 percent from 2001 and more than double the number in 1998.

County sheriff departments put more than 36,425 foreclosed properties up for sale. That represents a 26 percent increase from 2002 and a 57 percent increase from just two years earlier.

The number of properties put up for sale last year equated to about one in every 117 Ohio households. That compares to one out of every 185 households in 2001.

The number of sheriff sales grew in 76 of the 81 counties for which we obtained data in both 2001 and 2003. Even fast-growing suburban counties such as Delaware, Warren and Medina saw big increases.

     The recent growth comes after a dramatic increase between the mid-1990s and 2001, as detailed in a previous Policy Matters Ohio study. There are some signs of improvement. Twenty-two Ohio counties experienced a decline in foreclosure filings last year, and a survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association of America found that new foreclosures started as a share of all 1- to 4-unit residential mortgage loans in the state fell in the first quarter of 2004 from the previous quarter. However, according to the MBA survey, Ohio ranks second in the country in new foreclosure rates, and those remain far above historical levels.

     A weak economy and predatory lending clearly are major contributors to the continued increase in foreclosures and sheriff sales. Among 57 sheriff departments that responded to a Policy Matters survey question asking about what was behind the foreclosures, 16 ranked job loss or a weak economy first among the factors. However, 31 cited predatory lending — deceptive, high-cost loans with excessive interest rates, fees and penalties. Predatory lending has grown with subprime loans, which are offered at higher cost than conventional loans to customers who have had credit problems. So far, however, the state of Ohio has not taken major steps to curb predatory lending practices. The report concludes with recommendations on how the General Assembly should respond to this issue.

     Policy Matters Ohio is a nonprofit, nonpartisan research institute that focuses on issues that matter to low- and middle-income Ohioans. The full report is available at www.policymattersohio.org/Home_Insecurity_2004.htm

 Copyright Homeless Grapevine Issue #66 September-October 2004 Cleveland, Ohio.

National News Updates on Attempts to Hide Poverty

Homeless Shelter Ordered Closed

Las Vegas, NV

     Anthony Mosley has operated God In Me Ministries, a homeless shelter for men for the past four years. The men are able to donate what they can afford for a room and the use of the services at the shelter. But Las Vegas officials, acting on a neighbor’s complaint, have ordered the homeless shelter operation to close because the property, which is in a residential neighborhood, is not zoned for that use. To comply with the city Mosely has to begin to rent the rooms to a smaller number of people for $350 monthly. The shelter operated for 11 years and housed as many 70 men, before the city realized it was not properly zoned. Mosley has had to whittle the number of residents down to 20, and has to decide which homeless men to cast away.

Insurance Scammers Accused of Recruiting Homeless to Allow Bone Breaking Injuries

Chicago, IL

     Michael Garner was known around area homeless shelters as the bone-crusher. He recruited he homeless to be victims in stages auto accidents. Garner and his alleged partners used a 100 pd. Rock or sledgehammer to break the leg or arm before taking them to a location where the accident would be staged. The police were tipped off about the scheme and began to monitor homeless people and the suspects. Garner and his accomplices received between $10,000 and more than $100,000 with the majority of the money going to the ringleaders. Although some settlements were six figures many of the homeless received only several hundred dollars and left with lifelong injuries. Mr. Garner and his accomplices were charged with aggravated fraud conspiracy, conspiracy to commit insurance fraud, aggravated insurance fraud and six counts of battery.

More Shelter Needed In Fitchburg

     Fitchburg has two emergency shelters: Our Father’s House with 28 beds and Valiton House with is run by the state. In addition Our Father’s House runs two transitional housing programs, one for men and one for women. Montachusett Interfaith Hospitality Network, a collection of 10 churches in Fitchburg, Leominster and Luneburg shelter up to 14 homeless family members, but people must be turned away. The region lack affordable apartments, such as those in rooming house and is a great contributor to homelessness.

All retailers Withdraw Hate Videos

     In June, the National Coalition for the Homeless called attention to a long list of retailers including Borders, FYI entertainment, and Amazon.com that were selling video tapes of homeless people being beaten, exploited, and degraded. These videos had titles such as “Bum Hunts,” and “Bum Fights. The information came to light when a staff member of the Cleveland Homeless Coalition walked into a Best Buy and found one of the video tapes for sale. After many letters and e-mails, every company has stopped trafficking in those videos or DVDs. An individual can no longer order the tapes and have them delivered to the stores. They cannot access those tapes using brand name websites.

     This is a major victory for a small organization that represents the interest of homeless people. After press conferences in Cleveland, Austin Texas, and Los Angeles, the retailers relented and pulled the copies from their shelves. NCH will remain vigilant to assure that homeless exploitation does not return to store shelves according to Coalition officials. The big concern was for the safety of homeless people. Did the young people in Chicago and Cleveland that attacked and filmed their attacks on homeless people intend to sell their footage to the producers of “Bum Fights” or “Bum Hunts?”

New York Cop Awaits Trial

     In 2002, The Grapevine posted a story about a New York City cop who was fined and then suspended for 30 days for refusing to ticket homeless people for innocent behavior. After hearing of the suspension homeless people held a service for the individual and raised over $3,000 to help his family. The officer Eduardo Delacruz is awaiting trial regarding the refusal to obey orders. In recent accounts in the media, charges have surfaced that Delacruz might have been covering his own scheme to leave early from work with the homeless ticketing story. A few newspaper in New York report that Delacruz may have been slipping out of work early, and when confronted about the lack of tickets made up the story about refusing to ticket homeless people. We will continue to follow the story.

Homeless Man Donates $10,000 to Gallery Owner--San Francisco, CA

     A 56 year old man who slept in the doorway of an Art Gallery in San Francisco donated $10,000 to gallery as a thank you for the hospitality of the owner. A man identified only as Don won a nearly $200,000 inheritance, and the first thing that he did was to donate the money to the gallery owner.

Disneyland Pastor Again Fights attempts to Close Shelter

Buena Park, CA

     In 2001, the Grapevine reported on a minister, Rev. Wiley Drake, who was under court order to close his homeless shelter in Buena Park California. He successfully fought off attempts to close his facility, and continued to house 70-80 homeless men. Over the summer, he was again notified by City officials that he did not have a zoning permit to operate a shelter. Drake believes that his proximity to the “Happiest Place on Earth” Disneyland is the reason for the harassment. He vows to continue the fight to help those without food or shelter.

Colorado Springs Cracks Down on Homeless People

     One social service provider in Colorado Springs testified before City Council that the city needs to pass stricter laws and enforce existing laws to force homeless people off of the streets. Bob Holmes of Homeward Pikes Peak claims that the city has a reputation as a great place to be homeless, and needs to crack down on panhandling, sleeping in a tent, and other activities of homeless people. City Council members seemed supportive and Holmes comments were well received. He claims only those who do not want to do their part in society will be hurt by the new stringent policies, and they will relocate.

ACLU sues over a new anti-camping law in Hawaii

     The ACLU is challenging a law that cracks down on those who sleep on Hawaii’s beaches. The police issue can a warning then can ban the person if they are caught on the beach or any public property doing anything that is disruptive. The ban can take place even if the individual is not doing something illegal like falling asleep at a library. The ACLU is asking that the law be ruled unconstitutional.

Two Men Charged with Murder in Louisville

Police charged two men in the beating death of Clifton Agnew earlier in 2004. The attack happened outside of the Salvation Army headquarters in Louisville Kentucky. The two men were charged with murder.

Tulsa Take Action After the Beating Death of Homeless Man

     Normally when a homeless man is attacked and killed a city responds with strategies to protect a vulnerable population. Tulsa Oklahoma residents have actually responded to the beating by producing and distributing “Fuck the Homeless” T-shirts. Terry Badgewell is homeless and was beat up by a bar owner, Shawn Howard, who used brass knuckles to “punish” Badgewell for sleeping on the street. The homeless individual, Badgewell fought back and grabbed a lead pipe striking and killing Howard. Tulsa prosecutors refused to prosecute Badgewell because he was attacked by Howard and they ruled the incident as self defense.

     Family members and neighbors have taken action with the Fuck the Homeless T-shirts. They have posted “Wanted” posters with Badgewell’s picture and homeless people have been warned not to come near the area. So far there are no reports of further violence.

Street Youth Have a High Rate of Suicide

     Tulane University released a study in August showing that children and youth that experience homelessness are 11 times more likely to commit suicide. They have a higher incidence of HIV/AIDS and substance abuse which contribute to the higher death rate. The researchers studied homeless youth in Montreal over a five year period to determine the death rate among street youth compared to those who never experience homelessness. The research was published in the Journal of American Medical Association and determined that a much higher percentage of young people do not survive the experience of being homeless than had previously been reported.

 Copyright Homeless Grapevine Issue #66 September-October 2004 Cleveland, Ohio

Lakeside Shelter Continues to Make Progress

by Jeremy Sidhu

      The shelter for men at 2100 Lakeside Avenue has had its share of ups and downs. The shelter has over 500 people per night and has a group of residents who meet to discuss policy and conditions. The resident council has met at the shelter for two years. Most resident council members will agree that the shelter has been short-staffed and under-funded since its inception in 2000. Overall, the current status of the shelter reflects its resourcefulness in meeting new problems.

     In a summer 2004 resident council meeting at 2100 Lakeside Shelter, representatives from various communities within the shelter voiced their concerns, identified problems, and proposed resolutions.

     One important issue discussed at the meeting was the quality, and quantity, of the meals provided by the shelter. The representatives would like to see more nourishing and well-balanced meals.

     Some representatives attending the meeting, however, warned that if the meals are too well-proportioned, the men of the shelter may become less motivated to leave. Vernon, a representative of Community W (the community that helps men in their transition from unemployment to employment and, sometimes, employment to re-establishing themselves as functioning members of society), noted that, “If you make things too comfortable for an individual, then you open yourself up for exploitation because it is human nature to find the easiest way out.”

      Don, a representative of Community E (the community that accommodates men in need of emergency shelter) and a volunteer member of the kitchen staff, estimated that on an average day the shelter must prepare over 1000 meals. Duane Drotar, Director of the shelter, cited that the current food budget for the shelter is 19 cents a meal, per man.

     Other areas of service in which the representatives feel there is room for improvement include: creating a GED program or providing an avenue for the men to access such programs, bringing in companies to provide job training, establishing an onsite medical staff, and providing a library with one or two computer terminals (and lessons to teach individuals how to use a computer).

     While the idea of bringing computer terminals to a homeless shelter may sound absurd to some, Tommy, an alumni staff member who helps to manage Community S (the community responsible for placing volunteers into a work therapy environment), pointed out that the more programs the shelter has to offer, the more likely a man will be able to find the services he needs. Tommy wants residents to have access to all the services in the community in order to take advantage of to break the cycle of homelessness.

     Thus far, two programs that have achieved considerable success at 2100 Lakeside Shelter are Recovery Resources and Community S. Recovery in turn, lessens the load for the shelter and is the first step towards a better life for the men.

     Unfortunately, there is a long waiting list to get into nearly every program in Cleveland including the popular Willson Tower transitional housing program, the only exception being a fast track program at the public housing authority for men over the age of 50.

     Community S has seen a dramatic increase in the amount of men volunteering to support the shelter that supports them. The community has gone from accommodating 20 men to 69, which reflects a rise in the number of men willing to volunteer and better their lives. The men provide services to the shelter that would otherwise require payment by the Salvation Army. Vernon also mentioned that Community S affords the men the opportunity to recommit themselves to daily responsibilities.

     In addition to work within the shelter, Community S also takes volunteers for churches and other organizations that wish to outsource the men. Tommy would like to see more Cleveland companies and agencies get involved with the shelter, specifically to provide job training or further develop the skills of some of the men, “A company could come in, train some of the guys- at minimum wage- and have some of the best workers that they could ever have.”

      The meeting also yielded areas of improvement for managing the shelter. The representatives made it clear that people who do not belong in the shelter should not be allowed to roam the building at will. There are some men who enter the building for the sole purpose of socializing with those who have taken shelter there.

      This poses a problem in that the shelter is already bursting at the seams with the mass of homeless individuals it must accommodate. In addition, men, who enter the shelter but are not in need of the services provided there, may be connected to the persisting problems of theft and drug-trafficking in and around the shelter. This, in turn, has prompted representatives to call for more rigid guidelines for monitoring the entrance to the shelter.

     Other initiatives proposed by the representatives included administering urine tests in certain communities to men who have had a lapse in presence at the shelter and conducting a more thorough evaluation of persons coming to the shelter. The later deals primarily with the assessment of mental health, particularly demanding more in-depth queries of medical history and past/present mental conditions. The representatives of the communities also reached a consensus that the men of the shelter need better access to psychological services.

    The men are attempting to work on a good procedure for addressing grievances at the shelter. Who should be involved and how is the process administered? Grievance forms have been created for the men of 2100 Lakeside Avenue to document cases of infringement upon their human rights, but procedures for submitting the forms continue to be revised in search of the most beneficial recipient of them. These issues will be discussed at future meetings.

     According to the documentation of the form, a grievance is warranted by an act in which a person “feels his rights have been violated or feels he has not received proper treatment in any respect of the agency’s program.”

       Another aspect explored at the meeting is that of structural problems at the shelter. These issues include fixing water leaks in Communities S and T, dividing the shelter into smaller, more personalized units, and expanding the facilities of the kitchen to include access to microwaves.

     Overall, things at the shelter are getting better. Most importantly, however, the programs are working. Many men came to the shelter in broken spirits years ago and are anxious to start contributing their talents to society again.

      Tommy is living proof that the communities at the shelter work, but he remembers a darker time in the brief history of the shelter when its only purpose was to accommodate those in need of emergency shelter. At that time, there were no programs in place to actually improve the lives of the men seeking refuge there. In addition, both Tommy and Don point out that the shelter lacked beds (at the time they only had floor mats) and a kitchen.

   In most respects, the shelter has come a long way. Likewise, Cleveland has come a long way. Don believes the shelter serves its purpose simply because, “It helps the image of downtown Cleveland- we don’t have as many people living on the streets.”

   Tommy talked about the hired security once commissioned by the Salvation Army to keep watch over the shelter. Oddly enough, he said he feels much safer without the security guards around. Now, the men take it upon themselves to protect one another. Tommy reflected upon the past of the shelter and remarked about the present, “The greatest security this building has is its clients, those that know each other… those that understand each other.”

 Copyright Homeless Grapevine Issue 66 September 2004 Cleveland, Ohio

Kucinich Fighting Ohio, U.S. Homelessness with Legislation

by Colleen Bittner

     Congressman Dennis Kucinich knows first-hand the plight of homeless people. That’s because he and his family lived in 21 places, including a couple of cars, by the time he was 17 years old. Now he’s committed to seeing that issues of public concern are addressed, and homelessness is a top priority - by all facts we have, unemployment is going up and homelessness is following suit, according to Steve Inchak, a Kucinich congressional staff member.

     To address homelessness, Kucinich initiated a Homeless Summit for Ohio’s 10th Congressional District, which includes (among others) Cleveland, Lakewood, Rocky River, Parma and Middleburg Heights. More than 200 homeless advocacy group and governmental agency representatives, elected officials and currently or formerly homeless people attended sessions held in February, March and November 2003.

     Kucinich organized this summit in response to homelessness trends and constituent requests. In the Cleveland area, the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless estimates that nearly 26,000 people are homeless within each year and 4,000 people are homeless on any given night. It’s no surprise, then, that there has been a steady increase in the number of constituents contacting Kucinich’s Cleveland-area congressional offices with requests for homeless services.

     The group produced a comprehensive report that highlights existing homelessness prevention/assistance programs in the 10th District, underscores important gaps in funding and services, and makes legislative recommendations.

     Congressman Kucinich spokesman Doug Gordon says, “This is an issue the congressman cares greatly about because at one point in his life he was homeless. Often, these people are left behind and forgotten about. The Congressman believes that in a society that as has as much wealth as we do, we should leave no one behind and care for all. A shining example of this are the homeless who are often times in the most need.” The Summit group also identified The Bringing Home America Act, (H.R. 2897), introduced into the 108th Congress in 2003, as its top legislative priority. Kucinich will be pushing this act as part of his legislative agenda, notes Inchak. The act is founded on the idea that all people deserve affordable housing, livable incomes, health care, education and protection of their civil rights. According to Inchak, this is the most far-reaching initiative to date to address modern homelessness and is based on research, data and the experience of front line providers and advocates.

 

     The act is currently in review with the House Subcommittee on Health, and as of July 27, 2004, had 55 congressional co-sponsors.

To help get this act passed, write your legislators, says Inchak. For more information, visit www.bringingamericahome.org.

 Copyright Homeless Grapevine Issue #66 September –October 2004 Cleveland, Ohio

 

Hagen’s “Face to Face” Portraits of Homelessness

by Yvonne Bruce

     In June of 2004, David Hagen’s photographic exhibit, Face to Face: Portraits of Homeless People in Cleveland,” opened at the Creative Impetus Gallery (CIG) on the West Side. Unlike most photographs that document homelessness, David Hagen’s portraits were taken in the studio and emphasize his subjects’ humanity, spirit, and individuality. A project more than two years in the making, “Face to Face” is the result of a collaboration between Hagen, CIG, the Northeast Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH), and AT&T Wireless. This interview follows up on a story about Face to Face that first appeared in The Grapevine last year (Issue 62, September-October 2003)

Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted via email in July 2004. Supplementary information for this article was provided by Brian Davis of NEOCH and by the “Face to Face” press release.

Homeless Grapevine: Where are you from? Where did you go to school? How did you become interested in photography?

David Hagen: I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I actually dropped out of school to pursue my career in photography. My older brother was a photographer and got me a job working in a black-and-white lab with one of his friends. After that I met a group of people who really went out of their way to help me learn the trade. For example, for the first portrait I ever took, I shot using the wrong film. This was when personal computers were first coming in, and a friend of mine was able to help me save my shots using his software. It took him about eight hours to do what today’s computers could do in ten minutes.

Another example is of the man who owned the photography lab where I worked. I started out there washing the floors, but the owner took me under his wing and taught me everything he knew about photography, until I was able to manage the place on my own, even though I hadn’t finished college or studied photography formally. Anyway, when I was just starting out, I photographed a wedding. I had no idea how or what to charge for this, so I charged $100. Well, when I figured out how much everything was going to cost to develop, the total came to $700! But the owner of the lab didn’t charge me for developing the pictures, didn’t give me a hard time about it, he just chalked it up to experience. I couldn’t have made it to this point without people like these sharing their knowledge with me.

I bounced around the Milwaukee market for nine or so years, working with as many different photographers as I could, trying to learn everything I could. After this I moved to Cleveland to help my wife achieve her dream of becoming a pediatrician. I found a wonderful studio here to work in and really just consider myself very lucky to be able to do what I love, which is taking pictures.

     I would have to say what has kept me interested in photography are all the people who helped me. I also really appreciate the fact that one day is never like the next in my profession. A few days ago I was photographing kids with cancer, and today I was photographing kids playing with new toys.

HG: How did you get involved with the “Face to Face” project?

DH: Through a friend who used to work at NEOCH, Staci Santa. Unfortunately, she moved before she saw the project completed.

We were just talking one day and started brainstorming. We came up with this idea to shoot our subjects in such a way that they were portrayed like everyone else. My goal was to make sure the shots had personality and the viewer was forced to look into the subject’s eyes. Fortunately for us, all the subjects had wonderful personalities, and they were very giving of themselves

HG: And in last year’s Grapevine article, you are quoted as saying you “wanted to photograph the homeless population in a way that might make them look just like you, your father, mother, brother, sister, friend or neighbor.” Are you suggesting that the average person’s understanding of homelessness has been negatively manipulated by media images or even by artistic treatments that emphasize the quality of homelessness at the expense of the homeless individuals?

DH: I do think the average’s person image of a homeless person is negative. I believe the media uses images of people living in boxes or under bridges for the shock factor. Lots of times, pictures you see are of people who have not bathed for a bit. I was hoping with this project to show that this is not always the case. More often than not, the people who came through the studio had some education, were well spoken, had a job, and had a positive attitude about life.

HG: Do you think that with your emphasis on the positive, your portraits could be accused of minimizing the devastation that homelessness can wreak on individuals and especially on families?

DH: I have been asked if my photos minimized homelessness before. I certainly hope not. This was not my intention at all. I was hoping to stop people in their tracks and force them to look. From the response I have gotten, I think we did this and hopefully have changed a few minds. Maybe they won’t be so quick to turn and run away.

HG: So would you say that your photographic work manifests an interest that is primarily aesthetic or primarily political? What relationship do you see between the aesthetic and political aspects of art?

DH: Aesthetic or political? I believe it is a fine line between the two. When I take on projects like “Face to Face,” I try to do my part to make a difference, no matter how small. I try to get my point across all the while, giving the viewer something to look at and something to think about.

HG: What is your usual photographic subject matter? How does “Face to Face” differ from your other work?

DH: My day-to-day work is commercial photography. I usually photograph products which are going to be introduced to consumers in a short while. I also

hoot some food along with some architecture. “Face to Face” is quite a bit different from my normal work. One, I was photographing everyday people, not models, who are a lot of whom I shoot. In addition, “Face to Face” is a project which was meant to change people’s views on homelessness. Much of my work is creative, though sometimes meaningless. This was a project that truly I felt could make a difference in someone’s life.

     One example of this is an amazing story that came out of this project. The Associated Press was one of the media organizations that covered the opening of “Face to Face,” and it ran the story using a picture of Twyla, who was one of the subjects of “Face to Face.” Twyla’s parents got wind of the story and eventually were able to track down their daughter. For me, this made the project all worthwhile.

HG: Who was most helpful to you in the completion of the “Face to Face” exhibit?

DH: The most helpful person during this project was no doubt Libby Ellis, who has worked with numerous philanthropic organizations in the area, fundraising and coordinating events. Libby came on board late into “Face to Face,” but she was just what we needed. She gave the project focus and helped get it out to the public. Libby also raised money, helped find the first gallery, CIG, worked on the “Face to Face” booklet, and gave the project some much needed money. Not only has Libby become a good friend, but she is considered by me to be one of my mentors. I will be forever indebted to Libby. She has taught me a lot.

HG: What kind of reaction have you gotten so far to “Face to Face”?

DH: I have really only heard positive feedback about this project. It has been traveling through Cleveland churches and colleges for the past few months. One of the nice surprises about this was seeing the interest from the college students. I had lots of people come up to me while I was taking the show down and say how moving it was. I believe if you can reach the younger population and get them involved, you can make changes.

HG: What are your current projects?

DH: My current projects . . . I am training with Team in Training for the Leukemia Society to run a marathon and raise money for research to find a cure. This has been a very emotional endeavor. I also just got done shooting portraits of kids with cancer. This is for a project called “Flash for Hope,” which has made these kids feel like stars, if only for a short while. It is a wonderful project, involving 15 to 20 photographers from the Cleveland area. Hopefully, next I will be working on a project dealing with battered women and families. Again, this is a tough topic, but hopefully we can have something positive come out of it.

HG: Is “Face to Face” being exhibited currently?

DH: Not currently, but in mid-October, “Face to Face” goes on exhibit at the Old Stone Church in downtown Cleveland, 91 Public Square.

Editor’s Note: For more information about David Hagen’s “Face to Face,” visit the NEOCH website (www.neoch.org). “Face to Face” is available for display at churches, civic organizations, libraries, and university galleries. NEOCH can schedule a presentation by the “Street Voices” project to kick off the display. The exhibit also features a “Face to Face” booklet with a sampling of the artwork as well as facts and stories about homelessness. To schedule a time to display the artwork, contact Brian Davis at 216-432-0540 ext. 400.

 Copyright Homeless Grapevine Issue #66 September-October 2004 Cleveland, Ohio

Grapevine Vendors Thank All Those Who Helped

     The call went out in early 2004 that the Grapevine was struggling to survive. The board that publishes the Grapevine had asked to see some community buy in or they would cease publication. The Grapevine had accumulated a debt, and was loosing vendors. During this time we lost our biggest friend and poet Daniel Thompson.

      The vendors are pleased to inform the community that the paper met the goal set by the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless board over the summer. Through individual donations and a number of religious communities that helped we were able to meet our goals. Special thanks to the Sisters of St. Joseph and James Onysko who organized a concert at the Beachland Ballroom. Thank you also to the Beachland for donating the space.

     Thanks to Mac’s Backs Paperback in Coventry for their help with everything. Thanks to our photographer friend, Pete Dell. Thank you to the friends and family of Daniel Thompson for their help, and thanks to the 50-70 individuals who gave what they could afford to make the future of the paper brighter.

      While we are very thankful that we will live to publish another day, we still need help to stabilize our operation. We need volunteers. We need subscriptions. We need more vendors to sell the paper, and we need your financial support. We are planning a number of fundraisers in the near future. If you hear about a Grapevine fundraiser, please make an effort to support this truly grassroots effort.

 Copyright Homeless Grapevine Issue 66 September 2004 Cleveland, Ohio

 

Federal Homeless Grant Dollars Explained

The graph on this page gives an overview of the distribution of a substantial portion of the funds used by local social service programs to address homelessness. These funds called the Continuum of Care are allocated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development for housing, transitional shelters (up to two years), supportive services, and housing vouchers for homeless people with disabilities. There is a confusing formula developed by HUD that takes into account unemployment and a number of other indicators to determine how much each city in the United States is entitled to that is earmarked for homelessness.

Funds Available:

   This section describes the amount of money that each community in Northeast Ohio is entitled to receive. The County takes the lead by pooling all the money and completing the application for all the local communities. There is a complicated grant application that requires community planning, review of existing programs, an inventory of current homeless people, and then a local plan for addressing the gaps in services. A community must put all the components together or they do not receive any money. There must be help from all sectors of the community from homeless people, business, government, veterans, social service and advocates in putting the grant together. In years past, Akron, Canton, and Dayton have all had serious problems with the grant process that resulted in dramatic cuts or elimination from the competition for that year.

     In 2004, Cuyahoga County was allocated over $11 million for all the homeless programs except emergency shelters. These shelters get a separate allocation that is administered by the City of Cleveland for a little over $1 million. HUD has stressed housing in the grant application, and therefore gives a $2 million bonus to the community if they make permanent housing as the top priority and have more than 33% of the total request going to the development of new housing for homeless people. This brings the total Cuyahoga County could potentially receive at over $13 million to solve the problem of homelessness.

New Projects:

     Most of the grant is renewal funding, but every year 4 or 5 new projects are funded. New projects typically involve the development or renovation of housing for homeless people. We have listed the new projects recommended by the Review and Ranking Committee and approved by the local Office of Homeless Services Advisory Board. The graphic provided the budgeted amount which in every case but Shelter Plus Care is a three year request. Shelter Plus Care is a 5 year grant. This chart provides the point in time count for each program and then the cost to house each person/family per year. Cleveland Housing Network is the construction and operation of houses and so costs the community over $20,000 per family.

     These programs are recommended by a group of 30-35 community leaders who look at each application and forward the top choices to HUD for funding. There were seven applications submitted with one project, Mental Health Services purchase of the North Point Inn, forwarded but withdrawn before the application was submitted. The committee had decided on providing $1 million for the North Point Inn project to house 80 individuals, but the project was withdrawn before the application went in.

Renewal SHP Projects

   The bulk of the Review committee’s time is taken up going out and looking at the projects currently receiving money from the Continuum of Care. SHP stands for Supportive Housing Programs, which emphasizes the most important function of these programs housing. This process generates a score from 1-178 with three reviewers each submitting a score based on client comments, a look at the facility, and financial information. The committee is made of volunteers who have full time jobs and take a couple of hours to visit each facility or each agency. This year no currently homeless people participated in the process of review. Also, the only homeless people who were given a chance to comment were those who were currently staying at the facility being reviewed. Those who were expelled or disgruntled were not surveyed by the review committee. There are many groups of homeless people that meet on a regular basis, but none were offered a chance to review the renewal or new projects. In looking at the scores the overwhelming majority range from 160-178 or translated to the academic score every project but one would receive an “A” in college. Every non-emergency shelter project in Cuyahoga County that serves homeless people and up for renewal in 2004 is rated at 90% or better by the local community leaders. This kind of success should translate to overwhelming successes in that 25 of 26 projects are given the highest ratings by the County review team.

     Each of these projects was recommended for renewal even the one that did not receive an A in Cuyahoga County with a few of the projects recommended for a second year of funding. Those projects are marked with funding listed in the “2 Years” column are recommended for a second year of funding. The next column is the number of people or families that were in the program in 2003 by adding the number in the program on the first day of the program year plus the number that entered the program through the year. This information comes from the form that each agency submits to HUD and signs saying it is accurate under pain of imprisonment if the information is found to be false. Then there is a slash with the number of people that found permanent housing who were a part of the program. Some programs have a plus sign, which indicates that number of individuals were referred to an institution (mental or drug). Two programs lost participants who died while they were in the program.

   All these programs have a goal of moving people to stability, but there is a wide disparity in the successes of the programs. HUD measures other successes such as referrals to transitional housing or the ability to increase benefits, but permanent housing usually means that the state no longer assists the individual. For example Joseph’s Home, a transitional program for men with a health problems, took in 41 people last year, and moved 16 to permanent housing with 2 moving to an institution. This is a 44% success rate while Family Transitional Housing Enhancement program only has a 19% success rate. Family Transitional is a program placing families into apartments for a maximum of two years and then moving them to a permanent place to live. They took in a large number of people in 2003 (107), but were only able to find housing for 20 people. There is a separate graph on the successes and cost to the community on this page. The successes vary from 8% to 90% for the projects.

   It is a tough to come to the realization that most programs fail more than they succeed. More people fail out of the program than get into permanent housing. Only a few programs have cracked the 50% barrier in Greater Cleveland with the most successful an aftercare program led by West Side Catholic and the Domestic Violence Center. This is an unfair comparison since everyone entering the program is housed and therefore the measurement should be maintaining housing. In that case the success rate drops down to just over 50%. One of the other projects that claims greater than 50% success rate is Continue Life which was ranked at the bottom by the reviewers.

   Most programs have strict rules that make it difficult or demand sobriety and sober living environment. There is no tolerance for mistakes with most of the programs and the majority of individuals are kicked out for relapsing. There is a balance in measuring these programs. The community would be harmed if programs just choose the most likely to succeed in order to drive up their statistics.

   Cuyahoga County officials are recommending nearly $8 million in renewal funding and just over $5 million in new programs. The other graph on page8 also shows the amount of money spent per person as well as per success. Also included is the letter of objection submitted by the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless to the entire process, and the letter in response by the chairs of the Review and Ranking committee. NEOCH objected to the process and to four programs that had received a larger than average number of complaints from homeless people. The committee chose not to address the complaints in any detail. NEOCH then filed the complaints directly with HUD.

     It should be noted that a committee looked at the process and made recommendations for reform including more inclusion by homeless people and forcing new projects to compete directly with renewal projects. Currently, the two processes are separate and the committee never compares the renewals with the new projects. All these recommendations were set aside by the committee that has final approval over the application. This committee called the County Office of Homeless Services Advisory board is heavily dominated by providers who receive money through the Continuum of Care and had a potential conflict of interest with increasing competition for the renewal dollars. This vote would have allowed an agency that successfully serves more people for less money to have a better shot at the funds over the current process which favors only permanent housing programs in funding new programs.

Copyright Homeless Grapevine Issue 66 September 2004 Cleveland, Ohio

Family Shelters Fall to Worst Conditions in a Decade

Commentary

By Brian Davis

      “This is as bad as I have seen it in the last 20 years for homeless people. What are you doing to get the word out?” said one social service provider. “Things are just getting worse, and more and more people are suffering,” said another 20-year veteran in the struggle to end homelessness. I have to say that in my eleven years with the Homeless Grapevine, I have never seen conditions so bad for homeless families in Cleveland. One statewide advocate pulled me aside to ask how everything went so wrong up in Cleveland for homeless families.

     It is always horror stories from advocates, and there is a misery fatigue that sets in from the public. They can only hear so many bad stories before they just tune them out. So, I want to frame this editorial with the good news that homeless men have it better than they have at any time. Cleveland is one of the few cities in the United States that has a shelter system that is constructed to accommodate any man that requests shelter. The staff and client war that had broken out in early 2002 was settled, and the residents are at peace. No one is lost or shoved away into a corner, and those who are so angry with the world have a quiet place to re-build trust in the system at Aviation High School.

     There is transportation to the overflow at Aviation at night and in the morning. There is a warm environment that allows the guys to grow. The environment is one of respect and growth and not punishment and paternalism. There are threats to this peace, but everything is not perfect. There is an upcoming budget process for the Salvation Army shelter. The Y-Haven west program is in danger with the sale of the building, and the Salvation Army PASS program is chaotic and prison-like. Overall, things are a lot better than 10 years ago when the main shelters were deplorable warehouses with poorly trained staff.

     While family homelessness is on the rise in Cleveland and in the United States, we have seen a collapse of the system locally. Except the Interfaith Hospitality Network, local churches are largely not involved in the lives of homeless women with children and instead religious organizations are operating shelters that receive public money. That is a dramatic change, because churches bring resources, volunteers and connections. We now have large non-profits that depend entirely on public money for operations. All levels of family shelters are facing huge obstacles including high turnover among staff, unstable funding, inability to follow state and local policies, a paternalistic or prison-like environment. The most serious issues are with the entry shelter that is struggling with philosophy and misguided policy problems.

Community Women’s Shelter:

     The shelter had serious shortfalls while it operated in the Bishop Cosgrove Center and at the mold infested site on East 18th, but the women feel that they have fallen from the frying pan to the fire with the move to the Payne Avenue shelter. The shelter’s resident council has provided the shelter 4 pages of concerns and recommendations in early July with no written response by the end of August. The shelter regularly ignores the County’s discharge policy and has even adopted a policy that “swearing in an aggressive fashion” results in a suspension from the entry shelter (otherwise known as sleeping on the street) for three days.

     This facility is totally inappropriate for families. They have every woman sit in an overcrowded main floor from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. The mentally ill, the alcohol and drug addicted, children, unemployed and those just released from prison all sit in the same space with one armed off duty Cleveland police officer. Instead of fixing this problem, the staff has actually recommended that the mother temporarily give up custody of the children until they are stable. It is bad enough being homeless for a family but to have to endure a professional social worker pressuring the mother to give up the only stable thing left is too much. The County and the other shelters make every effort to get families out of the Community Women’s Shelter at all, but this is getting increasingly difficult with the current state of the shelters and growing demand.

     There is definitely a problem when women long for the days of mold or an overcrowded gymnasium. Many women have said they would like to go back to the Cosgrove because of the harsh conditions of the current shelter. This facility has to be a uninviting prospect for women who have lost everything and have nowhere else to turn.

Zelma George/Salvation Army Women’s Shelter

     Five years ago, the Harbor Light Shelter had 5 units for families. It was not the best conditions but it was the only shelter that accepted married couples with children so the community tolerated the fact that the family shelter was in a pre-release/mental health facility/detox center/and men’s shelter. Now, the Salvation Army has stuffed over one hundred women with children into the Harbor Light Complex. Granted, the Zelma George Shelter was falling down and the old shelter on Carnegie was a dump, but sending the women to a prison compound is certainly not the answer. Those other shelters were smaller and had a more family atmosphere. Now the women are searched upon entering and exiting from the only door to the shelter. There is no separate entrance for the men in the pre-release section of the shelter and no separate elevator. The back stairs are accessible to all, and the recreation and kitchen facilities are restricted to very limited usage. Despite complaints by homeless women, the Coalition for the Homeless and others no governing body is willing to take on the Salvation Army.

East Side Catholic Shelter:

     By most respects the shelter gets good reviews, but has paranoia about outside involvement. ESCS also refused to abide by state law and has discriminated against some children. They have refused to sign a document that said that they would allow boys over the age of 13 into the shelter. This conflict lasted over eight month before they finally relented. This policy means a mom with a teenage boy would have to make the decision to split up the family or stay in an unstable or unsafe housing situation. And we cannot test their compliance with the state law since they refuse to allow staff from the Coalition for the Homeless to visit the shelter and talk to residents.

West Side Catholic

     Always the model shelter in our city, West Side Catholic was always clean, modern and usually caring has struggled over the last year with leadership problems. They just recently saw their director leave after only one year amid disputes with the board. This is something to watch because problems develop when there is a leadership vacuum.

Domestic Violence Shelter

     All the shelters have had to struggle with funding. We have this split in the country of how to divide up the precious resources between housing, services and shelter. No provider has suffered more over the last few years then the Domestic Violence Shelter. They merged operations in an ill-fated marriage of Templum and the Center for Prevention of Domestic Violence. This cut the funds from the Victims of Crime in half. The state then decided to start enforcing a prohibition on the DV shelters receiving emergency shelter grants. The result was a closing of one of the domestic violence shelters in Cleveland and thus reducing the number of beds with specialized care. Since a majority of families in shelter have some recent experience with abuse, this makes every shelter over-taxed. The DV shelters also received many negative comments in the Continuum of Care review. All of these are troublesome and areas to watch.

Other facilities

     This is basically the universe for emergency shelters reserved for homeless families in our community. There are a few private shelters that have limited impact on the community, but are never going to lead the effort to solve this problem. The small but empowering and compassionate Interfaith Hospitality Network thankfully doubled their capacity, but by its very nature can only serve the cream of the homeless population. Laura’s Home and Angeline Christian Home are both City Mission organized shelters and are great disappointments in the struggle to end family homelessness. They have strict rules, making it difficult if not impossible to enter and maintain residency. The result is that Laura’s Home is nearly empty in a time of huge demands. They demand adherence to someone else’s rules and to a fundamentalists’ God. They could do so much, but have put religious tolerance above compassion, the main principle of Christianity.

Other factors

     All the shelters have great pressures in the community that make their jobs nearly insurmountable. From the fact that nearly half of Cleveland’s children live below poverty, and Cuyahoga County lost a huge number of jobs that the shelter worker is overwhelmed with misery every night. We have shredded the safety net with the loss of welfare and the complicated system that replaced cash assistance. We have dramatically underpaid and under trained the staff at our shelters who have little ability to address poverty. In fact, many shelter workers are closer to homelessness than we like to talk about.

     The women who enter the shelters have a great deal more problems than they ever had in the past. From chronic health conditions, an inability to find help with getting untangled from the slavery of a marriage based on violence to unchecked drug and alcohol addictions make the life of the shelter worker a depressing and difficult occupation. The inability for many to find mental health assistance and the criminally low stipends offered to disabled Americans receiving Social Security Disability Assistance. Minimum wage jobs offered by huge corporations so that families can spend their minimum secure lives in a minimum supportive environment that only keep people minimally alive. The crisis in the emergency rooms of our major cities, and the inability for many to afford the market rent makes shelter stays months instead of days.

     It used to be in our country that homeless children were our community’s highest priority. We started this crisis by buying hotel vouchers for families while they briefly lived without a house. Now, the families have a hard time getting a hygiene kit, and have to fight to remain together as a family. While West Side Catholic has a beautiful facility, it is a symbol that we have accepted that we will always have homeless families in our community. We started out so focused on moving families into homes, and now we are spending millions on a computer system to count the number of homeless families. We have thousands of families waiting for housing, and thousands of children taken by our county away from their parents. We are sinking further and further into a permanent underclass, and our shelters are sliding into a prison system.

     If someone in a position of authority does not step forward to reign in this situation, we will continue to slip further behind. This is a call to arms. There is a growing crisis. The women who enter these failing shelters will remember this treatment. They will remember that in their time of need their city gave them rotting vegetables. They will not forget the mistreatment, the splitting of their families, and they will remember inability to find real help. Worst of all the children will remember.

Copyright Homeless Grapevine Issue 66 September 2004 Cleveland, Ohio

Local News Analysis: Concern Raised Over Poverty and Homelessness Increases

Commentary by Brian Davis

Men’s Overflow Shelter:

    There is still a big question about the future of the Salvation Army’s participation in the biggest shelter in the Midwest at 2100 Lakeside. The Salvation Army is asking for nearly three times their current budget, which is actually reasonable in government logic, considering the County gave the women’s shelter a huge budget in comparison—94% of the men’s shelter budget for 25% of the total number of residents.

    Unfortunately, neither the County or the City have this money, and are looking for other social service providers. Only two years ago, the County spent one year trying to find the best provider for the shelter and in the end reaffirmed the contract for the Salvation Army. Two other providers bid on the contract for substantially less than is currently being discussed. Providing such a large increase to the women must have spread through the service provider community, because the Salvation Army tripling of the budget has actually come in as a low bid so far.

     The County treated the other two applicants in 2002 very disrespectfully and now must crawl back to them asking for help. One City official when asked about asking for new ideas and a new provider in a year.” Right on schedule.

     The food situation is still very difficult for the men, who survive with very little food in a land of bounty. This is one of the largest meal programs in the state, serving over 500 meals every night with over 100 lunches and 400 breakfasts. The shelter must accomplish this with a budget of 19 cents per meal per client. This miracle of spreading the food to everyone is done with donations and plenty of prayer.

    Cuyahoga County officials have attended the last series of Resident Council meetings at the shelter to keep the men informed. The County has tried to keep the men from worrying about their futures at the shelter, and promised that no matter who is operating the shelter the County is committed to continuous improvement. To that end, the County is making plans to secure the facility long term, and has requested information from the men who sleep in the shelter of what is working and what needs improved.

Women’s Overflow Shelter

    The Mental Health Services facility is often characterized by the women as an Army base. The women have presented a very long list of problems at the shelter. They have received very little written feedback from shelter staff. They have seen a hardening of the rules from no television to now a complete prohibition even viewing movies on the weekend. From rules to expel those who fight to now expelling those who “aggressively swear,” the women are frustrated with the lack of communication between staff and residents. At the end of August, the shelter informed the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, who had organized the women, that they would no longer be welcomed at the shelter.

    The shelter staff, according to a letter from director Steve Friedman was upset by comments that appeared in the last issue of the Homeless Grapevine. Instead of writing to the paper, they are punishing the women by blacklisting the agency that was attempting to represent the interests of the residents. (NEOCH advocates for the women at the shelter and publishes the Homeless Grapevine newspaper.)

    Friedman writes, “We welcomed NEOCH to meet with residents of our shelter, (Isn’t the shelter a community asset, not theirs?) because we thought that NEOCH’S participation could bring an objective, independent perspective to efforts to provide shelter and supportive services that effectively meet the needs of homeless women in our community. Instead we believe that NEOCH has used access to the shelter for other purposes…Your presentation of the residents’ list of concerns to other constituents, accompanied by derogatory comments about our agency, is both improper and unhelpful. Our concerns are most vividly illustrated by the recent article about the Community Women’s Shelter appearing in Issue 65 of the Homeless Grapevine, a NEOCH publication. The article, on page 14, states that ‘All women are confined to a dining area for 10-11 hours of the day.’ This is a grave and irresponsible assertion that MHS subjects shelter residents to illegal restraint and coercion. The motivation for this assertion is incomprehensible to us, because it is inconceivable that an assertion of this kind could in any way foster an informed and productive discussion of the difficult issues confronted by homeless women in our community.”

     The Grapevine never used the word “illegal” or “restraint” or “coercion” in describing the shelter. The point of the article was the residents are prevented from using the rest of the shelter and must stay in only the dining area or they can choose to leave the facility. The men’s shelter gives those men who are working on a case plan complete access to the shelter during the day. Seems Friedman was too busy trying to crack the secret code of the Grapevine article instead of reading what it actually said. The article actually said, “the shelter moved into new larger facilities…There are many women who like the urgency that the new shelter staff places on getting women into more appropriate facilities, but a majority complain about the cramped conditions during the day.” Then there was the sentence about being confined to the dining room. Taken out of context it sounds like a jail, but in the article is very clear the meaning.

      Friedman continued, “Later, the article characterizes a ‘dangerous trend’ the ‘growing number of women who are giving up on the Community Women’s Shelter.’ This is a curious assertion that is offered without any evidence. Here are the facts. In the last month MHS assumed operation of the shelter, the average nightly count of women and children at the shelter was 89. Since MHS began operation of the shelter, that number has grown to 110. Most recently during August, the average was 136. No fewer than 115 women and children were at the shelter each night of August and the count reached 159 near the end of the month.”

     Thank you for the lesson in presenting inaccurate facts. This is like saying that Ohio City Pasta selling noodles at the West Side Market is the reason that the Market is so busy on Saturdays. It could be that or it could be tradition, prices, the economy or many other things. The shelter could be crowded because “if you build it they will come” similar to the doubling of the population at 2100 Lakeside in one year after they opened. It could be the bad economy that put Cleveland on the top of the list of poor cities. It could be the high cost of rent in Cleveland or it could be that the other shelters are making it difficult or it could be all of those factors together. Also, remember that the NEOCH Board of Trustees, in a letter in the January Grapevine, said that the facility was inadequate to meet demand and would soon be overcrowded.

      Anyway, the first women’s overflow shelter in Cleveland was deplorable and had steadily increasing populations. Two different outreach workers have said that they have seen an increase in women sleeping outside. Shelter referral sources report more and more women saying, “I do not want to go there.” The statement in the Grapevine was not intended to say that every woman is rejecting the shelter, only that there was a trend that is being mentioned in the community that is not healthy—women avoiding the Community Women’s Shelter.

  Poverty summit in Cleveland

     Speaking of poverty, Mayor Campbell held a poverty summit, but seemed to forget about the most extreme form of poverty—homelessness. Not one homeless provider was in attendance. Very few organizations that actually represent individuals who are poor were actually invited. The major institutions that have had a crack at addressing this problem for the last 50 years were at the table. They do not have a very good track record over the last half decade, so why keep going back to them?

     Grassroots organizations that actually talk to and meet with low income people would present radical ideas that would make a difference, but would make waves. What about a universal health care for everyone who lives in the City of Cleveland? What about guaranteed access to housing for all City of Cleveland residents, and an individual pays no more than 30% of their income with partial rent control? What about universal living wage so that people make enough income to afford fair market rents? What about free community college education for everyone who lives in the City of Cleveland? This would solve poverty, but increasing donations to non-profit social service organizations will not solve any problems.

 Copyright Homeless Grapevine Issue #66 September-October 2004 Cleveland, Ohio

2004 Continuum of Care Grant Application

Northeast Ohio Share of Federal Homeless Permanent Housing/Support Services/Transitional Housing Dollars

Funding Available:

Cleveland $8,590,366.00

Cleveland Heights $226,446.00

Cuyahoga County $1,136,760.00

East Cleveland $146,338.00

Euclid $133,442.00

Lakewood $772,144.00

Parma $119,999.00

Preliminary Pro Rata Need: $11,125,495.00

Permanent Housing Bonus: $2,000,000.00

Greater Cleveland Final Share of Federal Homeless Dollars $13,125,495.00

 

NEW PROJECTS: 3 or 5 year Budget Point-in-time Capacity Per Housed Cost Per Year

**EDEN, Shelter + Care: $2,139,300.00 70 $6,112

**Cogswell Hall $293,207.00 10 $9,773

**EDEN/Emerald Commons $913,025.00 52 $5,853

**Cleveland Housing Network $304,500.00 5 $20,300

**EDEN/Recovery Resources $1,410,000.00 46 $10,217

Total New Projects: $5,060,032.00

# Housed in

permanent housing

in 2003

 

RENEWAL SHP PROJECTS: Review Score 1 Years 2 Years

Existing projects serving homeless people

**Mental Hlth Srv. - Safe Haven I: 177 $262,851.00 13/1

Mental Hlth Srv. - Outreach/Payee: 176.3 $446,546.00 466/80+5@

Joseph’s Home: 176 $273,056.00 41/16+2@

Family Trans. Hsg. - Aftercare: 175.6 $120,901.00 $120,901.00 51/16

Family Trans. Hsg. - Enhancement: 175.6 $97,183.00 $97,182.00 107/20

Family Trans. Hsg. - Expansion: 175.6 $126,149.00 $126,149.00 50/24

Cleve. Hsg. Network - SAFAH: 175.3 $119,627.00 $119,626.00 82 families/20

Mental Hlth Srv. - Bridging the Gap Youth 175 $276,577.00 19/5

**AIDS Task Gurnick Place: 174 $111,330.00 $111,330.00 *15/2@

CMHA - Y-Haven II 173 $563,045.00 94/30

**Mental Hlth Srv. - Safe Haven III: 173 $467,714.00 23/3+2@

Transitional Housing: 171.3 $122,529.00 $122,528.00 115/42+2@

CMHA - Willson Towers: 170 $386,373.00 100/37*

Salvation Army PASS Trans Hsg.: 169 $537,741.00 216/73+11@

Salvation Army PASS Supp. Serv.: 169 $270,705.00 304/87+11@

Hitchcock Center for Women 168.5 $275,403.00 34/15

Mental Hlth Srv. - Expansion (Drop-In) 168 $229,897.00 370/28+11@

YMCA - Y-Haven I: 168 $342,158.00 134/39

Salvation Army Zelma George: 167 $174,731.00 73/40+1@

**EDEN Rec Resources: (EST) 165.3 $455,674.00 $455,673.00 50/1

CMHA - Y-Haven III 164 $187,351.00 13/not enough info

West Side Catholic Center - HEP 163.9 $317,109.00 102/92 +3@

East Side Catholic Center 162 $187,749.00 90/30+19@

VOA - Trans. Living Program: 161 $246,967.00 123/54+2@

VOA - Expansion: 161 $79,155.00 116/45+1@

Continue Life: 140 $212,973.00 62/32

Total: $6,891,494.00 + $1,153,389.00 = $8,044,883.00

*participants died while in the project

@ institutionalized

Renewal Funding + New Projects = Total 2004 $8,044,883.00 + $5,060,032.00 = $13,104,915.00

Federal Share of Homeless Dollars $13,125,495.00

Difference: Pro-Rata Balance: $20,580.00

Copyright for the Homeless Grapevine Issue #66 September-October 2004 Cleveland, Ohio