Local News: For Every Step Forward, Three Steps Back

Homeless Art Show at Pilgrim Church

The residents of the Community Women's Shelter worked with art therapists and other volunteers to put an art exhibit together that is currently featured at Pilgrim Church in Tremont. The show received extensive coverage in the Plain Dealer, including a slide show on the Cleveland.com website.

Stand Down Successful

      For the first time in the 15-year history of this one day service fair for homeless people, the Stand Down was staged on the West Side of Cleveland. InterAct Cleveland was the lead organization and held the Stand Down over four days; two days on the East Side and two days on the West Side. The Grapevine will feature more in depth information as soon as all the statistics are compiled. There was a large service fair on the East Side at the Cosgrove Center, and then thousands of new coats and winter gear were given away on the second day at Pilgrim Church. There were thousands of meals served over the four days and the event was extremely successful.

Community Hiring Hall Moves   The Community Hiring Hall, Cleveland's non-profit temporary labor company moved from Euclid Ave to 3135 Perkins Ave. in the back of the Mid City Building across from Old School Boxing. The Hiring Hall has bid on the City of Cleveland summer clean up program, and are awaiting news. 

  Shelters Off County Oversight

      In a previous edition of The Homeless Grapevine, it was reported that three shelters, East Side Catholic, Salvation Army Zelma George, and Hitchcock Center were all under six-month probations from Cuyahoga County. As part of the yearly review for federal funds, Cuyahoga County sends a team out to look at the facilities, interview clients, and review files. Both Salvation Army and Hitchcock Center corrected their issues, but as late as January 2006 the Review team was reporting dire warnings about the project going out of business or dissolving. In an amazing turn-around somehow accomplished in two months, the Review Team has released East Side Catholic from probationary oversight. The Coalition for the Homeless has asked for a written report from the Review Team on the corrective actions taken.

HousingCleveland.org Grows

The new website available to homeless people and those in need of housing is up and growing. There are more than 2,000 property units available and over 1,000 searches a day. The website has added a mapping feature so that individuals can search based on housing close to a certain point on a map.

Reed “Covers” Homelessness 

      Former naked art participant/reporter for Channel 19 “Action News” dressed up as a homeless person and stayed in the shelters. The first activity while pretending to be “homeless” was panhandling. To many homeless people, panhandling is certainly not representative of the homeless population since studies have shown that less than 50% of panhandlers are in fact homeless. 

      Then she went to the shelter and interrogated homeless women. The final piece criticized these women for having the nerve to speak in a negative light when they are living in a shelter “rent free.” The piece was highly critical of women who have used the shelter for an extended period of time. The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless is currently boycotting Channel 19, and do not send press releases and will not talk to any of their reporters for frequent on-air abuse of poor and low income populations in Cleveland.

Copyright Homeless Grapevine Issue 75 March-April 2006 Cleveland, Ohio.