On February 1, 2008, over 750 homeless people attended the Homeless Stand Down at the Cleveland Convention Center. The Stand Down connects those experiencing homelessness with volunteers to offer food, clothing, medical consultations, and contacts with social service providers. The Cleveland Department of Public Health, Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless, Inter Act Cleveland joined the Veterans Affairs, 2100 Lakeside Shelter, County Office of Homeless Services, Trinity Cathedral, Bishop Cosgrove Center, Louis Stokes Department of Veterans Affairs to support this event. More than 70 Cleveland health and human services agencies participated in the 2008 Stand Down.
Inter Act took the lead in staging two other days of the Stand Down in which food and winter clothing was distributed. 463 haircuts were conducted, and over 2,000 guests attended over three days. 1,800 bus passes were distributed, and 1,900 care kits were passed out. Some of the service offered on February 1 included:
Blood pressure, cholesterol and glucose screenings
Dental check ups.
Mental health screenings
Vision and glaucoma screenings
Bone density tests.
Distribution of Voice mail telephone numbers
Smoking cessation and nutrition information
Services to veterans, seniors, and the chemically addicted
Matt Carroll, Director of the Cleveland Department of Public Health said, “We are delighted to one again partner with so many local organizations to provide one-stop health and social services to the Cleveland homeless population. Individuals who are deemed to need immediate care will be immediately transported to Care Alliance for follow up care.”
Catholic Charities and the Cleveland Food bank provided a complimentary breakfast and a hot lunch. Radio One’s Praise 1490 were also on hand and brought in classical gospel musician Jeff Majors to assist with the event. Majors gave a performance at the Word church later in the evening for homeless people.
Copyright Homeless Grapevine, Cleveland, Ohio, Issue 84, May 2008