ORGANIZING AND EMPOWERING
NEOCH works to raise the homeless voice in order to give people experiencing homelessness the power to advocate for the kinds of changes they would like to see. We do this in several ways: organizing monthly Homeless Congress meetings, publishing the Cleveland Street Chronicle, and registering homeless citizens to vote.
The Homeless Congress is a monthly meeting with representatives of all the shelters in Cleveland. The group meets on the second Thursday of every month at the Bishop Cosgrove Center. The Homeless Congress is organized by the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) and residents of Cleveland’s homeless shelters. It is a way for a diverse group of homeless people to come together, share ideas, make connections, and push for changes.
The Cleveland Street Chronicle
Since 1991, NEOCH has organized the Cleveland Street Chronicle, a newspaper written, distributed, and promoted by homeless people. The newspaper, formerly known as the Homeless Grapevine, gives people experiencing homelessness a space for both self-expression and advocacy. We generally release the Street Chronicle three times a year.
NEOCH has been involved in registering homeless people to vote since 1987. NEOCH settled a lawsuit with the state of Ohio in 2010 and in 2014. We currently have a Supreme Court lawsuit pending in 2017. Along with monitoring access to the ballot box by those who are experiencing homelessness, NEOCH partners with the Office of Homeless Services to assist shelters in implementing plans to encourage voting within the homeless community.
One of NEOCH's focuses is making sure homeless citizens are treated with dignity. Each year, we honor individuals in our community who have provided dignified services for homeless individuals. On a sadder note, each year we also memorialize the homeless who have passed away, working to ensure their stories are not forgotten.