Friday, March 31, 2006

Some In City Council Can't Stop from Pandering

Sexually Based Offenders Debated in City Council

On Wednesday, Cleveland City Council held a hearing about the issue of sexual based offenders living in Cleveland. I think that the guy at the door unwittingly had it right when he asked, "Where are you going today?" I responded, "City Council," and he said, "So, are you for the predators or against them?" It seems that some of the Council members took this to heart and had to pander to the deepest fears in all of us. Ward 11 (Collinwood) Councilman Michael Polensek did his best impression of a Senate Supreme Court nomination hearing by giving a speech that just went on and on and on. What is the point of having a hearing with all these "experts" if you never ask any questions and keep throwing in tangents that have nothing to do with the issue?

Councilman Zach Reed and Pat Britt of Wards 3 (Mt. Pleasant) and Ward 6 (University Circle) area respectively did a good job of asking appropriate questions and listening to the testimony of the large number of panelists. Here are some of the things that we learned:

  • The 1,000 feet rule implemented by the state (No sexually based offender can live within 1,000 feet of a school, daycare center or childcare facility) is not based on any science and is entirely arbitrary. After all, a rapist of women does not care that they cannot live within a 1,000 feet of a childcare facility. A pedophile of young male relatives does not care that they cannot live next to a girl's school.
  • 80% of the sexually based offenders knew their victims (babysitter, relative, acquaintance, etc.) yet all the rules are based on stranger attacks.
  • Treatment for sex offenders does lower recidivism.
  • Stable housing is the greatest need for those returning from incarceration. Stable housing and proper supervision is the best prevention of recidivism.
  • Homeless Shelters are not a very good place for sexually based offenders, but two of the three largest concentrations of sexually based offenders in Cleveland are shelters.
  • There is a real lack of money from the state to serve this population and to protect the citizens. Polensek characterized this as an unfunded mandate.
  • There are some 600 people living too close to a childcare facility in Cuyahoga County.
  • They have changed the way that they measure the 1,000 feet. It is now property line to property line.
  • There is no criminal penalty for violating the 1,000 feet. It is a civil procedure that a neighbor or law enforcement can take to force the individual to move.
I have never understood why it seems like elected officials have these hearing, but seem to ignore the so-called "experts" who testify. If the 1,000 rule was in place to appeal to the law and order voters, but has no basis in fact, then why doesn't City Council speak up? These rules harm our community, but making it seem that something is being done, but in reality the rules make our community less safe. How about lawsuits against the state? These rules force sexually based offenders to move and constantly looking over their shoulders. They spend time unsupervised and untreated in the shelters and angry, and we are less safe.

There is a special place for Ward 21 (West Park) Councilman Michael Dolan who pandered to the cameras and voters. After coming in late and missing most of the testimony, he stepped up on his way to another meeting to say that he wished these guys could be shipped to the desert while under the watchful eye of the state. I could be wrong, but I believe that we tried this in "Escape from New York," and Snake Plissken was able to escape. Don't go out and rent it just believe me, he was very angry when he finally got off the island. Dolan also wanted the legal department to send letters to all 600 living too close to a childcare facility. Basically, giving the men's shelter warning to expect another 500 people. WHERE WILL THESE GUYS GO, MR. DOLAN???? Would you rather have them sleeping on the streets? The "Councilman" swept in, dropped a few soundbytes that were totally unreasonable, and left. A disgraceful show that did not forward the discussion at all.

Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Panhandling Debate Begins

Will the Panhandling Ordinance be Renewed?

In October, the City of Cleveland Panhandling Ordinance is set to sunset. We certainly hope that the new Mayor lets this issue quietly die as a failed experiment. If nothing else the law should be revised so that it does not restrict free speech. The current law makes it illegal to even ask for money within certain areas of Cleveland. No one who values free speech could ever claim that this law does not restrict speech. I saw a quote on another blog that boggled my mind...

"I give money all the time to passive panhandlers and Homeless Grapevine vendors (even if I already purchased a copy of Grapevine). I stand by this First Amendment right, which does not include the terribly profane and threatening behavior that I have witnessed."

What is passive panhandling? Is that asking for money in mime? The First Amendment is clear that government shall make no law that restricts speech. It does not say unless the speech is near a bus stop, a doorway, or near a valet station. The legislation was illegal and if tested in court would certainly be found unconstitutional.

The people who testified for the legislation were offensive in that they equated panhandling with homeless people. Then they said we don't care if this tramples the First Amendment as long as it takes care of the aggressive panhandlers. We are destroying so many rights in the last few years that the Bill of Rights is only a shadow of the document that held this country together for 220 years.

By the Way....
There is a great blog that started recently It is a masterful work of spin. The subtitle is "Fact vs. Fiction." In the best Fox News/O'Reilly No Spin Zone language, it proports to give only the facts, but the site is almost entirely devoid of actual hard facts recognized by journalists. It is a long detailed opinion piece about how great Ohio City is, and how much the OCNW has done for poor people. It is a rare opportunity to look through the eyes of a group of people who are completely missing the forest fire around them while advertising the virtues of smoking. If nothing else very entertaining. Check it out.

Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

Shelter Storm Revue Tour Review

Artists Tour of Shelter Successful

Last Friday was the premier performance of the Shelter Storm Revue Tour. The foundation of 2100 Lakeside shook in time to the rocking out that occurred between the hours of seven and ten in the evening. There is no human language in existence that can capture the jubilation, I witnessed that night.

The show began a few minutes early because the snowballing anticipation took control and sparked an electric explosion of sound from Progeny. Within seconds, the crowd was on their feet clapping and swaying and singing along with the 12-piece outfit.

I would like to take a moment to point out here that I had previously said in an interview about the show that ideally, it would be wonderful if people were jumping up and down and dancing on the tables. However, I didn't expect such a reaction and was going into it expecting a low-key intimate performance. In reality, no one was dancing on the tables. However, that was only because there was enough room on the floor for dancing.

Then came the harmonica player whose name I did not catch. He was a resident who asked if he could play with Progeny, and they allowed him time to show off his chops. If I ever hear a better harmonica player in my life, I will have died and gone to Chicago blues heaven. I cannot express my amazement at his talent without using a profanity, so I will just express it with symbols that can be translated as profane language: Holy #$@@*!

After Progeny came Lost Poet Black Hawk, a resident who kindly asked if he could take the stage to bear his soul before his fellow people. He strung sentences together with words and alliterative beauty not unlike how one weaves a tapestry with thread and needle. The single poem he read was the perfect bridge between Progeny and the following act, Gary Nelson.

Mr. Nelson is far and above one of my favorite local Cleveland musicians. He failed to disappoint with his Celtic flavored tunes that struck the crowd dumb as they tightened in close for a good listen. Gary brought many smiles and nods as he regaled the gathered troupe with ballads of greed and struggle. His sound was broken only once to allow Lost Poet Black Hawk one more knock-down poem.

Next was Meagen Huelsenbeck, preaching like Paul between poems that brought her Gospel fire to light. Her time before the 2100ers was short, but it drew forth many amens and grunts of agreement from the spectators ensorcelled by her evangelizing.

Closing the show for the night was myself. I like to think I was amazing, but I am hardly an unbiased observer. I was told I was on fire and those that heard me seemed to thoroughly enjoy it. Regardless, I call the show an outstanding success. The audience could not believe what they were hearing and I could not believe what I was seeing. If this an accurate representation of the norm, I cannot wait for our next show Tuesday, April 4th at the VOA shelter.


P.S. Artist who would like to participate in an upcoming show can call Josh Kanary at 216/432-0540 and leave a message at extention 404.

Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Homelessness and Ohio City

What is Wrong in Ohio City?

In the last month, the Plain Dealer has reported a growing amount of anger on the near West Side of Cleveland with letters and stories. The Coalition for the Homeless has had over the last four years witnessed growing hostility toward poor people in Tremont and Ohio City. From the attempts to move the women's shelter to the West Side of Cleveland and to find a good compromise to the problems at the Jay Hotel, there is a rising level of tensions. The problem is that both Tremont and Ohio City residents feel they are overburdened with poor people despite the reality that 9% of the County jobs have disappeared over the last six years of RECESSION, and so poor people are everywhere.

The Coalition has been especially critical of the Ohio City Near West Development Corporation, because it is the opinion of many at the Coalition that they have done very little to heal the anger or bridge the gulf between poor people and the wealthier homeowners and merchants. Many in positions of leadership with OCNW keep forwarding the myth that they are unreasonably overburdened with social services to respond to the needs of poor people. They assisted with the closure of the Jay Hotel, and now are working on getting rid of all the "drug dealers and criminals" from Riverview. They dropped the line about a preference for affordable housing from their mission statement, and have made it difficult to locate a site for the replacement units at Riverview.

It just seems like many in Ohio City and OCNW are saying to the rest of us: "We don't care where those people with problems live as long it is not in 'our neighborhood.' " Many of those with drug and alcohol problems or a criminal past have now taken up residence on our city streets, under bridges and are now attempting to find a warm places including those in Ohio City.

OCNW has provided no leadership in finding solutions and seems to allow the loudest, angriest,
and those gripped with fear to rule the day. My concern is that they lost their social justice and community organizing roots. I have heard from many of the activists who live on the near West Side similar concerns about OCNW. Many in positions of leadership confuse charity with justice, but they are very different concepts. Helping out with a meal or hosting a Christmas party once a year does not change the culture or the community. Applying for tax credits for "lower" income people to live or rooting out "bad people" is certainly not justice. It does not end discrimination or provide a safe or decent environment to grow, and it certainly does not make a change in society to increase the opportunity for those less well off.

Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

HUD is Chronically Offensive

Please Don't Call Me Chronic Anything

The Department of Housing and Urban Development has a new strategy for "ending homelessness." It is based on flawed research by Dennis Culhane and is being pushed down the throat of all of us out in the field who are working on solutions. Anyway, they are giving extra points and championing programs that serve the "chronically homeless." I can't think of a more offensive and dehumanizing term to use for a population. The focus is on single adults to the exclusion on families with the thinking that if society can address the long term homeless then all these resources will be free to serve the rest of the population. This does not make any sense in Cleveland and some of the other communities especially in rural towns.

The word chronic means:
  1. Of long duration; continuing: chronic money problems.
  2. Lasting for a long period of time or marked by frequent recurrence, as certain diseases: chronic colitis.
  3. Subject to a habit or pattern of behavior for a long time.
HUD is saying that people with multiple episodes or those who are homeless for a long period of time are considered "chronic." So, the first definition does not work because it is not a continuous state. Homelessness is not a disease (thank goodness--since our health care problems are far bigger than our housing crisis). "I hope my homelessness does not flair up, because I just shook it off last week." Or the most appropriate definition coming from a Washington bureaucrat: homelessness is habit that poor people are addicted to. "I am living in an apartment with security and privacy, but I just can't get enough of the overcrowded shelters because no one has stolen my shoes today. I gotta have it now."

Would HUD staff appreciate being called "chronic bureaucrats?" Or how about House and Senate leaders being labeled "chronic politicians?" Chronic anything is offensive when referring to a person. Homelessness is not a habit to break or a disease. Homeless people don't even like being called homeless because of all the negative stereotypes associated with it, but then add the adjective chronic and they become nameless and faceless. It is easier to forget about a chronically homeless money drains on our society. It is easier to close shelters and services if we can point to the fact that the residents are chronically addicted to using the facilities. It serves our interest to assign blame as a society, and to lump all homeless people into a category of those who will forever be dependent on government. The 58 year old woman who spends half her fixed income on medication who is living in our shelters wants to be resting at her own apartment but had to make the decision to either pay rent or eat. She chose to eat and pay for her medicine, and she certainly does not want to be labeled "chronically homeless."

Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

National Debt and Homelessness

Where is All that Money Going?

I am having a real hard time understanding the increase in the National Debt this week. I think that this is similar to the credit card company increasing my credit limit from $10,000 to $122,000 overnight even though I have no way of paying this amount of money back. But it is not like this at all is it? There is no credit card company in the debt limit, but the Congress is spending and approving their own debt limit themselves. So, where is all this money going? The Washington Post has a commentary about spending frenzy the day the debt ceiling went up.

We were told that the conservatives are good stewards of our government, because they would reign in "out of control" spending. So the budget is out of control and yet we are not solving any problems. I do not feel any safer with the massive spending on "Homeland Security." We have taken over another country for who knows what reason. Energy pricing is more unstable than ever before. Our food supply is not safer. Medicine is still very expensive, and our schools are still struggling with budget shortfalls. We are not any more secure from the outbreak of disease or deadly flu. We are not making great discoveries or stopping the warming of our planet. So, where is all this money that my kids are going to have to payoff going? It is not solving homelessness or poverty. Can someone please tell me where is all this money going, and what happened to all the "fiscal conservatives?"

Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Mayor Visits Shelter

Three Hour Tour of the Shelters by Mayor Jackson

In the last 12 years of my work at NEOCH, no mayor has taken time to do a walk through of the shelters. We had one county commissioner who claimed to have slept at the shelter and another who went to the shelter to criticize the residents, but no Mayors. Even though every shelter but one is in the City of Cleveland and most homeless people migrate to Cleveland in order to get services, the Mayors of Cleveland has largely focused on photo ops. This was done without a press release and without a lot of fanfare for the Mayor's tour of the shelters on Thursday March 9. Channel 3 found out as did the Plain Dealer by checking the Mayor's schedule for the day. There was a nice story by Tom Beres about the tour on Channel 3. Proving once again that Channel 3 might be the only real news television station left.

The tour started at 10 a.m. at 2100 Lakeside Shelter with a meeting of the men who are the elected leaders of the shelter. The Mayor talked about his vision and his agenda around housing and homelessness. He listened to the men and heard some of their concerns in a 45 minute meeting. The Mayor had Jason Woods, governmental affairs, Martin Flask, Public Safety Director, and Michael House, Press Secretary along to answer questions and listen to the concerns. The issues that the Mayor discussed at his meeting were:
  • The men at the shelter can make a difference in their own lives and the life of the City.
  • The Mayor of the City of Cleveland is not the enemy, and will help whenever possible.
  • We need to focus on: money and attack the misconceptions of the general public about homelessness in order to fix up some of the abandoned property.
  • He wanted to assure that we do not re-concentrate poverty as had been done in the past with any fix up program.
  • We need to assure that neighbors are involved in the development of any programs or any affordable housing.
  • We need to work on partnerships between the City and County.
  • We need to work on the $23 or $24 million that come to Cleveland every year and assure that we have better outcomes with that money.
  • We need a plan for how we better serve the population and business leaders can be effective in assisting with implementation of a plan.
  • We need to transform the shelter into a place that creates jobs. Jackson talked about making the shelters into economic engines that can help people find employment or can foster the development of microenterprise projects. Have the shelters go after contracts for goods and services in the community in order provide employment opportunities.
  • He asked the shelter residents for input on how to transition out of homelessness. What steps need to be taken?
  • Again, talked about better utilization of funds.
  • Talked about the Summer Clean up program and the process for awarding that contract. (196 of the men had signed a letter asking the City to award the contract to the Community Hiring Hall.)
  • In response to a question about people with a prison background getting into housing, he said that many are very judgmental in the community. The only way to change this negative stereotype is for the shelter residents to start doing high profile volunteer tasks in the community. Jackson suggested working with various departments (Aging and Safety). Jackson said that the City will help in this effort, but the men will have to work on this.
  • The Mayor stressed the need for the homeless population to define themselves and not let panhandlers or the people who do wrong within the community to be the people that are most visible and are assumed to represent the homeless community.
  • One man at the shelter asked about a negative incident with the police that the Safety Director agreed to follow up on it.
  • One person asked about government regulations and the policy of felons getting into housing. Jackson said that he would work with the Coalition on changing any policy that had any local flexibility. Will work on the problems.
Jackson has visited the facility before and is always impressed by the huge laundry facility of the shelter. They wash and dry 550 sheets and various clothing items every day.

After the meeting and tour of the men's shelter, which is the largest shelter in the state of Ohio we went over the Community Women's Shelter (100 women and a few children sleep there every night). It took a long time to get through the shelters, because the men and women wanted to talk to the Mayor. In addition, LMM and Mental Health Services had taken over the shelter in the last year and half and wanted to talk to the Mayor about some issues.

The Mental Health Services staff at the Women's Shelter did a good overview of the program and had a few of the residents lead the tour. Good idea for a Mayor/Councilperson who is big into empowerment to have the residents lead the tour. Then it was lunch with the Catholic Charities staff at the Bishop Cosgrove Center and a few individuals who use the facility. Very good chicken, rice, and vegetables with grape juice and a dessert on the side. We learned about the funding constraints of the Drop in Center, and the large number of people provided a meal and warm place every day. At this point, we were running behind and so we were not going to get to see the Volunteers of America Shelter. The Mayor loves talking to citizens. He doesn't just shake hands, but spends a little time listening to people ask about jobs, housing, re-entry or big plans for the city. Yes, even homeless people have big plans for the City. They are usually ignored because they bring little money to the table.

Finished up over at West Side Catholic. We got to see the renovated facility and the Ignatius high school students volunteering. The older Clevelanders who help to prepare the meal were in the kitchen, and we visited the fantastic clothing room in the back of West Side Catholic. We finished up in the Cadillac of shelters with the West Side Catholic family shelter. The cleanest of the shelters and newly renovated facility that feels like a real home not an institution. We finished up on time, and then did a short interview with Channel 3. The Mayor assured me that this is not the end of the story that we need to further develop some of the ideas that came up. He told me that staff would follow up with me and gave me names of people to contact. The men at 2100 Lakeside set a meeting for Monday to de-brief and make plans for activities they could work on in the community.

Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Artists to Perform at the Shelters

2100 Lakeside Shelter will Host First Shelter Storm Revue Tour

The Shelter Storm Revue Tour is ready to set sail on its first Cleveland-bound voyage. On Friday, the 24th of March, at 7:30 PM, the anchor shall be dropped outside the windy shores of the 2100 Lakeside Men's Shelter. Among the hearty crew to first make landfall, one spies Meagen Hueslenbeck with her poet pen on fire, Gary Nelson with his solid gold fiddle dragging in the sands behind him, the voices of Progeny ringing the bells of angels, and one Josh Kanary - guitar and harmonica sleeping soundly in his faded carpetbag.

It is not too late to join the concert. Please contact Josh Kanary at 216.432.0540 if you wish to offer some talent to the 2100 Lakeside show, or to our upcoming April 4th show at the VOA shelter. We welcome all forms of performance art and invite you to share it with the people who need to hear what you have to say.

Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Other Areas of Interest

A Few Quick Notes>>>>>

January Website Notes

January was the biggest month for the NEOCH website in our history. Thanks to everyone that is visiting the NEOCH website. Please let us know what is missing, confusing, or needs improvement.

First She was Naked; Now Homeless; What Next?
The Homeless Grapevine Blog has a response to the Sharon Reed as a Homeless Person. It was the worst form of media abuse, but what do you expect from this despicable station?

Frank Jackson will Tour the Shelters this Week
Mayor Jackson of Cleveland will be visiting the shelter in the next week to see what is going on in the world of homelessness. We will report on this tour in the next week.

Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

A Few Interesting Notes

Roldo Transcript on Meet The Bloggers

Just to prove that Cleveland is in fact "Cool:" We have Roldo and New York Does Not.

The Roldo Transcript is now at Meet the Bloggers. Here is an interesting exchange:
Roldo Bartimole: I think there is a change. I think that you didn't see the homelessness in the 60s that you see now. Part of that is having tossed people out of institutions where they are getting help for their mental problems. A lot of people in the street are afflicted with some kind of mental disease.

McKala Everett: In the 60s?

Roldo Bartimole: In the 60s, they were institutionalized. I am not sure that that was the answer, if they weren'’t getting proper care and rehabilitation, but the answer wasn'’t throwing them out on the street. There is a lot more hunger, because I think there are a lot of things that, as somebody was saying before, they see people who have large televisions and other things. You almost have to have a car to have a job these days. That I think is somewhat different. A lot of the things that should happen have not happened. One of the other things that has happened as far as homelessness is concerned is a lot of places that were single-room occupancy were destroyed. When I first came to Cleveland, I was here alone (my family was still back in Connecticut), and I went into a single-room place near the Plain Dealer. There were hundreds of them between Euclid and Superior, and they were all knocked down by CSU, and there has never been real replacement for that. So the other part that someone else mentioned earlier was the single family. There are so many more single families than there were in the 60s. And I think the other part is the inability to deal with especially poverty in the African-American community. WeÂ’ve sort of decided as a community that we are not going to deal with that problem anymore. The end of welfare programs, where at least you had some support, some financial support from the government. I think thatÂ’s hurt too.

We have a new list of Strategies to End Homelessness on our website, which talks about the need for Single Room Occupancy housing or flop houses that Roldo talks about. This is a huge priority for homeless people in Cleveland.

Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

February/March Must be Report Season

Hungry Americans...Who Cares?

One report that I forgot to mention was the Second Harvest report on hunger. Now, these Second Harvest do-gooders have a lot of nerve releasing this report. Our concern for Hunger in America went out of style with bell bottoms, disco balls, Richard Nixon, and anti-war rallies. We have big issues like the War on Terrorism to be worried about at this time. We don't need information like 36% of the people served by the Second Harvest Network are under 18 years old. We have to be worried if we are going to get blown up by a falling airliner or an exploding shipping container near our house. We certainly don't have the ability to keep the problem of hunger in our minds when we are facing so many other problems in America. The problem of hunger is too complicated to describe in a 2 minute story, while people getting blown up is an easy story to get the message across in 2 minutes.

We are facing a growing Civil War in Iraq, and the 24 to 27 million different people served by the Second Harvest network are not yet at the point of starting a civil war. So who cares? We have to be afraid of terrorist using telephones or libraries in our neighborhood, we certainly don't have time for worrying about being one of the individuals who will have to utilize the Second Harvest National Network of approximately 44,000 agencies, which are made up of approximately 29,600 food pantries, 5,600 soup kitchens and 4,100 emergency shelters. We shouldn't be concerned that only 12% of the people are in fact homeless using the food progrms or that 36% of the people using the Second Harvest Food Network are employed, when we will probably die because of the effect of global warming.

These Second Harvest radicals are whistling in the wind if they think this rise in requests for food matters to the rest of us when Bill O'Reilly is telling us to be afraid of the liberal media elite. Here in Cleveland, one of the previous poorest cities in America, we could care less that 68% of the people using the Second Harvest Network were living below the federal poverty level in the last month, when the Bird Flu is about to plop down on our heads. So it was a waste of paper to survey the 52,000 recipients to complete this survey unless they had asked a question like, "Are you aware of any secret underground terrorist cells in your neighborhood?" So go read it if you want, but it is boring since no one gets blown up and there is no real enemy for us to hate.


Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

If Ohio is a B, the Rest of the Country Must Suck...

NAMI Releases Report on State of the Country

It must be a slow news day, because a report got a lot of news coverage on public radio. This report from National Alliance on Mental Illness says that Ohio gets a "B" on the academic scale in its treatment of mentally ill people. The country gets a "D" overall. Things must really suck in the rest of the country if Ohio is getting a grade of "B." Let's look at the reality of what is going on locally for mentally ill people.
  • The report talks about the lack of mental health parity in health care coverage, which is a huge issue in this state.
  • If you do not have money and have a mental illness good luck in getting help. Unless you are a threat to yourself or others there is very little available to you.
  • Even if you are a threat to yourself, you may get 24 hours of help and then a long, long, long, long wait for the state to decide that you are disabled.
  • There is no presumptive eligibility for assistance to prevent homelessness.
  • No where in the United States, including Ohio, do severely disabled people on disability assistance receive enough money to pay the market rate for housing.
  • There is no facility in Cuyahoga County that women with a mental illness who become homeless can go to receive help and overnight shelter with staff trained solely to work on mental health issues.
  • There is so much bureaucracy to get such a small amount of help. The agencies are forced to spend so much time and energy on paperwork that people with a mental illness suffer.
  • If you should also have an alcohol or drug problem, a blizzard of paperwork will rain down on you, and you will get very little help.
  • The closing of the asylums continue when budgets get tight, and budgets always seem to be in flux. There seems to be a constant tension between services and housing in the mental health community.
Anyway, things are bad, and if the rest of the country is worse... it is almost enough to push a person over the edge. Speaking of NAMI, I am not a big fan. They seem to represent parents of mentally ill people and social service providers. It never seems like they represent mentally ill people in their advocacy. "The Nation's Voice on Mental Illness" is their motto, but who is the nation's voice for the mentally ill?


Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.