Saturday, January 13, 2007

Family Shelter Sanctioned by County

East Side Catholic Shelter Cannot Apply for Federal Dollars

In the first unanimous vote of the Office of Homeless Advisory in a very, very long time, East Side Catholic was sanctioned for continued administrative problems. NEOCH has tried to get into the shelter to talk to the residents, but we have not been successful. We have also written about the problems in the shelter for four years in the Grapevine. The County Review Team recommended this sanction after two and half years of working with the group. The proposal that passed the OHS advisory was:

1. The current East Side Catholic budget (2005 Federal Dollars) would receive extra scrutiny by the County.
2. If HUD grants money from their 2006 application, the shelter will not be allowed to accept the funds unless they go under the umbrella of another organization. So, an outside entity would have to manage their budget and administration or the County would not release the 2006 federal funding.
3. East Side Catholic would not be allowed to apply for funds in 2007 through the Federal Continuum of Care funding.

This all takes place when East Side Catholic was just awarded Ohio Emergency Shelter dollars. Those funds seem impossible for a group to not receive once they are granted funding. I have seen programs that no longer even serve homeless people still receive an Emergency Shelter grant from the State of Ohio. We certainly hope the new Governor will look at this policy.

We absolutely support this move by the County and feel that it is long overdue. The letter that the County sent should have been more severe with demand language not "recommend-type" language. Ruth Gillett who runs OHS is just too nice, except when it comes to NEOCH. The County is clear in trying to preserve the shelter and not lose the shelter beds. They also made sure that the funding is not lost from the Federal government. The outstanding issue is how this will impact East Side Catholic's other programs especially CMHA's Miracle Village and their recovery programs. How will these other programs survive with the agency under County sanction?

NEOCH is going to host a family homeless conference in March to talk about these issues with religious organizations to discuss these and other issues facing women with children in our community.

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

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