Friday, March 16, 2007

NEOCH Annual Awards

Annual Meeting Held on the Ides of March

The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless issued its Annual Report last night at Franklin Circle church. It will be available on our website in the near future. We elected our new Board for 2007-8, and gave details on our plans for 2007. The treasurer gave his report on the state of the NEOCH finances, and Teri' Horne did a summary of the activities undertaken over the last year. Finally, the Board elected a new executive committee for the Coalition. The most anticipated part of the Annual Meeting was the awards ceremony. There is no red carpet or band to play the winners off the stage, but it is nice to recognize people who have gone above and beyond the call of duty. In addition, NEOCH gave out one notice of condemnation to the City of Akron.

Joan Burda--Five Years of Service
We celebrated Joan's five years of service to NEOCH as the Director of Cleveland Homeless Legal Assistance Program. She has doubled the number of clinics operated by the CHLAP lawyers and is now working on establishing a pro se legal clinic on the near West Side. This facility would allow low income people to come in and print out their legal documents and file themselves court proceedings. She has served thousands of homeless people over the last five years, and the Board appreciates her dedication to the job.

Jim Schlecht--NEOCH Advocate of the Year
Jim is the outreach worker for Care Alliance, and has worked with homeless people for decades. He is also a noted peace activist and champion of those abused by capitalism. The Board proclamation cited his tireless service to protect fragile populations from the elements. They thanked him for his compassion and steadfast work for social justice in forwarding solutions. NEOCH recognizes Jim Schlecht's work to oversee the 2006 Housing Stand Down, and his work to develop a 24 hour drop-in center in presenting the Advocate of the Year award.

Bernadette Janes--NEOCH Volunteer of the Year
Bernadette volunteered with the Cosgrove Center and for the Coalition as a writer. She was recognized by the Board for her distinguished career assisting organizations throughout the community. The Board cited her countless hours working with the Homeless Grapevine in documenting the struggles that homeless people face everyday.

City of Akron--Roadblock to Progress 2006
The NEOCH Board condemned the City of Akron for their efforts to make it illegal to be poor within the city limits by passing the worst law against pan handling in the United States. For providing criminal backgrounds to the long list of barriers a person living in Akron must overcome if they fall on hard times, and for not forwarding solutions to homelessness were a few of the reasons cited by the Board in proclaiming the City of Akron as the Biggest Roadblock to Progress in 2006.

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

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