Saturday, March 10, 2007

Plain Dealer Covers Homeless People

Homelessness in the Daily Paper

We have all read a great deal about homelessness over this last week. On Friday, The Plain Dealer had a very nice story about the Homeless Congress and the efforts to create some standards within the shelter system. How could homeless people want clean linens or a good meal? It took nearly three months to get consensus on the shelter standards that all those who came to the meeting could agree. It has been a very interesting process, and now the real work begins. We need to have the City Council pass this legislation as soon as possible with few changes. We need to bring some discipline to the shelters and establish a place to go to complain. Our next meeting is in two weeks, and then we move onto real solutions.

Today, there was an article about the identification program in The Plain Dealer that we helped to start a few years back. This is another one of the positive outcomes from the VISTA national service program at NEOCH that carries on long past those VISTAs having gone onto "real" jobs that pay "real" money. In the post-9/11 world it is very difficult to get a birth certificate from many states, and the costs have gone up all over the country. This program funded by the Cleveland Foundation and Fairview Lutheran Foundation sometimes is the key to someone getting a job or housing. There are some people who become homeless and only need a minor hand up and they are on their way to stability. Identification is the first step for every homeless person on their way back to an apartment.

Peace and Justice Forum...
NEOCH participated in the Catholic School's social justice forum at St. Ignatius on Friday 3/9/07 along with nearly every homeless service provider in the community. I was fortunate to be able to present along with Michelle and Greg, two formerly homeless people, to a group of students from all over Greater Cleveland. It is always hard to tell if the young people got it or not. Will one of these scholars be inspired to solve the problem of homelessness in Cleveland or even in America? It is hard to say, but it was a nice event.

To Quote or Not to Quote...
A journalist asked a question in the comments section that I thought I would address here. Anything in this blog can be used for publication as long as the proper attribution is made. We want this information to be in the community, debated and discussed.

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

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