Feds Give Overflow Permission to Stay Open Unit January
As you may know, the Federal Aviation Administration has informed the City of Cleveland that the overflow shelter currently at Aviation High School must close. The FAA claims that it is a safety concern to have 200 unknown people sleeping right next to Burke Lakefront Airport because of some bizarre homeland security rules. Even though the City and County have been aware of this deadline for over 20 months, they could not come up with an alternate site in all that time. The County spent about 8 months trying to free up space in the current system to avoid having to fund an overflow shelter at all. While this was a worthy effort, County officials should have looked for alternate locations at the same time.
North Point Inn motel was purchased in the summer 2007, but the 160 bed facility will not be ready by the Halloween 2007 deadline set by the FAA. The motel needs a sprinkler system before the Fire Marshall will allow the building to re-open as a shelter. The City begged for more time and the FAA has given the community until January 2008 to get North Point ready. It seems that the FAA feels that the terrorists hiding among the homeless population take the holidays off, and so the news choppers at Burke are safe for now. For that reason, they gave the shelter an extra three months to remain open. We will call that the holiday homeless security exception to the homeland security rules.
Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.