Friday, October 19, 2007

Sorry for the Delay...

NEOCH Has Been Busy

Sorry, that we have not posted for two weeks...we have been working on the plan for the future of NEOCH. It is nearly done, but still needs some finishing touches. We are working on transferring two of our programs to another non-profit agency in Cleveland. We have made good progress in assuring the continued existence of Bridging the Gap housing program and Cleveland Community Voice Mail program. We will post the plan on our website as soon as it is done.

NEOCH has been working on a ton of other issues as well. On Wednesday, I spent the entire day down in Columbus trying to finally settle the homeless voting ID lawsuit. We hope that everything is settled by the end of the year in the NEOCH vs. Brunner (formerly Blackwell) lawsuit.

We believe that we have made a break through in this food problem on Public Square. We believe that we have reached a compromise with the City on a good alternate location. We just need to work out the agreement before Monday and we hope to get agreement with all the groups. Unfortunately, our e-mail system at NEOCH has been down for two days. It is extremely difficult to get work done in this day and age without an e-mail system. If you have sent us an e-mail recently, it most likely came back. We should have it repaired by Monday. Sorry for any inconveniences.

Finally, we are working on some other community planning activities in Cleveland including the implementation plan for Heading Home--a housing/homeless prevention strategic plan. In addition to all the other things we do including Teach Ins, Stand Down, Resident Councils, and Homeless Congress meetings, it is a busy time.

One last thing...RealNEO has another great post about the campaign to educate the public about panhandling. It may be a sign of the apocalypse, but we are the last city in Ohio to roll out this plan. The same company, Block by Block, is doing "clean up" of the Downtowns in Cincinnati, Columbus, and Toledo along with a bunch of other cities in the Midwest. Cleveland is late to game of educating the public that some people are dishonest when asking for money. Remember that dishonest behavior is not confined to panhandlers. It is my experience that politicians, telemarketers, salesmen, professional fund raisers, corporate spokespeople, and lawyers who represent big business interests, have been know to shade the truth when asking for your hard earned money. But you probably wouldn't know that because no one is "educating" you about that with a poster and a washboard.

For those of us downtown everyday, this advertising campaign is part of the landscape, and just blends into the Cityscape. I am just thankful that the City is not passing another law directed at homeless people and instead spending time on this "education" campaign.

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

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