Saturday, December 29, 2007

We Have A Great Deal of Work

Fannie Mae Foundation Measures Perceptions of Homelessness in America

In November, Fannie Mae released a report entitled "Homelessness in America: Americans' Perceptions, Attitudes, and Knowledge" conducted by the Gallup Corporation. There were a lot of interesting findings, but it points to the need for more education about homelessness in America. We still have to overcome a number of myths about homeless people. The study was conducted in 8 American cities, and found that the majority of Americans believe that we could do more to address homelessness in the United States.

The good news from the perception studies were that 58% of the population believes that homelessness has increased while only 7% believe it has decreased. The bad news is that homelessness received only a handful of votes as one of the most important issues facing the United States. This means that the chance of a presidential candidate mentioning homelessness is slim. The National Coalition is challenging each candidate to spend at least one night on the street in 2008 to raise awareness of the problem, but based on the survey this is unlikely to rise to the top of a question in one of the debates. November is Hunger and Homeless Awareness week, and Fannie Mae is active in raising dollars with a walk in DC thus the reason for the report.

The survey properly identified the federal government as most responsible for addressing homelessness with 35% of those answering the question identifying the federal government. The State government was second with 25% and City or Local government and Community Groups were tied for third with 20% of the people thinking that these entities should take a lead role in solving homelessness. Only 51% believe that communities are safer when people do not have to live on the streets. The vast majority (85%) of the American public believe drugs or alcohol abuse is the major reason that causes homelessness and 26% of the population believe that that drugs/alcohol is the primary cause of homelessness. The most surprising and dangerous perception in the study was that only 4% of the American public believes that the lack of affordable housing is the primary cause of homelessness. This is one percent more than believe that laziness as the primary cause for homelessness. There are millions of people who spend most of their days high or drunk or both and have no problem staying in housing. This leads me to believe that we need to do more education starting at a younger age on the causes of homelessness.

You should check out the study yourself, but here are some other quick notes on the study:
  • 44% report that they have taken in a friend or relative who was facing homelessness. THIS IS A HUGE NUMBER!!
  • Medical expenses is now the leading worry for Americans that might lead them to become homeless themselves. 43% for medical expenses with 38% job loss.
  • 28% of the general public reported that they have worried that they may not have a place to live.
  • 9% reported that they did not have enough money to afford food over the last 12 months with 5% reporting that they did not have enough money over the last 12 months to provide housing for their family.
  • 91% of the public believes that we can never totally eliminate homelessness.
  • 80% report a willingness to volunteer at an organization that helps homeless people.
  • A slight majority (54%) would be willing to pay additional taxes to fund programs that help homeless people.

It was also interesting to see the differences in the perceptions in various cities. NEOCH will use this perception study as a place to start for our public education campaign.

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

Friday, December 28, 2007

Holidays Are Rough

2007 Vigil and Today Show Toy Drive

The 21st Homeless Memorial Day was a sombre occasion with special guest County Commissioner Peter Jones. Mayor Frank Jackson also stopped in to honor those who had passed. I was asked at least 8 times that I should invite the Mayor to talk. For the record, I asked him twice and he was not interested in talking. He is not the ribbon cutting Mayor that we have all come to expect. Representative Foley attended the memorial and announced the introduction of the homeless hate crimes bill in Ohio. The legislation was introduced and already received a bill number HR 419. To date only Rep. Mike Skindell, Rep. Jennifer Brady and Mike Foley have signed on as co-sponsors from the Cleveland area. We will work on this in the new year. We read the names of 39 people who passed away and then six additional people were added by members of the audience. We will add those names to our list on our website.

The volunteers from Franklin Circle Church were great, and provided an excellent meal for our friends and our members. We had representatives of 2100 Lakeside, Care Alliance, Catholic Worker, County Office of Homeless Services, the Veterans Administration, and the Coalition in attendance to honor those who had passed. This year we asked a number of other organizations to co-sponsor the event, because we wanted to also honor a person who had probably saved more lives than anyone else in our community: homeless nurse Patricia Tomcho. Peter L. Jones presented a County resolution recognizing all her 25 years of service to the community. The Coalition and the other partners presented her a Lifetime achievement award to thank her for all her years of service. Tomcho is retiring next year, and without her our reading of the names of those who passed would be a lot longer every year.

The vigil is always a beautiful service, but certainly depressing to realize that our society is letting all these people slip quietly into the night. To raise our spirits, NEOCH gets to be part of the NBC Today Show annual toy drive. Toy manufacturers from around the country send out toys to various cities to be distributed to homeless children. NEOCH is the central distributor of these toys in Cleveland. We usually take the whole lot over to the family shelters in the boxes and then the staff distributes them. This year, I decided to have the family box and wrap the presents and then take them over on Christmas eve to distribute. So we spent Christmas eve wrapping new presents for a few hundred and then taking them over to the shelters for distribution. It is a nice way to balance out the first day of winter when we remember those who died by giving some comfort to the future County Commissioners and doctors who happen to find themselves living in a homeless shelter this year.

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

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Federal Funding Announced Friday

HUD Announces Christmas Gift to Cities

On Friday December 21, the Department of Housing and Urban Development announced the release of the majority of federal funding for state and county efforts to address homelessness. The State of Ohio received a total of $70 million to fund all the shelters, homeless vouchers, homeless housing programs, case workers, prevention effort, and outreach program in Ohio. This may seem like a lot until you consider two things. First, it is only $51.39 per person for every person living below the poverty level and thus in danger of becoming homeless in the state of Ohio. Also, over $60 million of these funds are just to renew existing programs. So, 86% of the money is used just to keep the doors open on existing programs. Most of the new programs are housing vouchers for disabled people and currently homeless--called Shelter Plus Care. In the entire State of Ohio there were only 9 new projects funded this year.

Cleveland fared best in the State of Ohio. No mistakes on any applications. We have to thank Ruth at the Office of Homeless Services for putting this mammoth application together. There are very few in our community who could check all those boxes and put all of that information together in a timely fashion to get the money that we deserve. After a rough year for the Office, they must feel good that they were able to bring a total of $23.4 million to the City and County. Basically, the way this works is that HUD tells the cities how much we are entitled to received ($13.7 million for Cleveland) based on some complicated formula no one understands. Then, the City/County can renew their disabled housing vouchers (Shelter Plus Care), and that does not impact your share of the pie. So, Cleveland has always tried to get as many Shelter Plus Care vouchers as possible thus we must renew more vouchers then any other city in Ohio. We received an additional $1.3 million for the emergency shelters and outreach in our community. Cuyahoga County received $9.6 million above our share of the federal share of homeless dollars, because we had to renew our S+C disabled housing voucher program. This works out to $724 for every person homeless in 2006 in Cuyahoga County, which means we spend $100 per person more than any other city in Ohio. Cleveland was only able to fund two new projects and some more new S+C vouchers for a total of 14% of the allocation. Basically, if those in charge of the application put the application together correctly, the City and County receive all that we are entitled to receive from the Feds.

Columbus does poorly in this formula. While Franklin County is only a little over 200,000 smaller in population than Cuyahoga County, they only received $8.1 million this year from the Feds (35% of Cuyahoga County). They only received $365,000 in Emergency Shelter dollars. They only have $3.7 million in S+C housing for disabled vouchers renewed this last year. Columbus/Franklin County only spend $46.28 per person living in poverty or $249.97 per homeless person using Federal government funds. Franklin County only has 5% of their total allocation going to new projects. Since I keep hearing at the national level how great Columbus is doing in addressing homelessness, I guess that they don't need much money to put up a good fight. I know that it is a huge annoyance that they get so much less than Cuyahoga County. The way that Columbus is expanding soon they will have annexed all the land south of Cuyahoga County, and will demand an equal share of the pie.

Cincinnati/Hamilton County with only 822,500 people does better than Columbus. They received $11.1 million in funds from HUD and $3.8 in renewals of the S+C housing vouchers. They spend more than double the federal dollars spent on people living in poverty at $95.10 per person and $621.79 for every homeless person. Cincinnati had enough capacity to spend 13% of their grant on new projects. We will have all the statistics in the next Homeless Grapevine to be published in January. The big question: why does HUD make these announcements on the day that cities are remembering those who died over the last year while homeless? Spin control? They don't care? I have no idea, but it seems callous to me.

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

Saturday, December 22, 2007

PBS Program Look at Homelessness

Finally Someone Asks the Administration about Their Cuts

David Brancaccio of the great news program NOW finally asked the Bush Administration about their dramatic cuts to housing at the same time they are "solving" homelessness. I have waited for five years for the answer to this question. At least Mr. Brancaccio asked the question, but there was no answer; just spin. Brancaccio asks Philip Mangano, leading homeless car salesman for President Bush, about all the cuts proposed by the Administration in the face of claiming to "solve homelessness."
BRANCACCIO: Does it frustrate you when you see this administration, in its budgets, cutting back money for programs like that?

MANGANO: No one has an intent, whether in Congress or in this administration, to increase homelessness, but we're still wrestling with how to best apply housing resources to get a better effect. It's only as we've concentrated resources on people experiencing chronic homelessness, to create change where change was thought to be impossible. The promise of that, is that as the numbers of people on the streets go down, that will re-moralize us to invest more in the other populations.
The Coalition agrees that Housing First initiatives are great, and that it proves that mentally ill and drug addicted people can live in housing. These homeless individuals do not have to cure themselves before society offers them housing. The unspoken truths are that we are going to have a big price tag to sustain these operations, and it is a raindrop in an river of need. It is hypocritical to destroy public housing while putting millions into permanent supportive housing. The administration seems to be saying public housing is an experiment that America has tried since 1946 and we still not sure that it works so we choose to put one one thousandth of that money into the Housing First movement which we are sure will work because it is so successful over the last decade. Where does the rest of the money go that is cut from HUD and Dept of Agriculture? Iraq, defense, homeland security and drug companies are the places we have decided to put our federal tax dollars.

It was a good segment, which you can watch online. I wish more media would start challenging the spin in Washington DC.

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

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Candlelight Vigil for Homeless People

Homeless Memorial Day Friday

The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless will host the 21th Annual Homeless Memorial on December 21, 2007 at Franklin Circle Church to remember those who died over the last year while homeless. The memorial services will take place before the meal at the historic Franklin Circle Church at 1688 Fulton Ave near Lutheran Hospital at 5:15 p.m. A short inter-denominational service will be conducted before the names of those individuals who passed away over the last year are read. Cuyahoga County Commissioner Peter Lawson Jones will say a few words to honor those who passed away, and then candles will be lit to remember those who died.

This year as well, State Representative Michael Foley will be present to introduce a bill to protect homeless people from Hate Crimes. In Cincinnati and Cleveland this year, there were attacks on homeless people who lived outside, and this legislation would provide additional penalties for those found guilty of targeting homeless people with violence.

The memorial day is part of National Homeless Memorial Day with similar ceremonies on the first day of winter in over 75 cities in the United States. All the Coalitions in the state of Ohio also mark the first day of winter with vigils on Thursday December 20 or Friday December 21.

The names of those who passed away over the last five years are posted on the Coalition website at NEOCH staff are currently gathering names of those who died. The memorial is co-sponsored this year by the City/County Office of Homeless Services, the Louis Stokes Veterans Affairs Department, Care Alliance, InterAct Cleveland, and Franklin Circle Christian Church. This year the co-sponsors will give a lifetime achievement to a nurse in the community who has worked to improve the health care system for homeless people.

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

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Another Friend of Homeless People Passes

Congresswoman Julia Carson Dies

I only was able to hear Rep Carson speak twice, but she was an inspiring woman. Here is the statement that Barb Anderson put together upon hearing of the death of Rep. Carson on Sunday.

"As a member of the Board of Directors of the National Coalition for the Homeless, I have worked for many years as have my peers, to end homelessness in this country. It is an exhausting and frustrating effort. Many programs have been developed over the years with good intent, but they lack the human element and often reduce those we serve to just numbers in a system, or they "cherry pick" the easiest to serve in order to boost their success rate.

NCH and the advocates in Indiana fight daily to serve the most difficult and hardest to reach and heroes are often hard to find. Representative Julia Carson was such a hero. She was a champion, one who utilized the resources around her to promote change and policy that would result in ending homelessness. She worked tirelessly every day to reduce the impact of poverty on our communities. Her work with veterans across this country was phenomenal.

As the sponsor for the Bring America Home Act and the Hearth Act, Representative Carson pursued Congressional support with a vengeance and often managed town hall type meetings to educate her peers. She and her staff worked diligently to provide leadership on the Hill, and not because it was the popular thing to do either but because it was the right thing to do. Representative Carson did things that way, because they were right, they were necessary, and often they weren't popular.

So many who serve us Congressionally stick to the middle of the road or cater to extreme positions without thinking or planning for the ramifications of their votes. Carson stood for: A living wage, affordable housing for all Americans, health care for all Americans, and Civil Rights for all Americans. Julia Carson embraced those ideals and fought hard for them. She worked through the many committees she served on, in the district, and in partnership with the Congressional Black Caucus. She did so with grace and humor.

To hear her speak was enlightening and fun. She would take the most serious subject and make us see our folly with her humor. It is with great respect, love, and admiration that I write this. To those whose voices Julia tried to hold up, understand NCH and homeless advocates throughout the country will continue to champion your causes and will support and embrace those legislators who do so as well. To those who set policy at a national level, we challenge you to try to meet the bar Julia set while she served this wonderful country. We remember her grace and humanity as a Congresswoman, a wife, a mother, and most of all a strong and passionate Christian soldier."

Barb Anderson of Jeffersonville, Indiana and NCH Board Member
I couldn't have said it better.
Posts by Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless staff and Board.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Cincinnati Activist Passes Away

Jimmy Heath, Photojournalist, Dies

After a long fight with a chronic health condition, Jimmy Heath has passed away. Jimmy was the editor of the Streetvibes in Cinncinnati and had a very nice website with all his photographs. I had regular contact with Jimmy as I helped to found the street newspaper in Cincinnati. He was a great guy with a passion for the rights of homeless people. He was a deep thinker about the interaction of street newspapers, especially photographers, with those experiencing homelessness who are featured in papers. He was previously a Congressional Hunger Fellow at the National Coalition for the Homeless. Jimmy loved bringing dignity to homeless people and loved the street newspaper movement.

He passed away quietly at Hospice Care on Thursday in Cincinnati. He edited the street newspaper in Cincinnati for seven years and was a member of the North American Street Newspaper Association. The Cincinnati Enquirer recently wrote a profile of him and his experiences finding his way off the Cincinnati streets. We will miss his voice in Ohio. There will be a public memorial in January.

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

The Back Story

East Side Catholic: Three Years of Trouble

I want to give some clarity to the story in today's Plain Dealer, because it did not paint the full picture of the death of East Side Catholic. First, I gave the story about the near death of this shelter to most of the media repeatedly since March 2007. Stan Donaldson, the author of the Plain Dealer story, was not happy with our criticism of the Public Square stories that he wrote. He did say he saw the posts in this blog. (I have to wonder if that is why I was not quoted in the PD story?)

We wrote a letter to every funder of East Side Catholic in early 2004 raising our concern that the shelter was having problems, and they needed to intervene to save the shelter. The most glaring omission from the PD story is the impact on the community of the closing of the shelter. This is a family shelter, and so they serve the fastest growing population of homeless people in our community. It is only 32 beds, but they are extremely valuable beds. With the reduction in the number of domestic violence beds in our community and now this shelter closing it is a body blow to Cleveland. The Cleveland Public Schools told me that there were 26 children in this shelter as of last week. Stan D. never asked Ruth Gillett why she could not have kept the shelter open or forced a change in leadership.

The vote by the Office of Homeless Services Advisory, of which I am a member, was not characterized correctly in the paper. The vote was to withhold their program from federal funding, but not to close the shelter. I supported the vote (one of the few unanimous votes in the history of the OHS Advisory). NEOCH also wrote to the shelter leadership to ask that they stop the battle with the County and get their house in order. No one voted that the shelter should close. We had a long discussion, and were told that the goal was to reform the shelter and keep them open. Ruth Gillett assured us that they would work for keeping the shelter open, because we could not afford to see a reduction in the family shelter beds. It should also be noted that the shelter was put "on notice" three years ago, and allegedly came back, but were back "on notice" by Ruth's office within three months. East Side Catholic was a train wreck for years, and Ruth, as the conductor of all public funds for homeless programs, could not figure out a way to prevent the closing of this facility.

NEOCH was never invited into the discussions with the shelter to try to save the beds. The Alcohol and Drug Board and the United Way funded the program and with all their big wigs could not save the shelter beds. The Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority made a mistake in giving their treatment program, Miracle Village, to East Side Catholic and then not keeping a close eye on the agency. The City and the local foundation community could not put enough pressure on the East Side Catholic Board of Trustees to clean house and keep this valuable resource alive. But the County took the lead, and so must take the blame for this failure. Ruth Gillett repeatedly met with the shelter and selected the course of action to be taken against the shelter. This course led to the death of the shelter this month. Ruth must take responsibility for this failure and tell us in the community how we are going to fill this hole.

A word of warning to the community: this is not the end of the story. There are a series of shelters who will be in the same position over the next few years. It looks as though Family Transitional shelter was given a reprieve from closing by being taken over by West Side Catholic, but the writing is on the wall. The federal department that funds shelters, services and housing for homeless people has moved away from shelters and services. In many other cities nearly all of the transitional shelters have closed. I believe that there are two or three more shelters which will close in next two years. We have tried to convince the County to diversify the funding for the shelters for six years now, and our warnings have fallen on deaf ears. Almost all the shelters receive 80% of their funding from the federal government. In a time of growing national debt, war funding, and a health care funding crisis, shelters are unfortunately going to feel the squeeze.

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

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Your Government Inaction

Family Shelter Closing

East Side Catholic Center announced on Monday that they would be closing on December 21, 2007. This 32 to 40 bed facility has stopped accepting families for their emergency shelter, and will work to relocate their residents over the next two weeks. In addition, East Side Catholic administered a program called “Miracle Village” in collaboration with Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority, and has announced that this program will also shut down. Miracle Village provided treatment for women with a chemical dependency and could serve up to 135 women. The agency has had financial issues for three years, and County officials were not able to provide assistance to keep the programs operational while family homelessness is the fastest growing subpopulation within the homeless community.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development released a report “Assessing the Number of Homeless People in the United States” in February 2007 and found that nationally 48% of the homeless population were a part of a family. This translates to over 9,000 members of a family in Cuyahoga County were homeless in one year or 5,000 people were age 0 to 17 years old and found themselves without housing in the most recent figures available. Family homelessness is on the rise, and the service providers are not keeping up with the calls for help. The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless is calling on government officials specifically, the City/County Office of Homeless Services to figure out how to keep these services operational in one of the poorest cities in the United States. While shelters are not the answer to homelessness, they are an essential part of our safety net to keep families together while they struggle to get back into housing.

In a forum held by the Coalition in early March 2007 around Family Homelessness we learned of:

  • The funding problems faced by the family shelters because of federal policy, and we raised the issue of three of our family shelters that were in danger of closing in Cleveland.
  • The significant decrease in the number of shelter beds for those fleeing an abuser in the last five years.
  • The lack of oversight of the shelters, which makes it difficult for women to stay in the system and many fear using the shelters.
  • The current shelter policy especially for those who are newly homeless makes it difficult for a mother and father to stay together. We heard from women who had to separate from their husbands because the entry shelters do not allow men.
With the dramatic increases in foreclosures, the levels of poverty in Cleveland, and the growing waiting lists for affordable housing, we do not need to see a family shelter close in Cleveland. I am amazed that Ruth Gillett of the Office of Homeless Services with the backing of Cuyahoga County could not figure out a way to save these programs. We had three years to put a plan in place to keep in place the shelter and treatment, but community leaders did not step in to help. I have to wonder if the County has decided that these programs are not necessary or was all their attention focused on the closing of Aviation High School overflow shelter? The shelter was put on notice two years ago after a review by Cuyahoga County officials that prevented East Side Catholic from seeking federal dollars until they cleaned up their agency’s finances, management, and program operations. At the time, the County put East Side Catholic on notice, Gillett and others made a commitment to maintain the service in the community. It is ironic that the shelter chose December 21, National Homeless Memorial Day, as the day to close since that is the day to remember those who passed away over the last year because of homelessness. Will we see an increase in the list of names read at the 2008 Homeless Memorial Day because of the inaction to save East Side Catholic?

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

Monday, December 10, 2007

Katrina Homeless Story on NPR

New Orleans Homeless Told to Relocate

There was an interesting story on NPR's All Things Considered tonight (can be found here). One thing that was not mentioned was that the deadline for movement out of the park is National Homeless Memorial Day. The day that we all remember those who passed away over the last year is the last day that over 150 people will be kicked out of one of the Downtown parks in New Orleans. Four days before the most famous birth-as-a-result-of-a-forced-migration story in history is celebrated the officials from New Orleans are kicking out a large number of homeless people. How stupid are these guys? In Cleveland, landlords hold off evictions around Christmas, and I doubt that bankers are delivering move out orders after a foreclosure during the holidays. Why? Because of the extremely negative publicity associated with crushing someone during a time of peace, joy, love, and all that holiday stuff. In addition, the majority of perfectly usable Public Housing in New Orleans is slated for destruction in the next few weeks. By comparison to the destruction heaped on the people of New Orleans by state, local and federal officials, the hurricane was just a hiccup.

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

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Great Post and Good Meeting

Rats on Public Square Follow Up Meeting

First, there was a great discussion about the Rats on Public Square at RealNEO for all--check it out. I have seen a number of comments about how bad that story was in the Plain Dealer, and I didn't even catch the rats borough vs. burrow copy editing mistake when I read it. From my experience there were rats nests on the Square, and they were a health hazard. I cannot say whether they had anything to do with homeless people, the lunch crowd or the construction on the Square or all of the above as I am not a rat expert. I do know that the excessive quanities of food and the rats have made life difficult for homeless people, but the reaction from people downtown has also not been helpful. We have seen a great many laws created and directed at homeless people including the curfew, the panhandling law, and now the movement of the food. We have also seen a great deal of hostility toward homeless people with the negative stories and the horrible comments about homeless people in the newspaper and on a few blogs. Things must really be bad if we are blaming homeless people for all the problems of the City.

Also, we did have another meeting between the City and the Food Distributors. We have not had a meeting since October when there was a tense stand off between the two groups, so we were afraid this could go real bad. It actually turned out to be a pretty good meeting. The City got two more groups to agree to the alternate location. This means that every night but Sunday and Wednesday night are taken. The City made an exception for one group, but refused to relent on the Port-o-John issue. We need a bathroom Downtown. This would be a huge step forward if we could get some place where humans could relieve themselves in a dignified manner. We found a place and a group to pay for the Port-o-Johns while we work on a permanent location. The city is absolutely opposed to Port-o-Johns, but agreed to work on finding some permanent alternatives. The City has set a short time frame to find a permanent place for the food providers to feed inside, and has agreed to allow the groups to discuss the options in a subcommittee. Overall, it was a good meeting and we do seem to be making some progress.

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

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Updates on Previous Stories

The Ups and Down of Previous Blog Stories

Great Music and Good People
I attended the Woodchopper's Ball last night at the Kent Stage. I have been to two or three, but I think that this one was one of the best. It was worth the trip down to Kent despite the weather for this great event. Sure it was $20, but the concert featured 9 artists plus talented guitarist and host Charley Brown for four and half hours of music. That is $2 bucks an artist or $4.44 per hour. Where can you find great music for between $2 to $4.44 in Northeast Ohio? The three panels were expertly paired, and they all complemented each other nicely. We raised a fair amount of money for NEOCH. Brian Henke, of Bay Village, puts a ton of work into this concert every year, and the guys from Kent Stage were great and unbelievably hospitable to the cause. Catch it next year--it was well worth the journey.

How Did Cuyahoga County Get Beat by Fayette County??
We reported a couple of weeks ago about the rough process for developing a grant to prevent homelessness locally. In case you don't want to go back in time, the State of Ohio released funds to put in place five demonstration projects in order to prevent homelessness. Cleveland has by far the largest homeless population in the State and we have one of the best programs in the state to identify people who are potentially homeless with the Cleveland Tenants Organization's eviction diversion program so we were a natural for the program.

Unfortunately, the Cuyahoga County application had a mistake, and so we did not even get to compete. Toledo, Dayton, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Fayette County are the five places that will be funded to develop programming to prevent homelessness. This is a setback for homeless people in Cuyahoga County. The Office of Homeless Services, which coordinated this process, has promised that they will find other funding to implement the program locally. What program will be cut in order to fund this prevention project, stay tuned?

Plain Dealer published the Correction today
I never did see an official correction in the paper, but the Plain Dealer published my "Letter to the Editor" today correcting their story about NEOCH's support of the anti-panhandling campaign.

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