Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Cleveland: State of Homelessness 2007

Coalition Issues Report on the State of Homelessness in Cleveland

Last week as part of the press conference to introduce the Stand Down, NEOCH issued our State of Homelessness in Cleveland. It is available on our website as a pdf here under State of Homelessness 2007. It compiles all the statistics on foreclosures, evictions, shelter usage, money spent on homelessness to give a unsettling picture of the increase in homelessness in 2007. NEOCH staff gathered stats from the social service community as well as a few government agencies. Some of the most alarming statistics include:
  • The Cleveland Public Schools saw a 32% increase in the number of kids in the last six months of 2007 compared to the same time in 2006.
  • First Call for Help saw a 30% increase in calls regarding housing and a 39% increase in requests for food.
  • 75% of the shelter population in Cleveland is African American.
  • A person must make $10.93 per hour working 40 hours a week in order to afford the fair market rent in Greater Cleveland.
  • The men's shelter averaged 129 people over their legal capacity in 2007, which forced Cuyahoga County to offer overflow shelter 365 days a year.
  • 35% of the homeless population reported an income of over $501 per month while staying in the shelters.
We do not have the total number of homeless estimates in Cleveland until the Census releases their poverty estimate, but all indications are that it was a rough 2007 for people experiencing homelessness.

The report lists the positive trends in the community including a great deal of work done by the County to find new spaces for homeless men to live or sleep because of the anticipated loss of Aviation High School. We also applaud the County for remaining committed to guaranteed access to shelter. We have not had to hang up the sign "There is No Bed at the Inn" sign locally. Those who want a bed show up at the shelter and they will not be turned away (thus the need for overflow). There are also a couple of pages dedicated to "dangerous trends" in the community that we all need to watch. Finally, we give a laundry list of 35 things that could be done locally to reduce the homeless population. We are very proud of the report, and we hope that you will check it out.

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

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