Saturday, January 19, 2008


Regret the Error

I got a call from the Plain Dealer reporter about the posting on East Side Catholic back in December. Stan Donaldson did not like the fact that I did not call him to ask about the article he wrote, and was concerned that I wrote, "Stan D. never asked Ruth Gillett why she could not have kept the shelter open or forced a change in leadership." Donaldson is correct that this sentence is difficult to verify and is factually incorrect. I am sorry for the error.

What I intended to say was that the Plain Dealer did not print the heart of the story and what matters to all of us working on homeless issues. The heart of the story is what does Cleveland do to replace or bring these beds back into service? Family homelessness is out of control and we need every bed, unit, opportunity for families we have in the community. I do not fault reporter Stan Donaldson, because my experience is that getting a solid answer from the County about homelessness is nearly impossible.

One thing that I learned about East Side Catholic that was never printed was that the agency was $1.5 million in debt. I do not know who loaned these guys over $1 million. There was just no way that this organization could continue, but did we have to lose the beds? There are rumors of another organization stepping in to take over the beds, but those details have not been finalized. The families who have had to split up over the last month because every bed is full would have appreciated a deal worked out before East Side Catholic closed.

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

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