The members of the Homeless Congress sent out letters to every candidate for City Council (57) to ask that if elected will they support some form of regulation of the publicly funded shelters in Cleveland. We have heard back from 14 who claim that they will support the legislation including five incumbents, and two came back returned to sender. Last week was our first meeting since the first letters went out, and one candidate, Maryanne Petranek, attended the meeting. Her message at the meeting was that she does not support more government regulations, and wanted to see a City Council committee set up to change the homeless system. This did not sit very well with the members of the committee who had spent months writing this potential piece of legislation, but Ms. Petranek sat through the meeting and listened to the concerns of the members of the homeless community. It was nice to see that she had enough interest in the civic problems facing Cleveland that she attended the meeting.
Today, she sent in her form expressing her support for the potential regulations with this note on the back:
"Thank you for allowing me to speak at your meeting on Thursday, August 13, 2009. I do not support federal $'s for shelters but I do support the local community supporting the individuals who have become homeless for whatever reason.Petranek is running against Council President Martin Sweeney and Norbert Dennerll Jr. who endorsed the regulations four weeks ago. We are willing to post any message from Sweeney or Dennerll in response to Ms. Petranek's comment, since NEOCH and the Homeless Congress are not taking any position in support of any candidate for City Council. The next Congress meeting is September 10, 2009. Any or all candidates are welcome to attend.
We need a paradigm shift and a new model to assist people in becoming free of the bondage of homelessness.
I will be happy to meet with anyone who will help construct this new model to end homelessness permanently and give every human being the opportunity to live as an individual, making his/her own choices in a healthy community.
Sincerely, Maryanne Petranek"
Update 8/19: Scene Magazine did a short article about the quest for shelter standards today in their magazine. Also today, current Council President, Martin Sweeney endorsed the shelter regulations today.
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