Wednesday, September 22, 2010

County Council Election

State Senator Mike Foley speaks at the 2007 Homeless Memorial

Homeless Congress Asks Candidates to Support Regulating the Shelters

The Homeless Congress last week voted to ask every candidate running for the new County Council and County Executive to make a pledge that if elected they will support the regulation of the shelters. At this point, there is no law that sets a minimum standard for shelter in Cuyahoga County. We spend $30 million on homeless services, and have no ability to enforce regulations on the shelters. This has allowed 100 women to sleep in a shelter with only one shower. This lack of a policy has allowed women and men to be kicked out of the shelter at 10 p.m. forcing them to sleep in a bus shelter or on the streets. This lack of oversight has made it nearly impossible to get the government to review a complaint that a client may have with regard to a publicly funded shelter. The members of the Congress are willing to negotiate exactly how the regulations are structured, but they want something in law that will protect homeless people from being dumped out onto the streets without warning.

At this point, three candidates have endorsed the regulation of the shelters, and the full list can be found here. Thanks Phyllis Crespo of District 7, Laverne Jones Gore of District 9 and Dale Miller of District 2 for endorsing the regulations. A special thanks to Ms. Crespo who attended the Congress meeting last week to listen to homeless people. There is one more Homeless Congress meeting before the election, and we have invited District 3 and District 7 candidates to meet with representatives of the Homeless Congress.

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