Homeless Will Testify Before County Council
The Homeless Congress members as well as staff of the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless will testify on Thursday June 9, 2011 before the Cuyahoga County Council Human Services Subcommittee. The meeting takes place at the Justice Center headquarters of the County Council at 1 p.m. on June 9 before Dan Brady’s County Health and Human Services Committee. Four members of the Homeless Congress who have all stayed in the shelters will testify about their previous experience and the need for a law regulating the shelters.
“Many homeless people are concerned about the conditions within the shelters, and we want a local law that will regulate the publicly funded emergency housing facilities,” said Brian Davis of NEOCH. The Congress, the Coalition, and homeless people are asking for local regulations that will be enforced by some office within the County with an ability for homeless people to file a grievance if the shelter is not performing. “We are willing to negotiate on exactly what the legislation looks like, but we want a place that will have the authority to oversee the shelters. We want to avoid another situation in which 100 women slept in a shelter for the summer with only one working shower as happened this last summer,” said Davis.
Additional members of the Homeless Congress and homeless people will be in the audience to hear the testimony and urge the County Council to introduce a bill that would regulate the shelters. The County oversees more than $30 million on homeless services, and does not have a set of local regulations to oversee the shelters. There are regulations of nursing homes, treatment centers, group homes, prisons, but not shelters. Homeless people are just asking for a minimum standard with regard to any shelter in Cuyahoga County receiving tax payer support.
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