Tuesday, October 25, 2011

NY Times Story on Cleveland Suburbs

Not News But National Recognition

The New York Times today posted a story about the huge increase in suburban poverty.  This is not news for readers of this blog or those familiar with homelessness in Cleveland.  We have reported that 24% of the people utilizing the shelters in Cleveland had their last address outside of the City borders.  A large number of those with a last address outside of Cleveland are not from Cuyahoga County.  There are very few services available to those struggling with poverty in Lake, Medina, Geauga, and Portage Counties.  What does a person do if they lose their housing in these surrounding communities?  They have to figure out a way to Lorain, Summitt or Cuyahoga Counties to find help.  A single male without a job has very few options in most of the counties surrounding Cuyahoga or even the cities surrounding Cleveland.

The New York Times story focused on cities such as Warrensville Hts, Parma Hts., and Wickliffe.  The study cited shows that 55% of the nation's poor now live outside Metropolitan areas.  The story quotes our good friend, Steve Wertheim of First Call for Help about the sharp increase in suburban poverty.  NEOCH along with ESOP will be releasing a survey of the suburban communities response to homelessness and foreclosures over the next two months. The results will show that suburban communities are not prepared for the influx of people struggling.  They have a very good infrastructure for seniors and certainly seniors struggling, but very few are prepared to respond to other populations. There is still not one homeless shelter outside of the City of Cleveland, and if you need any kind of help beside food, you must make your way down to Cleveland.  It is eyeopening and disturbing the large increase in poverty over the last few years in the suburbs. I don't remember a similar story in the Plain Dealer.

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