Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Next CAHA Meeting

Pictured above Phil Star (CAHA chairperson) and Bill Faith (COHHIO Director) speaks in 2009.

Bill Faith "Not Under the Bus Yet" Tour April 4, 2011

The next meeting of the Cuyahoga Affordable Housing Alliance is Monday April 4, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. at the US Bank Building in Playhouse Square. We will have a discussion about the state budget with Bill Faith executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio. There is a great deal of concern over the state budget and especially the impact on low income residents of Cleveland, Bill Faith can separate fact from fiction in the state budget. Faith is on his "not under the bus yet" tour to get information out about the State affordable housing budget and potential cuts that we need to be aware of if we serve a mentally ill, elderly or other fragile population. Faith regularly interacts with state legislators and can give an assessment of how this will all play out over the next three months. We hope that you can attend. The meeting will be in the lower level of the building on East 14th and Euclid Ave. in the lower level (1350 Euclid Ave. ) across from the United Way in downtown Cleveland.

Faith would want us to also remind people that the COHHIO conference is in Columbus on April 11, 12 and then lobby day is April 13. CAHA is a one and a half hour presentation of the issues facing Ohio, while the conference is a two day presentation on all of the issues.

Brian Davis
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Award: Special Projects Volunteer

Special Events Volunteer of the Year for 2010: Dominica Dearing
The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless presented a Special Events Volunteer of the Year award to Dominica Dearing. She is a graduate of Ursuline College and is currently attending Tiffin University for her Master’s Degree. Dominica regularly comes to NEOCH to volunteer, and helped with the Hand Up Gala in 2010. Dominica raises her son and oversees a real estate company. Dominica was able to work with her son’s music teacher at Brush High School to bring them to the Cosgrove Center last year and sing for the guests at the Hand Up Gala. This was mentioned as one of the highlights of the afternoon by many guests. Dominica thanked the board for this recognition. Pictured above is Dominica receiving the award with her mother to the left.
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Homeless Social Services Person of the Year

NEOCH Selects Homeless Social Service's Person of 2010: Nicole Evans

The NEOCH Board of Trustees selected Nicole Evans for a special honor for her nearly two decades of work on hunger and homelessness in Cleveland. Evans is the current program director at the Bishop William Cosgrove Center that provides hundreds of meals to homeless and very low income individuals every day. She has worked for Catholic Charities since 1999, and before that worked for the Cleveland Foodbank. Nicole is currently enrolled at Cleveland State University pursuing a degree in urban studies. She has always been willing to go the extra mile to help people in need with programming and a healthy meal at the city’s largest day shelter. Every week day, she makes sure that over 200 people receive the proper nourishment, and is always willing to lend a hand up or even a shoulder to cry on to the fragile men and women wandering the streets of Cleveland. She has constructed a venue where outreach workers, veterans representatives, lawyers, and other providers meet with clients who are homeless to help move people toward stability.

In 2010, Nicole worked with NEOCH to successfully stage the Hand Up Gala, which provided a wonderful fine dining meal to 85 low income individuals. Nicole coordinated this special day and helped with the planning of this unique event of combining a fundraiser with a fine dining meal for low income Clevelanders. The Board recognized that everyday for the past 12 years, Evans has set up a safe place for those without a stable home. She has constructed a healthy environment during the worst snow storms and the terrible heat of the summer for anyone and everyone in need. Nicole has figured out how to provide a healthy meal to thousands of people every year by employing caring individuals. Nicole has also worked for years to prepare the food for the Homeless Stand Down for many years.

In accepting the award, Nicole spoke of all the tremendous partners that she works with everyday in the community and appreciated being recognized by the her peers. She talked about her long relationship with the Coalition, and thanked board and staff for all the help we have offered her over the years. Pictured above is Nicole speaking after accepting her award.


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David Westcott Volunteer of the Year

2010 NEOCH Volunteer of the Year: Larry Davis

Larry Davis is the 2010 David Westcott volunteer of the year for 2010, and was given the award at the March NEOCH Annual meeting. Davis came to NEOCH in 2006 as a volunteer by way of the Cleveland Tenants Organization. He is a veteran of the US military who has taken a leadership role within his church and the apartment buildings that he lives in. Larry, previously was an AmeriCorps VISTA for a year and a half, and now is a Mature Services member doing community organizing for CTO. He regularly volunteers 20 hours a week at NEOCH to help with the Street Voices project and assigning volunteers useful work for the organization. Larry is a key member of the Stand Down leadership committee and started a blanket and winter clothing drive at NEOCH in 2009 that continues today.

Pictured above is Roy Love, (left) NEOCH Board Vice President, presenting the award to Davis (right) at the March 19 NEOCH annual meeting. Larry talked about his reasons for coming to NEOCH and his commitment to working on social justice issues in Cleveland. Davis in accepting the award mentioned all the people who have helped him overcome obstacles, and his desire to give back to the community. He thanked the board for the award, and appreciated the time that he has spent at NEOCH. Larry welcomes other volunteers to assist the Coalition. If you would like to help out with clerical, research, civil rights, or other advocacy projects contact Larry at 216/432-0540 ext 103. NEOCH can utilize volunteers for a day or just a couple of hours a month.


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Advocate of the Year

2010 Advocate of the Year

Tim Walters

Walters retired from the May Dugan Center last year, but has continued working to protect the rights of low income and homeless people. Tim is an authority in Cleveland on public utilities and how low income residents navigate this complicated system. Tim has helped create the state advocacy group, ABLE, in order to help lower income families lobby for justice in the state budget. Walters regularly volunteers with the Metanoia Project and Project Save. He attends the Homeless Congress to listen to the views and opinions of homeless people. Walters has helped improve the outreach safety net in Cleveland and has successfully integrated advocacy with the human service needs of homeless people to support the NEOCH mission.

Tim talked about the graduation ceremony that took place the night before with the men and women who entered the Courage for Change program that they run at the Metanoia Project. Tim also talked about the upcoming work of ABLE including the Public Square rally today, and the big trip down to Columbus on April 5th. If you want to participate and ride down to Columbus with the 2010 Advocate of the Year call 216/771-5077 ext 137.


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NEOCH Annual Meeting

NEOCH Annual Meeting on Saturday

Thanks to everyone that attended the NEOCH Annual Meeting on Saturday. Pictured above were board members, Roy and Marcia who took the lead as Vice President and President respectively in organizing the event. Also, above are staff and guests who attended the meeting and enjoyed a good potluck lunch. Thanks to the board members and staff who brought food, desserts, and hospitality to the 30 folks who showed up. NEOCH gave out awards to four outstanding individuals in the community.

Tim Walters---Advocate of the Year
Larry Davis--David Westcott Volunteer of the Year
Nicole Evans--Homeless Social Services Person of the Year
Dominica Dearing--Special Events Volunteer of the Year.

We will post short biographies of the award winners for this year on the blog over the next week. In addition, we have posted the 2010 NEOCH Annual Report on our website, so you can have a quick reference about the work of the Coalition. Finally, the Board selected the officers for 2011-2012 as Marcia Bufford--President, Roy Love as Vice President, Brenda Gray as Secretary for the Corporation, and Jennifer Kocan as the Treasurer.

Brian Davis
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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Thank You Greater Cleveland

Over 1,600 Blankets donated since October

Pictured above are the delivery from the staff at the United Way who collected blankets and donated them to homeless people in Cleveland. They even donated these blankets during one of the last two recent snowstorms. We have now distributed all of these blankets to those who sleep outside and to those who stay at 2100 Lakeside shelter. Special thanks to the wife of the CEO of the United Way who personally made a number of blankets. Thanks also to Congressman Kucinich's staff who collected items and brought them over to our office. We received quilts and sleeping blankets and comforters for those moving into housing. We gave out these fantastic outdoor blankets that had plastic on one side, and some coats and other winter clothing. Thanks to Greater Cleveland for all the outpouring of caring support. Thanks everyone for your generosity and rest assured your gifts went directly to people in need in Cleveland.

Thanks also to the incredible team of outreach workers from Labre, Care Alliance, Mental Health Services, Volunteers of America, the Salvation Army, Veterans Administration, Lutheran Metro Ministry, St. Pascals, Metanoia, and St Pauls in Ohio City. The people who stayed warm in this harsh and cold winter thank you for your generosity. The veterans living on the near West Side as well as the couples living in their cars survived the winter because of your support.


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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Sorry for the Interruption

NEOCH Annual Meeting Next Week

Sorry that we have not posted for two weeks, we have been working on a couple of projects that took all the staff time. Just a reminder next Saturday March 19 is the NEOCH Annual Meeting at St. Malachi school on West 25th and Detroit Ave. at Noon. We will have a lunch available, but we ask that you call the office to let us know that you are attending. Please call 216/432-0540 to reserve your spot and make sure that we have enough food ready for you.

We will have our Annual Report ready, and we will talk about the successes and the challenges facing the Coalition. We will give out a couple of awards and talk about plans for 2011. Hope that you can attend.

Brian Davis
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Stand Down totals

Project Salute attended the Stand Down to assist Veterans. They are stationed out of Detroit, but came down to help. InterAct has a nice overview of the Stand Down. Here are the statistics from the Health and Services Stand Down on February 18, 2011:

  • Over 350 guests came through check in
  • Over 100 volunteers signed in
  • Over 280 breakfasts were served
  • Over 500 lunches were served
  • 54 flu shots were given by the Cleveland Dept. of Public Health
  • Over 90 haircuts were provided
  • 30 mini-health exams were given
  • Over 55 podiatry services were given, and over 100 bags of socks, powder and hand sanitizers were given away
  • Over 500 hygiene kits were distributed
  • Over 500 bus passes were distributed
  • Over 50 social service agencies were available for information
  • 14 Pap screenings were done by Cleveland Clinic and 15 Mammograms by Women's Diagnostic.
Overall with the two days of the Stand Down at the Masonic Temple

  • Over 1,200 guests served
  • Over 660 event volunteers from over 85 groups
  • Over 100 groups provided in-kind support
  • Over 30 different funders
  • 129 haircuts
  • 175 podiatry screenings
  • 77 mini-check ups
  • Over 1,800 hygiene kits, 2,000 diapers and pull ups, and 2,000 bagged lunches distributed over all 3 HSD events
  • Over 370 portraits by the Cleveland Photographic Society, and over 890 volunteer hours. Click on the Youtube video from the day or the flikr photographs.
  • 966 guests enjoyed a hot lunch of chili and chicken philly sandwiches
  • 623 guests (including 117 veterans) accessed winter clothing, socks and underwear
  • Live entertainment, including a participatory drum circle and open mic
  • 383 volunteer hours provided by residents from Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry’s 2100 Lakeside Men’s Shelter
  • 55 Health and Human Service agencies present
  • Mock interviews by Cleveland Transfer Connection
  • 14 pap smears (all negative) by Cleveland Clinic Foundation
  • Various legal groups
  • Youth Abilities and North Coast Academy led children’s activities, including puppy petting, and writing cards to military service members
  • Sanford Brown College provided 75 massages, 65 blood pressure checks, 100 blankets, as well as 20 hat/gloves/scarves sets
  • 15 mammograms were performed
  • 6 hearing screenings were performed by The Cleveland Hearing and Speech Center
Plans have already begun for a 2012. Thanks to the hundreds of volunteers who helped with this important event. And thanks to the Masonic Temple for being willing to host hundreds of homeless people.

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