Calling on Religious Organizations for Help

Every summer for the past three years we have seen a sharp increase in families looking for housing assistance, and with cut backs at the federal level we expect similar numbers this summer. We have had innocent children by the hundreds who are requesting shelter with their parents.  Social service providers have struggled to meet this demand.  We have had families who had to have Dad go to one shelter while Mom goes with the children to another shelter or made the decision to temporarily relinquish custody of their children, because the shelters were so full.  The system has changed dramatically over the last few years with the development of a Central Intake system.  This allows every family to have an extensive intake done to plan out the best path back to stability tailored to the individual needs of each family. 

We are inviting Religious Leaders to a meeting on April 30, 2013 at 5:30 p.m. at 1744 Payne Ave. (the MHS administrative offices) to discuss opportunities for collaboration.  NEOCH is planning this meeting with the largest homeless social service provider in our community, Mental Health Services.  Our goal is to figure out what resources religious groups can bring to the table.  We would like to explain the new referral system for obtaining a shelter bed, and we want you to hear from us what we kind of help we need to serve homeless families.  We also hope to share with you our strategy to meet the needs of the families who request shelter, and you can see if there are areas in which your volunteers or specialists can help.

If you need a copy of a flyer to distribute to your members call 216/432-0540 or email neoch (at) neoch (dot) org.   We ask that you reserve a spot for the April Family Homelessness meeting so that we will be able to configure the room with the proper number of chairs. We know that the religious leaders of Cleveland have a strong commitment toward social justice and hope that they will step forward to help homeless families. 

Brian Davis

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