A Few Quick Updates

CWRU Civic Engagement Conference and Learning Center along with the InterReligious Task Force on Central America had their 14th Annual Teach In conference on a cold snowy day in February.  I was one of the presenters regarding homelessness in Cleveland.  It was amazing how many students came out to participate.  Sarah Kalloch of Oxfam and Dr. Rhonda Williams of CWRU Social Justice Institute were the two keynote speakers for the conference.  

100,000 Homes Campaign was featured on 60 Minutes on Sunday February 9.  It was a nice piece on the savings for the community in providing housing before wasting time with services.  Check it out if you did not see it.  The problem is that 100,000 homes are not going to make a dent in the need.  We have neglected affordable housing for 30 years, 100,000 homes is not going do much for the community.  Don't get me wrong these are beautiful buildings in Cleveland that have everything the population needs.  It is just not enough and it takes too long to develop. If we were developing 100,000 new units with support services every year, we would start seeing a reduction in emergency services.  At the end of the day this summer of 2014, we will reach the 100,000 homes magic number.  Then what?   We will not have closed any shelter and the cities will be stuck with the long term cost of supporting these buildings and the disabled residents living inside. 

Golden Week is probably dead this week.  It looks like the State legislature is going to kill the week that allows homeless people to register and vote at the same time.  It is far enough before the election that the eligibility of the voter can be determined.  It is perfect for people who move frequently such as homeless people and it makes it easy to kill two birds with one shot.  I do not know why state officials do not want to make it easier for people to vote.  I do not see the harm or the potential fraud when a voter is allowed to register and vote at the same time.  This vote to kill Golden Week can only be considered a voter suppression activity. 

Long Term Unemployed Still Without Help.  It is now 41 days since the long term unemployed were kicked off the benefit program.  This is the time that the renters will start seeing evictions because they cannot afford their housing.  This is the time that they will start seeing financial emergencies, and one of our own Senators voted down the proposal to extend benefits for the next three months.  We found a way to keep supporting big farms and certain pet projects in the Farm bill, but we can't help out-of-work Americans struggling to avoid homelessness?

Brian Davis

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