Shelter Sister Alumni Pledge to Reform the Women's Shelter

Shelter Sister Alumni Pledge

We have tried to reform the Community Women’s Shelter (Search our website for Women's homeless shelter) for years and nothing has worked.  We know that the women are afraid to speak up out of fear of retaliation.  The staff have created such an oppressive environment that women are afraid that they will be improperly discharged if they say anything about the shelter and the shelter does not respond to grievances according to Cuyahoga County rules.  So, NEOCH is organizing a Shelter Sister Alumni group to address the problem.  We are asking that after (current or recent residents)  get into housing that they pledge to work for the reform of this specific shelter.  They will attend meetings, stay in contact with NEOCH or meet with County individuals.  If these women are not going to have time or will not be able to fulfill this pledge then we ask that they do not fill out the form.  We are asking that they keep a copy of the flyer with them as you move into housing.  The Shelter Sister Alumni Pledge is:

I agree to work to reform the Women’s Shelter on Payne Ave. after I get into housing.  I will:

_____Call NEOCH (216) 432-0540 at least once per month to find out if there are any updates.

_____Attend a meeting about the Women’s Shelter at least quarterly depending on my work schedule.

_____Visit a County elected official to urge them to reform the shelter and provide better oversight.

_____ Attend a meeting with the provider about solving the problems at the shelter.  Posted on Cleveland Homeless Blog on

_____ Or attend the Homeless Congress Meeting. 2nd Thursday at 1p.m. at Cosgrove.

_____  E mail NEOCH at neoch (at) neoch (dot) org regularly to keep us updated. Shelter Sister Alumni in the subject line or visit at NEOCH is at 3631 Perkins 3rd Floor over near Dave’s or the Keybank on Chester.

We have tried everything including asking politicians for help, protests, meetings, threats, filing grievances, going to the media and nothing has worked.  Because it is so overcrowded, it is probably the worst we have seen this shelter in 20 years.  It is a toxic environment that is not healthy for the women.  There are so many problems, but the fundamental issue is that most of the staff do not care about the women.  There is very little oversight of the shelter and the staff do not follow the county rules or even their own policies.  They do not respond to grievances and their is an atmosphere of fear of retaliation over at the shelter.  We are at a loss for how to reform the shelter. 

 Download a copy of the Shelter Sister Alumni Pledge form to complete or distribute


by Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry, but the Coalition board has supported the position of the Homeless Congress as it relates to the Community Women's Shelter