We are living a society that has made an unconscionable decision to allow homelessness to exist. Human beings crowd into single room apartments, shelters and under bridges to survive. We estimate 23,000 people in our community struggle with homelessness in Northeast Ohio. Together, we can change this history.
Here at the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless we work every day to organize and empower homeless and at-risk men, women and children to break the cycle of poverty through public education, advocacy and the creation of nurturing environments. When the Polar Vortex dropped temperatures to life threatening conditions, we organized our community outreach workers to keep people sleeping outside safe. Working around the clock, we checked on camps, hosted community conference calls, and advocated for 24-hour drop-in centers. This was only possible because of you!
When the Metroparks evicted a homeless encampment without notice, we spoke out to stop the criminalization of homelessness and relocated folks to safe spaces in a couple hours. When the Homeless Congress spoke up about transportation issues we organized a shuttle to give free rides to the shelters. You make this increasingly difficult work easier.
However, for every success, there is more critical work to be done. Every night of the year, our shelters are full. The lack of affordable housing and gentrification make it more difficult to find a safe affordable space to call home. Youth and young adults are entering homelessness at an alarming rate. Family homelessness increased another 5% in 2018. The wave of new federal policy and local development decisions are not making it easier to end homelessness. With an increase in demand for supportive services, we need your help to give people access to information and resources, advocate for more affordable housing, and strive to end homelessness. Your support can change the tide.
This is why I am writing to you today. April is membership month and we need you to join us in this work. You can do this by becoming a member of NEOCH. It is through your support that we continue to be a force for change in this community. Your membership helps guarantee people experiencing homelessness have an agency to empower and amplify their voice and a strong coalition working for social change.
This month new and returning members who donate $50.00 or more will receive a new NEOCH T-shirt. Furthermore you will receive a subscription to our Bridge Support newsletter, advocacy alerts, invitations to special events and show a commitment to ending homelessness.