NEOCH Had a Few Successes Recently

Ice and Leslie at the Cosgrove Feast and Fellowship in OctoberFamily Homelessness

The Community Women's Shelter no longer housing children.  We raised the issue with the County, the media and the public and we saw a change in October 2016. The Women's Shelter is way overcrowded and there were many homeless families looking for help.  The County came up with the solution of putting women with children inside the already overcrowded women's shelter.  NEOCH felt that the County should declare an emergency and ask for help.  The City Mission stepped forward to help and is now housing families in the gymnasium.  They purchased cots and toys for the kids.  This shows that with public private partnerships, we can solve problems.  We thank City Mission for their help in this time of crisis.

Began negotiations on the Women's Shelter changes

Frontline Services has begun meeting with women on the priority issues to improve the shelter.  We will post the priority items and provide regular progress for the shelter.  So far, we are planning on a survey of the women and the creation of a resident council to rewrite the rules.  There are many questions outstanding that need answered from the agency.  This is only a small step but at least the two groups are talking.

Purge Lawsuit

After a loss at the district court our legal team scored a scored a victory in the Appeals Court and ruled against the Ohio Secretary of State for the way he purged voters.  We posted the information on our voting blog from Demos about the suit here.  The issue was that the Secretary of State notified voters that they may be removed from the voting rolls, but gave them vague or confusing instructions for what the voter should do to correct this situation.  The lawyers spent weeks on negotiating this and eventually had to go back to court to get the federal court to order a resolution.  It was a victory for common sense and voting rights. 

Central Kitchen

In 2015, we kept hearing at meetings that the food at the two big shelters was subpar. The two shelters had contracted with the Lutheran Metro Ministry program called the Central Kitchen.  We had Central Kitchen staff attend Homeless Congress meetings, but it was not getting better.  So, we set up meetings at the Central Kitchen last year and things are getting better.  They hired a new head chef this summer and have made the trainees go out and serve the food at the shelters on a regular basis.  The residents admitted at both the Homeless Congress and at the Resident Council that things are improving at the Central Kitchen.  We congratulate the staff over at Central Kitchen, and hope to see continued improvement.

Brian Davis

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Dale Miller Attends the Homeless Congress

Our missing posters had some impact because County Councilman Dale Miller showed up to the Homeless Congress today.  He was generous with his time and listened to all the concerns of the residents of the local shelters including the many issues over the Women's shelter.  We took his missing poster off of our website, and thank Miller for attending the meeting. 

We gave out all the copies of the missing flyers that we distributed regarding other County elected officials.  Councilman Miller asked that everyone sign up to vote in the upcoming election to support the Health and Human Service's levy which are used to fund the shelters among other things.  This may not be persuasive since many of the women are very angry over the conditions at the shelter and the lack of oversight by the County.  Miller agreed that Councilwoman Conwell was a wonderful advocate, but disagreed that she favored shelter providers over homeless residents of the shelters. Miller did agree that every County Council person should meet with homeless people or the Homeless Congress and not just rely on one Councilwoman to interact with homeless people.  We had heard from another Council person that the County was so big and had so many issues with only a part time Council that they were forced to divide the problems among the 11. 

NEOCH staff criticized this isolation of problems associated with homelessness to one Council person.   There was concern that Councilwoman Conwell and the shelter directors did not believe what was going on at the women's shelter when residents report problems.  We talked about the seeing eye dog that was taken from one resident because of the poor conditions as emblematic of the problems.  Took the dog out of the unsafe facility left the human?   We also talked about how the shelter does not respond to written complaints from the Women's shelter and does not provide the public a summary of all the complaints filed by the women.  EDEN staff did attend to respond to some of the facility issues.  Elaine Gimmel of EDEN said that they would reassess the company hired to take care of the washers and dryers since they have been slow to respond and would get maintenance on the issue of the temperature in the bedrooms. 

We talked about the food meeting on Monday morning at Central Kitchen to discuss the food issues in the biggest shelters. 

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinion of those who sign the entry.