Family Homelessness To Be Addressed At Dinner

Family Homelessness is out of control locally.  The overflow is full to the point they are placing women with children in the only Women’s Shelter left in Cleveland.  We have closed 440 beds of shelter in the last six years and the both entry shelters for men and women are full every night.  We need some local leadership to step forward to work on these issues.  Despite the flawed count released by the federal government, despite positive media stories of a decline in homelessness, this is the worst we have seen for families facing homelessness in 30 years.  We no longer have religious groups in the lead of ending family homelessness.  Our business leaders are not focused on finding solutions to homelessness anymore. 

 We need a group of business and religious leaders to recommend programs to begin to actually reduce the number of homeless people locally.  We need some activity toward a local affordable housing trust fund to build and preserve housing for people making minimum wage.  We need to keep families out of shelters, and prevent evictions.  There is so much more we could do, but we are stuck in chasing federal dollars that we never get around to solving problems.  Our entire strategy is wrapped around an untested philosophy pushed by academics and bureaucrats.   NEOCH wants to help organize a fund or a campaign to end homelessness in Cleveland, and we want you to be a part of this effort.  We want innovative and creative ideas to move people back into housing while not sacrificing the emergency response to those who fall into homelessness.

We are hosting a dinner on October 19 at the Breen Center (2008 West 30th St.) at St. Ignatius to kick off this campaign.  We want to have some of the members present to hear a pep talk from the County Executive or the Mayor.  We will give out a few awards and then introduce the Campaign.  I have included the electronic invitation that we are advertising.  The goal would be to set up a committee by the end of the year to begin to put together a pool of funds to begin to solve problems.  We would solicit smaller donations to hire a staff person to implement and assist the committee.  The advisory would meet to hear pitches and decide on the projects to fund or to hear from elected officials about the struggle as well as get a status update on the campaign to end homelessness.

We need the private sector to end homelessness for everyone.  We have a good example with the Veterans Administration who used every strategy possible and cut veteran’s homelessness by two thirds in the last few years.  How do we replicate the success of Veteran’s homelessness in Cleveland? Join us on October 19 to hear how you can help.  We need you to RSVP your space today in order to help us solve this issue.

by Brian Davis