Here is a Prime Example of Why Frontline is Not a Good Partner

This is the e-mail we received yesterday from Frontline Services:

Dear Colleagues-

Since our move to 1736 Superior, the Coordinated Intake program has operated 7 days a week from 8:00a to 8:00p.  Coordinated Intake, which is a collaboration of FrontLine Service and the Cleveland Mediation Center, has been working extremely hard with those we serve to effectively explore options to shelter and provide timely shelter placement.

This email is being sent to you because we are changing the days of on site operations.  Because of a recent funding gap, effective immediately, (NEOCH added underline for emphasis) our new hours of operation will be Monday through Friday, from 8:00a to 8:00p. We will no longer operate on site Saturdays and Sundays.

Saturdays and Sundays will follow our after-hour protocol. Single men and women seeking shelter will go to 2100 Lakeside Men’s Shelter or Norma Herr Women’s Center, respectively. Singles arriving at shelter during the weekend will be sent to Coordinated Intake on Monday for a complete intake and assessment.

Families seeking shelter will need to contact 2-1-1 who will link them with an on-call staff person. The on-call person will triage by phone and attempt to divert. If needed, they will meet at FrontLine Service to complete the intake and proceed to emergency shelter placement.

It is our hope that the need to discontinue on site weekend hours will not greatly impact service delivery. Please feel free to contact me.

-LaTonya-

Director, Emergency Housing Services

FrontLine Service, formerly MHS

No warning, no letting the outreach teams or churches who may be dropping off people over the weekend.  They did not let us know so we could update the Homeless Street Card.  They did not hold a discussion with all the partner agencies to talk about the pros and cons and alternatives.  We just had a County Homeless meeting last week and they could have warned us that this might be coming.  Funding does not change so dramatically that the largest homeless service provider in the community cannot take a few weeks to ease into this decision.  They are really bad partners to the rest of the small groups in the community who are providing referrals or trying to work on the issue of ending homelessness.  This will be fine in five years when Frontline Service takes over every charity in Cuyahoga County and we are all Frontline employees, but at this time the agency does not provide very good services to homeless people.

They do a really bad job overseeing the Women's Shelter and they are not really solid partner when they need multiple organizations working on the same page.  We have a bunch of questions about what we are supposed to do without Coordinated Intake on the weekend and no venue for getting answers.  Are they going to pay First Call for Help to take all these extra calls and spend all this extra time with homeless families?  How will we assure that we circle back to the men and women who became homeless on the weekend to make sure that they complete the Central Intake application?  Who will declare that we need to open an overflow site if many families show up this weekend needing help? Wish there was a partner who cared about the opinions of the rest of the Continuum or the County demanded that the shelters and services play nice with eachother.

Brian Davis

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Homeless Stand Down 2013

Another successful homeless Stand Down.   This year the all day service fair took place at Public Auditorium in Downtown Cleveland.  This is the 22 year of this event that serves both veterans and non-veteran homeless people.  They served at least 1,200 people this year and around 200 of those individuals were veterans.  WKYC had a really nice report on the event both yesterday and today.  The Channel 3 story featured our own William Gilmore and our Street Voices speaker Don Messitt who have attended many of these events. (Update: Fox 8 also had a nice story about Don Messit.)   Handson Northeast Ohio took over the event two years ago and did a great job with the event.  Public Auditorium was a much bigger facility and was a better place to hold the event.  Parking was rough, but it was a great event.  Parking was probably rough because there were so many volunteers and social service providers present that it made such a great event for homeless people.  This was probably the largest medical support staff of any of the 21 previous Stand Downs. 

One of the most popular items was the portraits that the Cleveland Photographic Society take of homeless people.   This was probably the most well documented Stand Downs in our history with dozens of photographers at the event.  There was food donated, hygiene kits, job training, and a large number of services for veterans.  The donated items for veterans disappeared quickly because so many veterans showed up.   Larry Davis from NEOCH handled transportation, and there were dozens of vans transporting families, individuals and couples to Public Auditorium.  Handson is doing a mobile Stand Down over the next week delivering goods and services to people living in the shelters.  

Brian Davis

Posts reflect the opinions of those who sign the entry.