Creating Nurturing Environments
NEOCH works to ensure that people experiencing homelessness have access to nurturing spaces. We work to improve the conditions of people experiencing homelessness through our Outreach Collaborative and our Shelter Advocacy. We also try to ease access to a home through advocating for policies, leading Cuyahoga Affordable Housing Alliance, running HousingCleveland.org, and more.
We coordinate all the outreach workers in the city. Together, we communicate with all current people sleeping on the street in order to provide them individualized attention. We often help ensure the homeless are given winter clothes and other necessities. The Outreach Collaborative also tracks and documents crimes committed against homeless folks in our city and determine what actions needs to be taken to defend the victims. Through this coordination, we also intervene with those resistant to shelter, encouraging people to call us instead of the police. We believe that this actively prevents the criminalization of homelessness.
For many homeless, their inability to access the resources and spaces available to them stems from their unawareness that these resources exist. Each year, NEOCH thus creates and distributes Street Cards to homeless folks. The Street Cards contain a list of all the resources in the Northeast Ohio Region. We produce several versions of street cards in order to reach veterans and families.
Affordable Housing Advocacy
We firmly believe that homeless will continue to increase if strong affordable housing policies are not enacted. We organize the Cuyahoga Affordable Housing Alliance (CAHA) where representatives of HUD, developers, the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, advocates, and social providers meet to discuss the state of affordable housing locally. We also help manage HousingCleveland.org which eases the burden of finding affordable housing.
The quality of Cleveland's shelters has been so abysmal that shelters often exacerbate many of the problems facing homeless people. NEOCH has a long history of working with service providers to promote better policies. When dialogue breaks down, we also have a long history of relentless work (much of it covered in our blog) to better the conditions of the shelters.