One Story at a Time…
Ted Howard’s efficiency apartment in Cleveland’s Glenville Neighborhood has been a safe haven for him for nearly three years. Tidy and compact, he calls it a “blessing for this place to be here.
“Because of my addiction I couldn’t get money to get an apartment,” he said.
Ted lives in Liberty at St. Clair, a 72-unit apartment building on St. Clair Avenue. Liberty, a Housing First apartment building, is one of eight with more than 500 units around Cleveland.
Without housing, people struggle to keep or find a job, care for children and move out of poverty. Without housing, people have a hard time getting clean and sober.
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, in partnership with Enterprise Community Partners and the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Office of Homeless Services, brought together housing, service providers and foundations to create the Housing First Initiative.
The Initiative was created to address the challenge of chronic homelessness, and to develop a strategy for bringing Housing First to Cuyahoga County.
The shared goal is to develop 1,000 units of permanent supportive housing in Cuyahoga County.
“Housing First” is both an initiative and a philosophy that no matter what obstacles people face, ensuring them a home is paramount. Housing First combines permanent affordable housing with onsite supportive services such as education and job skills training, as well as substance abuse and mental health issues. It is a proven solution to end longterm homelessness for people like Ted.
Ted moved in and out of homelessness for years after becoming addicted to cocaine and losing his job. He stayed at the men’s homeless shelter, and at other times would crash at a friend’s place.
Now Ted takes the bus to vocational training and attends 12-step meetings in the community room of his building. “I’m on the right track.”
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For more than 18 years, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland has worked to improve the lives of those most in need with special attention to families, women and children living in poverty.
News & Events
Task Force Announces Statewide Plans to Prioritize Healthy Food Access in Ohio
Ohio is home to many communities with too few places to purchase healthy, affordable food. This food access crisis has put over 2 million residents, including more than 500,000 children, at risk for chronic disease and diet-related death. A new policy statement from the Ohio Healthy Food Financing Task Force states that local and state policymakers can take steps to remove barriers that are keeping healthy food retailers from operating in places where they are needed most. One of the key recommendations is establishing a statewide Healthy Food Financing Fund to overcome the most significant barrier to healthy food retail development in low-income areas: access to flexible financing. Read more about the task force and its recommendations.
One of the key recommendations is establishing a statewide Healthy Food Financing Fund to overcome the most significant barrier to healthy food retail development in low-income areas: access to flexible financing. An Ohio Healthy Food Financing Fund (HFFF) would provide one-time financing to help overcome the barriers associated with developing healthy food retail in underserved communities, such as the need for capital, real estate, and a wide range of related expenses. The program would enable vendors to open, renovate, or expand retail outlets that sell fresh fruits and vegetables.
About the Healthy Food Financing Task Force
Made up of a cross-section of nearly 50 leaders from the health, business, civic, government, grocery, nonprofit and philanthropic sectors including the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, the Ohio Healthy Food Financing Task Force worked for a year alongside The Food Trust to identify policy recommendations to support healthy food retail development and expansion in areas in greatest need. The 2014 report, “Food for Every Child: The Need for Healthy Food Financing in Ohio” identified urban and rural areas across Ohio where healthy food retail development is needed most. Study findings are published at www.financefund.org/news-resources
Nation’s first county-level Pay for Success program aims to reconnect foster children ins stable, affordable housing
The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland joined many partners on December 4 in announcing the nation’s first county-level Pay for Success program. Announced during a conference in Chicago hosted by the White House’s Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation, the program – known as the Partnering for Family Success Program—aims to reconnect foster children in Cuyahoga County with caregivers in stable, affordable housing. This innovative program will deliver intensive 12-15 month treatment to 135 families over five years to reduce the length of stay in out-of-home foster care placement for children whose families are homeless.
The foundation has awarded more than $1.5 million in grants since late 2012 to local nonprofits involved in reducing youth homelessness and has partnered with Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, the YWCA Greater Cleveland and others on the issue.
Listen to a recent Sound of Ideas show on WCPN 90.3 on the connection between aging out of foster care and youth homelessness. The Foundation sponsored a local discussion on the issue and co-sponsored a national conference to highlight the connection between aging out of foster care and unprepared youth often becoming homeless. Watch a piece by Newsnet5 on the issue. Watch a video on the issue with local experts and homeless youth.
Called by Faith
There’s a new name and look for the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland’s newsletter which shares the good work and stories of Catholic women religious and their lay partners in northeast Ohio. Read Called by Faith here.