The stark reality of life as faced by Cleveland’s homeless was expressed through a dramatic showing of need at the Cleveland Homeless StandDown held at Public Hall on Sat., Jan. 14.
About 1400 homeless men, women and even families converged on the Hall to avail themselves of community services, get a hot meal, and find coats, socks, shoes and clothes. They also connected with agencies dedicated to serving the needs of this special population of our community that lives in need.
“Every time I walk into Public Hall to attend the StandDown, I am overwhelmed by the need, the desperation and the injustice that sweeps over me like a wave,” says Peter Schindler, Senior Program Officer for Community West Foundation.
As an important funding agency for many service organizations that participated in the StandDown, Schindler and Community West Foundation are mission-driven to support the cause of helping the homeless.
“I am thankful that Jeff Griffiths and his crew from HandsOn Northeast Ohio and Brian Davis of NEOCH (Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless) continue with this yearly event – not only to keep raising awareness of our homeless brothers and sisters, but to give them an opportunity to receive help in so many areas.”
The 2017 StandDown featured 43 social service providers. Guests received a breakfast, a hot meal and a bag lunch. There was also a special section for veterans and a lots of donated boots, coats and socks that were distributed. Medical groups were also on hand, led by Medworks and Care Alliance. There were haircuts provided and the Cleveland Photographic Society gave out portraits to the guests.
“The things that we see happening at the StandDown are things we all take for granted: getting a haircut, getting a new pair of boots, having a medical exam, and having a meal,” said Schindler. “But these are things that give a homeless person a sense of dignity to which they are entitled as a human being with the spark of the Divine inside them.
“We are always pleased to see so many of the agencies that we support come to this event and provide so many services for basic needs: Care Alliance, The Metanoia Project, Community Service Alliance, The Salvation Army, FrontLine Service and NEOCH. Their commitment is inspiring to us all!”
The Community West Foundation commitment to assisting our brothers and sisters in need continues all year long.
Through the important work of the Community West Foundation SocksPLUS initiative, all are invited to contribute to helping with the needs of the homeless at any time.
Community West Foundation guarantees that your donation will help with some basic necessities of this population. Community West Foundation has partnered with the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless. No matter what you give, your gift makes a difference.
$10 can buy 10 pair of really good socks or other essentials through the Coalition, which also handles distribution. Donating to the campaign is an easy way to help people who are homeless throughout the year.
Visit www.CommunityWestFoundation.org for more information and ways to help those in need.