ALERT: Shantytown PROTEST leaves Cleveland homeless in cold FWD

Tom Boland (
Mon, 15 Mar 1999 14:50:36 -0800 (PST)

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Is there any group or person in Cleveland, Ohio who can offer these
homeless protesters support?

If you have eye-witness accounts or other updates on the protest, please
email them to <HPN@ASPIN.ASU.EDU> for posting on HPN.
FWD  Cleveland [Ohio] Plain Dealer - Friday, March 12, 1999


     By Michael Sangiacomo - Plain Dealer Reporter

     Tyrone Jordan and Chris Herman have lived through the coldest days
Cleveland could throw at them this winter in their makeshift shelter of
plywood and milk crates.

     "We've been here since Nov. 3 to make a statement, a protest," Jordan
said about the shanty on a lot at E. 31st St. and Carnegie Ave. "My friend
is sick, but the [homeless-] shelters make no allowances for sick people.
Everyone has to leave at 5:30 a.m. There should be a place for the sick to
go. They should not be turned out on the streets."

     Ruth Gillette, program manager for the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County
Office of Homeless Services, agreed with Jordan about the need for aid for
homeless people who are sick.

     "The overflow shelters are there to keep people from freezing," she
said, "These are emergency shelters not meant for 24-hour use."

     She said regular homeless shelters, which allow homeless people to
stay longer than just overnight, often are full.

     Gillette said there is some relief on the horizon.

     "A place called Joseph's House will open in the fall on the East
Side," she said. "Homeless and sick people will be able to go there from
the shelters and get better. However, it will only house 8 to 10 people.
It's a start."

     Jordan, his sick friend Chris Herman, and as many as three other
homeless people have lived in the shanty through the winter. Police made
Jordan and some friends move the ramshackle shelter about 20 yards
yesterday to accommodate a construction crew building a Popeye's Chicken

     Jordan does not know the owner of the field where his home now sits.

     "Our shelter is made of plywood set on top of milk crates stacked five
high," Jordan said. "We lay all kinds of canvas and cloth over that. It
keeps us pretty warm, me and Chief. I call Chris Herman "Chief' because
he's an Indian. He's not doing too good, but he has stuck it out with me."

     Herman, 41, was on a cot under a pile of blankets, his head and long
black hair the only things visible. Jim Schlecht, a worker with the
homeless assistance group, The Care Alliance, tried to convince him to go
to a hospital, but Herman refused.

     "Chief has a hole in his stomach, an ulcer," explained Jordan. "He has
been in and out of the hospital, but they can't do much for him. I try to
get him to go in, but he wants to stay out here with me. He's my friend."

     Jordan, 32, has been homeless off and on since 1989. He said he has
spent a lot of time in shelters, with friends or relatives. He said he
worked for a West Side furniture store as warehouse manager until it closed
in 1983 and has worked an assortment of odd jobs since then.


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