Mandate homeless people on nonprofit boards and staff?

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Mon, 16 Nov 1998 16:24:53 -0400


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Mandate homeless people on nonprofit _boards_ as a condition for funds?

Mandate homeless people on nonprofit _management staff_ as a condition for
funds?

Why or why not?  For a case in point, see article below:


Summary: Legislation would require nonprofit agencies that get money to
help the homeless to have at least two homeless or formerly homeless people
on their boards. The same legislation would require social workers from
other agencies to be on boards dealing with homelessness to bring different
perspectives.

http://www.cleveland.com/news/pdnews/metro/cahomele.phtml
FWD  [Cleveland Ohio] Plain Dealer - Sunday, November 15, 1998


WAYS TO HELP HOMELESS SOUGHT

By Michael O'Malley - Plain Dealer Reporter


With winter approaching, an accelerated effort has begun in Cleveland to
help the city's growing homeless population, estimated to be as high as
10,000.

This year, the city has received $1.25 million in federal money - an
increase of $400,000 over last year - to assist the homeless - most of whom
are men, though in the last three years, there has been a significant
increase in women and children moving to the streets, one expert says.

High-powered meetings are under way at Cleveland City Hall to establish a
full-service, 24-hour shelter.

And a grassroots network of poets, musicians and advocates is holding a
number of fund-raising events for those who live out of shopping bags in
the shadows of the cold city.

Under pending City Council legislation authorizing the distribution of the
$1.25 million to 14 nonprofit agencies for the homeless, the agencies for
the first time will be required to have at least two homeless people or
formerly homeless people on their boards of trustees.

The requirement is an amendment introduced by Councilman Joe Cimperman.

"There should be some self-determination," said Cimperman. "The people who
are being served should have input as to what their needs are."

Cimperman, a former social worker, is also requiring that the agencies'
boards include social workers from agencies that do not work with the
homeless, so that other perspectives and skills are brought to the table.

Cimperman's amendment gives the agencies six months to comply. It was
unanimously approved in a committee this week and is scheduled to go to
council tomorrow for a vote. Cimperman said he did not anticipate any
opposition from the rest of council.

 Councilwoman Merle R. Gordon, chairwoman of council's Health Committee,
also amended the legislation to require that those working directly with
the homeless be trained in AIDS testing and prevention.

"These are targeted populations that are underserved in terms of public
health," said Gordon. "And this is one way to ensure we are reaching them."

She said the training would be offered by the city's Department of Health.

Ruth Anne Gillett, program manager of Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Office of
Homeless Services, which manages the federal money, welcomed all the
amendments, though she added that most of the agencies do attempt to put
homeless people on their boards and they already encourage input from other
social service providers.

The homeless agency receiving the largest share of the $1.25 million -
about $500,000 - is Project Heat, which operates four temporary emergency
shelters - three for men and one for women and children - on the eastern
end of the city's downtown.

The temporary shelters, which have no beds and only one or two toilets,
each have a capacity of 50; but on cold nights they are regularly
overcrowded with 75.

Gillett estimates there are as many as 10,000 homeless people in Cleveland
- including people who stay with friends and relatives - and in the last
three years, she said, agencies for the homeless are seeing an increase in
the number of women and children on the streets. The main reasons, she
said, are crack cocaine addiction and family violence.

Gillett said the city has room for only 620 people in its emergency and
transitional shelters.

She has been working with the Salvation Army to find space for a
full-service, 24-hour shelter downtown. The facility would eliminate the
four temporary shelters.

Bill Bowen, director of professional and community services at the
Salvation Army, said he is confident there will be a new shelter in the
area this year. Bowen, who has about a $1 million budget for the project,
met privately with Mayor Michael R. White on Thursday. Details of the
meeting were not disclosed.

Councilman Frank Jackson, who co-sponsored the funding legislation, said
about $400,000 of the $1.25 million would be set aside for future homeless
projects, possibly the Salvation Army shelter.

Jackson is inviting homeless people to a free dinner Saturday at Pop's Soul
Food restaurant at 2509 E. 55th St. in an effort to hear firsthand what the
city can do to ease their plight.

Jackson, the Cleveland Tenants Organization and the Northeast Ohio
Coalition for the Homeless are expecting to pick up the check for at least
200 people.

"This is an attempt to say, "OK, what do the homeless people themselves
identify as their problems?' " said Jackson. "And maybe we can address some
of these problems."

One problem for people living on the streets is a lack of drinking water,
said Cleveland poet Daniel Thompson, who regularly delivers water in
plastic milk jugs to people in the downtown shelters.

He said many homeless people suffer more from dehydration than from lack of
food, and he has been pushing city and county officials to fund public
drinking fountains.

To help raise money for the homeless, Thompson is doing poetry readings.
Tonight he will be at the University Circle Arabica coffee house. On Nov.
28, he will be at Mac's Backs Paperbacks on Coventry Rd. in Cleveland
Heights.

Thompson will be reading his poems that are published on a 1999 homeless
calendar. The wall calendar, featuring photographs of homeless people, is
published by the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless and sells for
$13.

Other fund-raising events include a concert Nov. 27 at Wilbert's Bar &
Grill in Cleveland's Warehouse District. Musicians include blues guitarist
Robert Lockwood Jr.

END FORWARD
-
** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is
distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in
receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **

HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK  <http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/>  Home Page
ARCHIVES  <http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/archives.html>  read posts to HPN
TO JOIN  <http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/join.html> or email Tom <wgcp@earthlink.net>
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Mandate homeless people on nonprofit _boards_ as a condition for
funds?


Mandate homeless people on nonprofit _management staff_ as a condition
for funds?


Why or why not?  For a case in point, see article below:



Summary: Legislation would require nonprofit agencies that get money to
help the homeless to have at least two homeless or formerly homeless
people on their boards. The same legislation would require social
workers from other agencies to be on boards dealing with homelessness
to bring different perspectives. 


http://www.cleveland.com/news/pdnews/metro/cahomele.phtml

FWD  [Cleveland Ohio] Plain Dealer - Sunday, November 15, 1998



<paraindent><param>right,left</param>WAYS TO HELP HOMELESS SOUGHT


By Michael O'Malley - Plain Dealer Reporter

</paraindent>


With winter approaching, an accelerated effort has begun in Cleveland
to help the city's growing homeless population, estimated to be as high
as 10,000.


This year, the city has received $1.25 million in federal money - an
increase of $400,000 over last year - to assist the homeless - most of
whom are men, though in the last three years, there has been a
significant increase in women and children moving to the streets, one
expert says.


High-powered meetings are under way at Cleveland City Hall to establish
a full-service, 24-hour shelter.


And a grassroots network of poets, musicians and advocates is holding a
number of fund-raising events for those who live out of shopping bags
in the shadows of the cold city.


Under pending City Council legislation authorizing the distribution of
the $1.25 million to 14 nonprofit agencies for the homeless, the
agencies for the first time will be required to have at least two
homeless people or formerly homeless people on their boards of
trustees.


The requirement is an amendment introduced by Councilman Joe
Cimperman.


"There should be some self-determination," said Cimperman. "The people
who are being served should have input as to what their needs are."


Cimperman, a former social worker, is also requiring that the agencies'
boards include social workers from agencies that do not work with the
homeless, so that other perspectives and skills are brought to the
table.


Cimperman's amendment gives the agencies six months to comply. It was
unanimously approved in a committee this week and is scheduled to go to
council tomorrow for a vote. Cimperman said he did not anticipate any
opposition from the rest of council.


 Councilwoman Merle R. Gordon, chairwoman of council's Health
Committee, also amended the legislation to require that those working
directly with the homeless be trained in AIDS testing and prevention.


"These are targeted populations that are underserved in terms of public
health," said Gordon. "And this is one way to ensure we are reaching
them."


She said the training would be offered by the city's Department of
Health.


Ruth Anne Gillett, program manager of Cleveland/Cuyahoga County Office
of Homeless Services, which manages the federal money, welcomed all the
amendments, though she added that most of the agencies do attempt to
put homeless people on their boards and they already encourage input
from other social service providers.


The homeless agency receiving the largest share of the $1.25 million -
about $500,000 - is Project Heat, which operates four temporary
emergency shelters - three for men and one for women and children - on
the eastern end of the city's downtown.


The temporary shelters, which have no beds and only one or two toilets,
each have a capacity of 50; but on cold nights they are regularly
overcrowded with 75.


Gillett estimates there are as many as 10,000 homeless people in
Cleveland - including people who stay with friends and relatives - and
in the last three years, she said, agencies for the homeless are seeing
an increase in the number of women and children on the streets. The
main reasons, she said, are crack cocaine addiction and family
violence.


Gillett said the city has room for only 620 people in its emergency and
transitional shelters.


She has been working with the Salvation Army to find space for a
full-service, 24-hour shelter downtown. The facility would eliminate
the four temporary shelters.


Bill Bowen, director of professional and community services at the
Salvation Army, said he is confident there will be a new shelter in the
area this year. Bowen, who has about a $1 million budget for the
project, met privately with Mayor Michael R. White on Thursday. Details
of the meeting were not disclosed.


Councilman Frank Jackson, who co-sponsored the funding legislation,
said about $400,000 of the $1.25 million would be set aside for future
homeless projects, possibly the Salvation Army shelter.


Jackson is inviting homeless people to a free dinner Saturday at Pop's
Soul Food restaurant at 2509 E. 55th St. in an effort to hear firsthand
what the city can do to ease their plight.


Jackson, the Cleveland Tenants Organization and the Northeast Ohio
Coalition for the Homeless are expecting to pick up the check for at
least 200 people.


"This is an attempt to say, "OK, what do the homeless people themselves
identify as their problems?' " said Jackson. "And maybe we can address
some of these problems."


One problem for people living on the streets is a lack of drinking
water, said Cleveland poet Daniel Thompson, who regularly delivers
water in plastic milk jugs to people in the downtown shelters.


He said many homeless people suffer more from dehydration than from
lack of food, and he has been pushing city and county officials to fund
public drinking fountains.


To help raise money for the homeless, Thompson is doing poetry
readings. Tonight he will be at the University Circle Arabica coffee
house. On Nov. 28, he will be at Mac's Backs Paperbacks on Coventry Rd.
in Cleveland Heights.

 

Thompson will be reading his poems that are published on a 1999
homeless calendar. The wall calendar, featuring photographs of homeless
people, is published by the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless
and sells for $13.


Other fund-raising events include a concert Nov. 27 at Wilbert's Bar &
Grill in Cleveland's Warehouse District. Musicians include blues
guitarist Robert Lockwood Jr.


END FORWARD

-

** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **


HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/>  Home Page

ARCHIVES  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/archives.html>  read posts to HPN

TO JOIN  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/join.html> or email Tom <<wgcp@earthlink.net>

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