Homeless

One effect of the widespread protests across U.S. cities this week has been to renew discussions of what role the police should play in society.

For many Americans, it goes without saying that the police are critical in maintaining public safety. Have an emergency? Call the police. But many others — especially black people and poor people — have long countered that the police pose more of a threat to their safety than a boon. See a police officer? Walk in the other direction.

Downtown Columbus
Ryan Hitchcock / WOSU

Three weeks since the city of Columbus announced it was working with community organizations to open a coronavirus-specific homeless shelter, and the shelter remains mostly empty. It’s meant to help keep people diagnosed with COVID-19 away from others, and leaders are preparing for an influx.

Downtown Columbus
Ryan Hitchcock / WOSU

Columbus city officials on Tuesday announced plans for a new homeless shelter that will house people who have tested positive for the coronavirus.

Housing Security During A Pandemic

Mar 31, 2020
Cook County Deputy Sheriff Scott Hunter posts the final eviction notice on an apartment in Evanston, Ill., Tuesday, March 17, 2009.
Charles Arbogast / AP

The first of the month is quickly approaching, and for many who now face unemployment due to the coronavirus pandemic, the prospect of paying rent looks uncertain.

At least one Cleveland program that addresses homelessness is ending its winter shelter program early, as shelters across the region face low staffing and high exposure risks during the coronavirus pandemic

The Metanoia Project provided overnight shelter at three locations until March 23, but is now suspending operations.

“It was a hard decision, nothing that we wanted to do, and we wish we could have stayed open longer,” said Metanoia Project Executive Director Heidi Goblirsch. “But unfortunately, if you don’t have proper staffing, we can’t properly serve our guests.”

homeless person begging
EV / Unsplash

A new report puts Ohio near last in the list of how states handle homelessness in people under 24 years old.

A Census 2020 form is seen Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020, in Toksook Bay, Alaska.
Gregory Bull / Associated Press

As Michelle Heritage walks through the corridors of the YWCA Family Shelter in Columbus, she shares her ultimate vision for Franklin County.

Mount Carmel's street outreach team goes out to homeless camps around Columbus to give check-ups and prescribe medicine.
Adora Namigadde / WOSU

An annual one-night nationwide homelessness survey mandated by the U.S. Department Housing and Urban Development showed a slight uptick in Ohio's population.

Updated: 1:37 p.m., Friday Dec. 27, 2019.

Advocates for the homeless are calling a cease use order from the City of Cleveland a violation of the First Amendment. The notice was issued to Denison United Church of Christ, which is housing the homeless during the winter.

The three-page notice details multiple fire code violations: insufficient fire extinguishers or emergency lighting, obstructed exits, and improperly stored flammable liquids. The church also does not have a fire alarm or sprinkler system.

Updated at 1:40 p.m ET

The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear an appeal in a case originating from Boise, Idaho, that would have made it a crime to camp and sleep in public spaces.

The decision to let a ruling from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stand is a setback for states and local governments in much of the West that are grappling with widespread homelessness by designing laws to regulate makeshift encampments on sidewalks and parks.

The Trump Administration has named its choice to lead the federal office on homelessness: Robert Marbut, a well-known consultant to cities trying to tackle the issue.

Herman Ware sits at a small, wobbly table inside a large van that's been converted into a mobile health clinic. The van is parked on a trash-strewn, dead-end street in downtown Atlanta where homeless residents congregate.

Ware is here for a seasonal flu shot.

"It might sting," he says, thinking back on past shots.

Ware grimaces slightly as the nurse injects his upper arm.

A tent at a homeless encampment in Columbus.
Adora Namigadde / WOSU

The number of veterans experiencing homelessness in Ohio decreased by nearly 10% since last year. 

City officials in Las Vegas have passed a controversial law making it illegal to sleep or camp in downtown and residential public areas as long as there are open beds available at city homeless shelters.

Before the vote, protesters swarmed the Las Vegas City Council chambers with signs that read, "Poverty is not a crime," and chanting, "Housing, not handcuffs!"

Despite budget constraints, Strategies to End Homelessness is working to reduce the number of families experiencing the summer surge of homelessness.

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