August 2011
bttopCleveland Homeless Legal Assistance Program
Issue No. 11



CHLAP volunteers held a pizza party at Transitional Housing, Inc. on August 16 to inform residents about the program's pro bono legal resources and to answer questions. Approximately 20 residents attended the event, and CHLAP volunteers commited to pro bono follow-up work for six new clients.  Rather than conduct a monthly intake session onsite, CHLAP will work with Transitional Housing caseworkers on an ongoing basis as legal issues arise for residents.


For nearly 25 years Transitional Housing, Inc. has worked to end the cycle of homelessness by providing homeless women with a safe environment, programs and services that promote self-sufficiency and independence without regard to race, color, national origin, sexual orientation or disability.  THI is one of the oldest and still one of the largest transitional housing programs in the United States, serving between 100-125 women annually.  In Cleveland, it is the only program of its kind that provides up to two years of supportive services to its clients.

THI attempts to address residents needs holistically by providing education, services and support essential to achieving personal and financial independence. All residents participate in a personal development plan that includes both on-site classes and access to community services, employment training, and educational opportunities. Follow-up services are provided for those transitioning to their own homes.    


For more about THI, visit them online at

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"How to Start a Small Business as a Restored Citizen" Workshop on Oct. 26   

Obtaining employment is by far one of the most difficult barriers an individual with a criminal history must overcome. Moreover, obtaining employment is the leading factor that will impact whether or not this person recidivates. In an effort to combat this, The Greater Cleveland Integrated Reentry Project (GCIRP), Ohio Department of Development, The City of Cleveland, the Cuyahoga County Office of Reentry, Towards Employment, Community Re-Entry, Catholic Charities, Oriana House, and the Office of Congresswoman Marcia Fudge will be hosting a "How to Start a Small Business as a Restored Citizen" Workshop slated to be held on October 26, 2011.    


Local organizations that are actively involved in the development of small businesses in the Greater Cleveland area will participate in this workshop, which will include an overview of entrepreneurship as well as panels of representatives working in the legal, technology, and finance fields.  The workshop will conclude with a resource fair, where attendees will be able to ask individual questions and gather supplementary information for starting a small business. 

For more about how you can help or for information for attendees, please contact Ashley Field at or (216) 325-9431. 

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Upcoming clinics & events

Legal Aid Society of Cleveland Clinics

For a calendar of Legal Aid brief advice/intake clinics, please visit the Legal Aid website at

Cleveland Lawyers' Initiative on Reentry (CLIR)
Brief Advice/Intake Clinics

North Star Neighborhood Reentry Resource Center, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
2011: Sept. 9, Oct. 14, Nov. 11, Dec. 9
Periodic training sessions for new volunteers TBA - call Brian Lamb at (216) 566-5590 for more information.

Ohio Ex-Offender Reentry Coalition Meetings

The Coalition will meet at the State of Ohio Library in Columbus on Oct. 19 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m..
The format for the all-day meetings will be general coalition business in the morning, and in the afternoon presentations by the National Institute of Justice as a part of the Ohio Learning Laboratory Series.

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In the News

Editorial: Permanent supportive housing is more than a place for homeless people to live; it's a chance to reconnect

On Aug. 22, the Plain Dealer published an editorial lauding the efforts of Housing First, a network of Cleveland nonprofit groups that has led the creation and management of seven area apartment sites designed to provide permanent housing for the "chronically homeless."  Greenbridge Commons, their newest site, is an $11 million apartment complex at East 75th Street and Euclid Avenue, that is preparing to welcome the first of its 70 tenants early in September. As it had with its earlier projects, Housing First lined up financing for Greenbridge Commons, worked with community stakeholders to explain their concept and improve their original plans, oversaw construction and will soon be managing the building and providing services to the residents.  Permanent supportive housing doesn't require prospective tenants to be sober or on medication to get off the streets or out of a shelter, but offers residents a safe place to live and a menu of services in the hope that most will opt for help once their basic need for shelter is met.
Click here for full editorial.

VA Awards Grants to Prevent Homelessness Among Vets

On Aug. 3, the Washington Post reported that the Department of Veterans Affairs has awarded nearly $60 million in homelessness prevention grants to nonprofit community agencies in 40 states under a new homelessness prevention initiative. The department estimates that the money will serve about 22,000 homeless veterans and family members through 85 agencies as part of the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program. Eric Shinseki, secretary of Veterans Affairs, said in a statement last week that "This program expands our capacity to act before a veteran becomes homeless and to target the problem of family homelessness." A list of award recipients and details about the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program are available online by clicking here.
Click here for full article.

Homeless Veteran Numbers Drop by 55,000   

On July 15, Reuters reported that the number of homeless veterans on any given night has dropped by over 55,000 in the past year, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs.  The drop is due in part to programs like the $46.2 million announced that week to provide permanent housing for 6,790 homeless veterans.  Officials from the Department of Housing and Urban Development's homeless office say the $46.2 million grant will go to public housing agencies in all 50 states and D.C. as part of the Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing Program, which is coordinated by HUD, the VA and local housing authorities.
Click here for full article.

Columbus Ranks High for Housing Homeless  

On July 13, The Columbus Dispatch reported that Columbus is among the country's best communities at moving its habitually homeless people to permanent housing, according to a national initiative that addresses chronic homelessness. The city's service agencies put an average of 7.5 chronically or unsheltered homeless people into long-term housing per month over the past year, says the New York-based 100,000 Homes Campaign. The campaign coordinates similar efforts in 86 communities across the country (in Ohio, only Columbus and Cincinnati participated in the campaign) with an eye toward housing an estimated 100,000 chronically homeless people by July 2013.  Columbus' monthly rate is tied with Detroit's for third among cities with fewer than 1,000 chronically or unsheltered homeless people; only Philadelphia and Chicago rank higher.
Click here for full article.

Michigan High Court Reverses Ruling on Homeless Sex Offenders  

On July 12, the Michigan Messenger reported that the Michigan Supreme Court reversed two lower court opinions and ruled that homeless sex offenders can still be charged for failing to report their address to authorities - even if they don't have an address. Last year the Michigan Court of Appeals upheld a circuit court ruling that dismissed criminal charges against a homeless Ingham County man on the state sex offender list who had failed to register his address with local law enforcement. The high court rejected the ruling by the appeals court, which said: "The provisional location where a homeless person happens to spend the night does not fall within the ambit of these definitions," and that "Moreover, the concepts of habitually and regularity are antithetical to the circumstances of homelessness." 
Click here for full article.

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In This Issue
Upcoming clinics & events
In the News
Archived Newsletters

Welcome new volunteers!

Leo M. Spellacy and Brian D. Heskamp joined CHLAP in August and have begun volunteering at the Bishop William M. Cosgrove Center.
Find out more
For the most current list of community events and resources, check out the CHLAP page of the CMBA website by clicking here.
Archived CHLAP Newsletters
Issue 10 - June/July 2011
Issue 9 - May 2011
Issue 8 - April 2011
Issue 7 - March 2011
Issue 6 - February 2011
Issue 5 - January 2011
Issue 4 - December 2010
Issue 3 - November 2010
Issue 2 - October 2010
Issue 1 - September 2010
Annual Meeting Logo
Cleveland Homeless Legal Assistance Program
This partnership between the CMBA and the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless aims to serve those in the community in need of help but least able to access legal assistance. Volunteer lawyers staff regularly scheduled sessions at many locations throughout Cleveland, including homeless shelters, to provide legal advice and assistance to homeless or at-risk individuals. Attorneys volunteer at varying levels of commitment, from helping with intake interviews and providing brief advice to accepting referrals for direct extended representation.

A program of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association  

1301 East 9th Street, Second Level - Cleveland, OH 44114

Tel.: 216.696.3525, Web: 

CHLAP Newsletter author:
Jessica Paine, Assistant Director of Community Programs & Information

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association 

Tel.: 216.696.3525, Email:

We welcome your comments and suggestions!