January 2012
bttopCleveland Homeless Legal Assistance Program
Issue No. 16
Featured Partner: Catholic Charities - Cleveland

Contributions by Lisa Gasbarre Black and Samantha Mealy


gavel1The year 2012 marks the 100th Anniversary of Catholic Charities - Cleveland, which provides services for a variety of underserved, vulnerable populations throughout the eight-county Cleveland Dioceses region.  For over a year, CHLAP has partnered with Catholic Charities and The Lawyers Guild of the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland to staff intake at the Catholic Charities/Bishop William M. Cosgrove Center in downtown Cleveland.  Numerous guests of the Cosgrove Center have already utilized the free, drop-in services, once a month at the center - fulfilling a gap for Cosgrove guests relative to their lingering legal issues and needs.  Additionally, volunteer law students have attended clinics to observe and assist where appropriate, further building bridges in our community between the legal community and those in need of access to legal counsel.


One such Lawyers Guild volunteer is Leo Spellacy, who recently shared his story with the Catholic Community Foundation in support of Catholic Charities 2012 Annual Appeal - you can watch Leo's Story by clicking here.   Leo is a partner at Porter Wright's Litigation Department, and is active in the Environmental, Energy and Government Affairs Practice Groups.  Leo's work at the Bishop Cosgrove Center is one of a number of volunteer activities, including serving on the Board of Directors for the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland and on the Bellarmine Award Committee for St. Ignatius High School. Leo can be reached at (216) 443-9000 or lspellacy@porterwright.com.


For more information on CHLAP's partnership with Catholic Charities, or on other ways to support Catholic Charities in its 100th Anniversary year please contact Lisa Gasbarre Black, General Counsel at


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Homeless Stand Down 2012 Recap


The 21st Annual Homeless Stand Down was held Sunday, Jan. 22 at Cleveland's Masonic Auditorium on Euclid Avenue.  Over 800 people facing poverty and homelessness, including families and veterans, attended this year's event.  Those in need enjoyed access to social service providers, haircuts, medical screenings, live entertainment, flu shots, breakfast and lunch, free winter clothing, personal care kits, bus passes, and more. The event combines the efforts of more than 250 organizations and religious congregations, public agencies, and charitable foundations. On Saturday, Jan. 28 the same services will be packaged into a CareVan and driven to guests in various shelters and transitional housing sites around Cleveland.
Homeless Stand Down 2012 is sponsored by InterAct Cleveland and HandsOn Northeast Ohio. 
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 www.lasclev.org

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

North Star Neighborhood Reentry Resource Center, 1:00-4:00 p.m.
Second Friday of the month
Periodic training sessions for new volunteers TBA - call Brian Lamb at (216) 566-5590 for more information.
In the News 


Stimulus Money Kept Americans Off the Street, Study Finds 

On Jan. 18, CNN reported that federal aid helped many cash-strapped Americans keep a roof over their heads during the prolonged economic slump, but the number of people living a step away from the streets has grown sharply, according to recent reports. The estimated U.S. homeless population dipped about 1% between 2009 and 2011 despite the lingering effects of the 2007-2009 recession, the Washington-based Homelessness Research Institute concluded. About $1.5 billion from the 2009 economic stimulus measure went toward rental assistance and programs steering recently evicted people toward new housing, "and it seems likely that that has worked," said Nan Roman, president of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. Nevertheless, the homeless population went up in 24 states during the past two years, the Washington-based researchers found. And the number of people who have had to move in with friends or relatives -- often a last stop before the street -- is up as well, according to the Jan. 18 report.

Click here for full article.

InterAct Cleveland to Close

On Dec. 22, Cleveland Jewish News reported that after 20 years of bringing together communities for interreligious dialogue, education and service projects, InterAct Cleveland is closing its doors. According to InterAct board president Rabbi Eddie Sukol, the decision was made for financial restraints stemming from a drop in drop in funding from foundations, member organizations, private donations, and fundraisers. Rather than become insolvent, the InterAct board is donating its remaining funds to keep some outreach programs afloat and provide basic needs like food, clothing, medical supplies, and shelter for Cleveland needy. Sukol said these programs include the upcoming Homeless Stand Down on Sun., Jan. 22, and Sat., Jan. 28, in the Masonic Auditorium, and expressed hope that "other InterAct programs like Community Meals and programs devoted to education will be maintained as well."

Click here for full article.


Homeless, Hungry, Up in Cleveland and 28 Other Cities, U.S. Conference of Mayors Says

On Dec. 16, the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that the number of people who were homeless or hungry in Cleveland increased significantly last year, with perhaps the most alarming jumps coming among families, senior citizens and military veterans, officials said.  And according to a report released Thursday by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, problems of homelessness and hunger are on the rise in nearly all of the 29 cities in a recent survey, which covered a year's period ending Aug. 31. Cleveland distinguished itself as being one of just a few cities that didn't turn away anyone seeking emergency food or housing, according to Anne Campbell Goodman, head of the Cleveland Foodbank, which provided emergency food assistance figures for Cleveland for the survey.  The number of homeless Cleveland families increased by 150 percent in the year's period, according to the report.

Click here for full article. 

In This Issue
Homeless Stand Down 2012
Upcoming clinics & events
In the News
2012 Intake Schedule
Archived Newsletters
2012 Intake Schedule
For the current 2012 Intake Schedule, please click here.  If you have not done so already, please review the posted schedule and contact Melissa Zujkowski if you need to make an adjustment.
Phone: (216) 583-7364
Advocacy Alert on HMIS
The Dept. of Housing and Urban Development is accepting comments on proposed rules for Homeless Management Information Systems Requirements due Feb. 7, 2012.  CHLAP partner Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless is urging local advocates, social service providers and those experiencing homelessness to submit comments on these new rules.


Please click here for NEOCH's summary of the issue and advocacy position.  For more information, contact Brian Davis at (216) 432-0540 or briandavis@neoch.org.
Archived CHLAP Newsletters

Issue 15 - December 2011

Issue 14 - November 2011

Issue 13 - October 2011

Issue 12 - September 2011
Issue 11 - August 2011
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 

CMBA Logo Clear
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.

Visit CHLAP online - click here for the latest updates, volunteer materials, and other information.

A program of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association  

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

Tel.: 216.696.3525, Web: www.clemetrobar.org  


CHLAP Newsletter author:

Jessica Paine, Assistant Director of Community Programs & Information

Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association 

Tel.: 216.696.3525, Email: jpaine@clemetrobar.org 

We welcome your comments and suggestions!