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Local Matters

Safe and Sound: Addressing the Crisis of Family Homelessness

Wednesday, November 6, 2019
12:00 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.

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"Presently in Cleveland we don’t have enough shelters that have space for families, which means they go to an overflow shelter. And that means you’re not always going to have a bed." – Marcia Zashin, Ed.D.

At the 2018 State of the Schools address, the first audience question came from a student at the Newton D. Baker School of Arts who asked "What are the district's plans for our children who are homeless? What progress is being made to help these families?"

In his answer, Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) CEO Eric S. Gordon indicated that, at any given time, 5% of CMSD students are experiencing homelessness. It's indicative of a larger problem, an overall increase in family homelessness — most often comprised of single mothers and their children — due to several factors including the lack of affordable housing and high eviction rates.

Several initiatives are underway to keep families intact and create more opportunities for stable housing. How are they working? What more still needs to be done?

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