The truth is that there is never a dull year in the life of the Coalition, to be even more truthful, there is never a dull day in the life of the Coalition. As a collective body we are constantly at work in a variety of situations, both positive and negative. With our Education, Coordination of Services and Grassroots Advocacy and Organizing we stretch all over the region. We are constantly out there inviting regular folk to join in the struggle for housing, employment, health care; basic human rights- an end to homelessness. We are always working internally along-side our member –organizations to find the best ways to improve life around us- examples this year include the Family Homelessness and Housing Stability study and policy recommendation process and organized work to get the cold shelter open every night of winter. We round all of this out by having a never-relenting line drawn between right and wrong, justice and injustice. We demand that those organizations, business, developers, politicians, etc. causing and sustaining homelessness, stop! We do more than demand however, we organize and we take our struggle to the People at large, we garner support through our other efforts and create needed change.
Fiscal year 2011 marked significant growth for the Homeless Coalition. We supported the Metropole Tenant Association in winning the first monetary settlement in favor of Tenants displaced, ever in Cincinnati history. We established Cincinnati’s first Homeless Congress. We pushed and won in the campaign to have a dignified place for folks in Over-the-Rhine to use the restroom. We broke ground on our effort to have people surrounding a particular project, hired to work in that project. We strengthened partnerships with unions, the faith community, universities and more. We distributed 77,817 copies of Streetvibes, expanding sales to suburban neighborhoods. We collaborated with the Mayerson Foundation and Faces Without Places to lead 25 schools in the City-Wide Shanty Town sleep-out. We led our first Homeless Awareness March/ Walk with about 150 people, who told us how much they learned from the experience. We hosted 10 Cincinnati Urban Experience groups from around the country. We educated at 146 different Speakers Bureau events. We increased the financial stability of the organization through changing efforts for changing economic times. We saw very valued key staff move on to other opportunities and the joining of committed, and extremely able staff. We took in new member-organizations. In collaboration with the Miami University Center for Community Engagement we began a much needed renovation at the Homeless Coalition office and more.
A Coalition is People coalesced together, pushing, struggling, moving in the same direction with the same goal. Our goal is to end and prevent homelessness. We are so very thankful for all of the People and organizations that are joined to create this Coalition. We are thankful for the ideas, discussions, plans and actions. We are thankful for the commitment and passion for human life through all situations. We are the organization that draws a line in the sand, never willing to quiet the Truth and always working to bring everyone in- to the Movement- to a home.
Josh Spring, LSW