Hundreds of Northeast Ohioans who live day-to-day on the streets or in shelters can get a break Saturday the 25th by heading to Public Hall in downtown Cleveland. That’s the site of the 2014 Homeless Stand Down, where those without a place to call home can pick up basic amenities like food and clothing, along with counseling and other services. ideastream's David C. Barnett takes us to the gymnasium of a Cleveland church, where volunteers are sorting through donations.
It's a bone-chilling night outside Pilgrim Congregational in Tremont. Carole Anthony takes in several boxes of clothing from a middle-aged couple.
CAROLE ANTHONY: Oh, that is so wonderful!
DONOR: Okay, thank you.
Anthony is coordinator of this weekend's Homeless Stand Down, which takes place at Cleveland Public Hall on Saturday. The annual event is open to anyone without a permanent roof over their head. The room at Pilgrim Congregational is a sea of black plastic bags and corrugated boxes filled with clothing and personal care items, which will be available, along with various services.
CAROLE ANTHONY: We'll have everything from medical doctors, nurses, dentists, as well as social service agencies, to help them find housing, employment, veterans' benefits --- anything that they could possibly need will be in one room.
Anthony says they’re expecting people in a wide range of circumstances to drop by Saturday --- from the chronically homeless…. to the working poor who can't afford rent on a month-to-month basis… and those who recently lost their homes due to a fire or even… identity theft. Anthony says the number of people coming in has grown in recent years.
CAROLE ANTHONY: Between 2011 and the Stand Down that was in 2013, there was a 28% increase in attendance. We saw an increase in families and children, as well as veterans that just returned from active duty.
Carole Anthony adds she’s happy for the wall-to-wall donations --- the most she's ever seen. She hopes it’s enough to meet the demand.