Best Advocacy Group

The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless

This isn't one of those nonprofits that give lip instead of services. Whatever the homeless need -- food, shelter, Internet access -- NEOCH tries, usually successfully, to provide it. Its newspaper, The Homeless Grapevine, nourishes the soul of the homeless community. Its volunteers nourish its dignity. NEOCH, led by no-nonsense Executive Director Brian Davis, also works to protect homeless rights -- even if that means going to court, as it has on several occasions. Last winter NEOCH helped fight a city ordinance that enabled the police to arrest homeless people simply for being on the public streets. Just this summer, it helped a group of homeless activists rail against the city's demolition of an abandoned building. Unlike many nonprofits that try to impress the holders of the purse strings, NEOCH doesn't try to be popular. Unlike many nonprofits, it just does its job.