In a very general sense, the emergency shelter process in Cuyahoga County is run simply through Coordinated Intake, located within the Bishop Cosgrove building at Superior Avenue and East 18th Street. From there, a mother and her children would be referred to one of the county’s shelter partners. With the homelessness crisis worsening, those places are often at full capacity; the mothers’ requests are denied.
This short list of shelter partners for local families includes: The City Mission, which operates Laura’s Home, with 55 rooms and 166 beds; Westside Catholic Center with 35 beds; The Salvation Army with 35 rooms; and Family Promise with accommodations for eight to 10 families. Those facilities are fully booked on most days.
Seeing a crisis on hand, Trickel says his organization decided to open its gym as a temporary overflow shelter for families. The idea was to stem the bump in demand, for which the county cites a “seasonal increase” during summer months and a reduction in beds while Family Promise was under renovation last year.
The City Mission, which is the only privately funded venue on that list, receives an average of 374 calls from mothers each month, all seeking shelter for their family, according to Trickel. (Places like Norma Herr Women’s Shelter and 2100 Men’s Shelter offer emergency beds for single women or men only, respectively.)
In September 2016, Trickel and his staff opened the gym. That month, The City Mission provided 71 “nights of shelter” for 23 women and 48 children. (A “night of shelter” is an accommodation of one person for one night.) In August 2017, The City Mission provided 1,016 nights of shelter in its gymnasium.
We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.
Email us at [email protected].
Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club
Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.
Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.