National Fair Housing Month is dedicated to raising an awareness of housing discrimination, supporting fair housing practices and advocating for the right for all people to have a place to call home. A lack of affordable housing and housing discrimination play key roles into the prevalence of homelessness.
Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry runs the largest homeless shelter in the state of Ohio, the only youth homeless shelter in Cuyahoga County and a family overflow shelter. We dedicate a significant part of our operations to housing and shelter because we want to see the individuals and families that come to our organization seeking help be able to obtain safe, affordable housing. This week's newsletter highlights some of the recent work being done by LMM and by officials at the local and state level to support affordable housing and individuals experiencing homelessness.
Acting CEO Highlights Housing & Shelter, Praises Staff
LMM Acting CEO & COO Maria Foschia
LMM Acting CEO & COO, Maria Foschia, recently spoke with WKYC to discuss the efforts LMM is taking to protect individuals experiencing homelessness in our community amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
Foschia highlighted LMM's efforts to screen staff and clients for COVID symptoms, relocating homeless shelter residents to follow social distancing guidelines and advocating for changes to eviction and affordable housing policies. She closed by praising LMM staff, the "unsung heroes," for the important work their doing on the front lines.
While all on-site volunteer activity has been suspended at LMM until further notice to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, our determined volunteers have found ways to continue to support LMM.
Some volunteers, like Heidi and her daughter, Beatrice, have even begun to sew custom masks for staff and residents at the Men's Shelter at 2100 Lakeside. There has been a shortage of protective equipment like these masks, which are important for preventing the spread of COVID-19.
Many of L
MM's Men's Shelter volunteers have generously sent positive messages and thank you cards to LMM staff and clients. These cards have been printed out and put onto posters that are being hung throughout the shelter to brighten staff and residents' days as they walk through the halls.
We can't thank our volunteers enough for not only helping to keep our staff and clients safe and healthy, but for keeping our spirits high during these challenging times.
Heidi & Beatrice holding #LMMInThisTogether sign
Rep. Marcia Fudge Supports Additional Funds to Support Vulnerable Populations
U.S. Rep. Marcia L. Fudge
Thank you to Ohio 11th Congressional District Representative Marcia L. Fudge for supporting additional funding for critical programs like Emergency Solution Grants and rental assistance. This funding will assist people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless by expanding housing access, supporting rapid re-housing and supporting homeless shelters. We appreciate Rep. Fudge's advocacy on these issues, as it directly impacts the work we do and the clients we serve at LMM.
Community Comes Together to Fund COVID-19 Relief
LMM's programs and services provide for some of the most basic needs of our community across the social service spectrum - food, shelter, housing, health and wellness. This vital work could not continue to be done at the efficient level it has been without the donors that have supported us throughout this unprecedented time.
Key funding from efforts like The Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund has been provided to LMM to assist with relocating individuals experiencing homelessness, food prep to provide meals for those experiencing homelessness, covering costs for new sites that we have relocated clients to and more. A huge thank you goes out to our community partners for being there for us during a time of increased need:
Donors of the Greater Cleveland COVID-19 Rapid Response Fund
Coalition on Housing and Homelessness in Ohio (COHHIO)