The National Coalition for the Homeless has opened its first field office in our 40 year history in Cleveland Ohio. To celebrate this we are hosting a forum at our new offices in Cleveland entitled “Racial Equity Issues within the Homeless Sector and Possible Solutions”. The forum is being conducted by our Executive Director, Donald Whitehead and will focus on racial equity issues in the homeless sector and policies that result in segregated housing in the United States. We are also working on partnering with local social service providers who have a history of working on overcoming discriminatory practices. The racial equity forum is slated for November 23 at 1 p.m. and is scheduled to last until 4 p.m. at 1400 East 105th Street at the CleWorx space down the street from the VA in University Circle. Media are invited at 12:30 p.m. to talk to Donald Whitehead about the opening of the field office.
NCH has selected Cleveland as our first field site because of its status among the top 5 poorest cities in America for the past 20 years, but also some of the innovative approaches to homelessness locally. The local Coalition, NEOCH, has done a tremendous job responding to the pandemic and bolstered its outreach efforts reducing the numbers sleeping outside. Cleveland advocates have used the legal system to win some historic victories with national implications in the area of voting, panhandling and preventing sweeps. NCH hired the former director of the local homeless coalition, Brian Davis, to staff the field office in 2021. NCH will focus on grassroots organizing and civil rights protections while constructing an office to build relationships with other homeless led groups in the Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and western Pennsylvania.
Donald has previous experience with homelessness and was the director of Cincinnati Homeless Coalition as well as running permanent supportive housing shelters and outreach programs in Baltimore Maryland, Alexandria Virginia, Washington DC, Orlando Florida and Prince George’s County Maryland. He is a national expert on racial inequity with regard to housing and homelessness. He sits on a number of advisory boards at the Department of Housing and Urban Development over re-segregation issues and violations of the Fair Housing Act. He introduced the Bring America Home Now campaign earlier this year to promote public policy that actually ends homelessness in America quickly by proposing legislation in the areas of housing, civil rights, healthcare, education, income justice, and racial equity.