May 6th, 2009 By | News | Posted In: Social Justice, Public Policy, Government, City Council

Homeless Means Worthless


During an election year, city council and the mayor member profess to care about the most vulnerable in our society, but their actions are speaking much louder than words. Mayor Mark Mallory allowed a city budget proposal to go forward that would have eliminated all human services funding and the meager investment was only restored after groups like the YWCA Battered Women’s Shelter and the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless organized strong and vocal opposition and the money was restored.

As a reward for their effort to hold their elected officials accountable for their short-sighted view of what’s best for the city, council members are now leading a march to eliminate the city funding of local homeless programs.

Work is being completed to fix the problems found in the process used to allocate city funding to Human Services,” says a press release from Josh Spring, director of the coalition. “These problems nearly resulted in close to a $700,000 cut to Human Services a month ago. In the midst of this work, council-members Chris Bortz and David Crowley have put forth a motion that, if passed, would remove both ‘Emergency Services and Homeless Services’ as well as ‘Services to Persons with Disabilities’ from the current list of priorities used to determine what Human Services received city funding.”

If adequate funding were going to come from some other place, this would make sense. But as it stands now, the funding provided isn’t enough to address the growing needs and there is no replacement – only the scapegoat of federal stimulus money.

“This funding … comes from the Federal Government and the city is required to pass it through for homelessness,” Spring says. “This money does not come from the city and shows no city investment. In addition, many of these funds are only available for a limited amount of time. In reality removing homelessness from the city’s funding priorities would result in many significant cuts for our local agencies and our local people.”

While praising the federal government for giving much needed aid to cities, our elected officials are using the opportunity to shirk their responsibilities as leaders of this community.

Those campaign promises made so long ago about being stewards with the best interests of the city and all citizens as their top priority are being dusted off for yet another election campaign. Comparing actions to rhetoric will be essential before entering the voting booth this fall.

Until then, make your voice heard at a special meeting of the Health, Environment & Education Committee this week, May 7 at 12 p.m.

05.06.2009 at 09:12 Reply
This is all about the Drop Inn Center. If they would concentrate on housing and ending homelessness instead of trying to keep homeless at the foot of Music Hall then Council would not be resorting to this.


05.08.2009 at 01:35
Spoken like a truly clueless person! Try VISITING one of these places that helps the homeless - including the Drop - and learn what's truly going on before you spot off uninformed rhetoric. I know of what I speak because I've been there, talked to the staff and listened to some of the stories of people who use the center. Have you?


05.06.2009 at 10:40 Reply
"city council and the mayor member profess" what's that first sentence mean?


05.08.2009 at 01:33
It means I frequently hear city council members, the mayor and other politicians talk about how important it is to care for the homeless - to get them the services they need, provide assistance for those who truly need it - as well as other "less fortunate" people. The problem is the words and the actions don't match - thus the "profess." But me think they doth profess too much and do too little. Caring for people can't be taken off the table during difficult economic times. If it really matters then stick to your priorities and work on it until you find a way to consistently walk your talk. Anything less is just an empty speech and copping out when things get tough.


05.06.2009 at 11:06 Reply
Government disdain for the poor is disheartening but is, of course, an ancient reality, reflective of popular sentiments. The poor, after all, often don't dress well, don't speak well, don't have nice things. But the readiness with which Democrats - who profess to be on the side of the poor - have turned their backs on those who are most in need is not only disheartening but also a betrayal of those who have earnestly believed in the party's claims. Why are Mark Mallory and even David Crowley turning their backs on those who most need them? Please call 513-352-3000 and remind them of their moral duty and their political debt.


05.06.2009 at 12:20 Reply
The Democrats are nothing but corporate shills. They pretend to care about poor and working class people but sell them out at every turn. They pretend to be different from the Republicans but they are funded by the same people and support the same corporate policies and agenda. We see it at the local level all the way to the White House. They fund wars and corporate welfare for the rich but fail to deliver on health care and programs to meet people's basic needs. Polls show doctors, nurses and the American people all support single payer but Driehaus, Obama and the Democrats won't deliver. They won't end the wars and instead increased the bloated Pentagon budget, but they no longer have any excuses. Polls show Cincinnatian's support the traditional 1.5% for health and human services but the Democratic majority refuses to deliver it. They always deliver hand outs for their campaign contributors though. Where is the money Mayor Mallory promised the neighborhoods? That was his only plan on the campaign trail and he failed to deliver. Republicans and Democrats are the same the only difference is the name.