CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The City Mission will host a forum Sat., Nov. 11 at 9 a.m. to discuss homelessness in the city of Cleveland. It is free and open to the public.
This is in response to the Mission's plea on social media asking for underwear and socks.
The forum is called an '"Open Community Discussion on How to Immediately Respond to the Women and Children Emergency Overflow Crisis."
It's being held at the MRA Building at 5310 Carnegie Ave.
Every night for the past 13 months, dozens of women and children have been sleeping on mats on the floor inside the City Mission's gymnasium.
Myresha Jackson said she's seen how bad it is. She's witnessed mothers and children sleeping outside in the cold.
"They had their bags just outside and they had a cover on it and their kids was laying on the bags and it was so cold, pouring down raining," she said.
The 19-year-old single mom is homeless but just received temporary shelter after getting help from the William M Bishop Cosgrove Center.
Like many mothers, she and her daughter have spent many nights sleeping on the floor at the City Mission. But at 7 a.m. every morning, the women and children have to leave.
"I think they need to find somewhere for them to go during the day so they won't have to sit outside with their kids because some people don't really have anywhere to go," Jackson said.
The City Mission has other programs on campus that prevent it from letting people stay there all day. It has stepped up programming so that families don't have to spend the night in the cold.
The COO, Linda Uveges, said the county is supposed to care for them during the day and provide adequate services.
"We need them to fill in a gap, that's a huge need," she said.
Cleveland 19 News is still waiting for answers from the county on what it is doing to help these people long-term.
We found that there are many private agencies who have stepped in to fill the need, but not many public ones.
Jackson said she's actively working to keep her and her daughter off the streets and is grateful for all the help she's received but she worries for other mothers.
"It's starting to get cold outside and they don't have nowhere to go," she said.