At Liner Legal, we treat our clients like family. That’s what if YOU need help, our team is here for you. Our Client Concierge offers referrals for housing, mental health, food stamps and more. We also like to introduce you to resources in your community that can help. The City Mission is a large organization that helps people throughout Cleveland. Katie Nobles spoke with The City Mission’s Grant Manager, Marilyn Taylor to learn more about the organization. Read more below!
KN: Tell me about the city Mission.
MT: For over 110 years, The City Mission has remained committed to serving the Cleveland community, providing help and hope to all people through the transforming power of God’s love. In its early years, The City Mission’s services focused on providing meals to those in need and shelter for men experiencing homelessness and crisis. Today, those services have expanded to caring for men, women, and children, providing a total of 106,373 hot meals and 58,826 nights of shelter last fiscal year. In addition to providing basic needs, services have grown to offering individualized wraparound support services resulting in 139 residents acquiring stable housing and 149 residents finding stable employment or income in Fiscal Year 2021. Services are provided through Crossroads Men’s Crisis Center and Laura’s Home Women’s Crisis Center. The City Mission is funded entirely through private donations and does not receive government funding. The generosity of The City Mission’s private donors and active volunteer base support its $9M operating budget.
KN: What is the City Mission’s goal?
MT: The City Mission provides help and hope to all people through the transforming power of God’s love. Goals for residents include increasing workforce readiness, developing a better understanding of personal finances, obtaining stable housing, and better assessing and addressing physical and mental well-being. Goals for children at Laura’s Home include social/emotional growth, strengthened ability to cope with stress, and progress in age appropriate development.
KN: What communities does the City Mission serve?
MT: The City Mission serves men, women, and children struggling with homelessness and/or crisis in the City of Cleveland. All who seek help and hope at The City Mission are provided with services, and no one is turned away.
KN: The City Mission has several other programs and shelters. Can you tell me about them?
MT: The City Mission serves men, women, and children in the Cleveland area through Crossroads Men’s Crisis Center and Laura’s Home Women’s Crisis Center. Core programs and services include the following:
1). Beds and Basic Needs
During last fiscal year, The City Mission served 1,118 residents and provided 58,826 nights of shelter and 106,373 hot meals to those experiencing homelessness in Cleveland.
2). Individualized Case Management and Group Classes
After an initial assessment, caseworkers place residents on an individualized program track and provide one-on-one case management. Additionally, three on-site behavioral and interpersonal classes, facilitated by The City Mission’s caseworkers and staff, provide residents with opportunities to process the experiences that led to their current situation, development of coping skills, and tools to improve their interpersonal and soft skills to create healthy personal and workplace relationships.
3). Referrals to Community Partners
The City Mission works with 25 partner agencies to ensure residents receive access to appropriate wraparound services. Some partnering organizations include Ohio GuideStone, Frontline, Cleveland Metropolitan School District and Project ACT, Vocational Guidance Services, MetroHealth, Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities, and The Centers for Families and Children. During Fiscal Year 2021, residents received 852 referrals for wraparounds services. These community services remain available to residents even after they leave The City Mission.
4). One-on-one Financial and Workforce Coaching
One-on-one financial and workforce coaching services are offered by The City Mission’s on site Resource Center staff and off-site partner agencies. When appropriate, residents are required to spend a minimum of 1.5 hours a week in the Resource Center working on their financial goals and, if able, looking for employment and/or housing.
5). Youth Programming
Many women at Laura’s Home come with children who also require individualized services. Together with their mother and a caseworker, youth develop an Individualized Service Plan that outlines specific academic, social/emotional, coping, and life skills they wish to achieve. Throughout the week, youth meet one-on-one with a caseworker to discuss tools that The City Mission and/or one of its partner agencies can provide to help them achieve their goals. Youth also have an opportunity to participate in Pathways, which provides on-site after-school programming with academic, cultural, and peer-to-peer experiences that contribute to their growth and development.
6). Transitional Housing
Transitional housing at The City Mission provides an additional steppingstone to help residents who have completed programming. Residents in transitional housing pay 30% of their income (but no more than $300/month) in rent while seeking vocational and/or educational opportunities and stabilizing finances in preparation to find permanent housing. The City Mission currently provides transitional housing for men at the Crossroads campus and has plans to provide transitional housing for women on the Laura’s Home campus in the future.
7). New Horizons
New Horizons seeks to provide single mothers who have completed Laura’s Home programming with an opportunity to secure affordable housing through a home ownership program. Through New Horizons, The City Mission equips single mothers with the necessary skills to seek vocational and educational growth, secure and maintain employment, develop healthy financial practices, and obtain and care for their own homes. Upon program completion, each mother receives the title to her home, free and clear.
KN: Your website specifically mentions serving mothers and children. Can you expand on those services and why they are so important?
MT: In addition to providing basic needs (food, shelter, clothing, hygiene), Laura’s Home connects women and mothers experiencing homelessness and crisis with community partners to receive expert assistance in mental and physical health, addiction and recovery services, and trauma informed care. In Fiscal Year (FY) 2021, The City Mission provided help and hope to 377 women and 411 children at Laura’s Home through 41,774 nights of safe shelter and 72,764 hot meals.
Upon arrival to Laura’s Home, women receive a comprehensive assessment to identify barriers and areas of need. With the support of a caseworker, they create an Individualized Service Plan, outlining specific health (physical and mental), employment, schooling, and other goals to meet in pursuit of a life of stability. Caseworkers meet with residents weekly and help with navigating courses, scheduling appointments, and discussing issues, needs, and progress.
In addition to caring for adult residents, Laura’s Home staff go to great lengths to ensure that children residing at Laura’s Home are properly cared for, helping to disrupt the cycle of generational poverty. According to the 2014 American Institutes for Research report, “America’s Youngest Outcasts,” the outcomes for children and parents experiencing homelessness are detrimental. The impact of homelessness on children is devastating and may lead to changes in brain architecture that can interfere with learning, emotional self-regulation, cognitive skills, and social relationships. To combat these outcomes, Laura’s Home provides targeted programming for children ages 0-5 as well as school aged children (5-17).
KN: Why is it important to have an organization like the City Mission in Ohio?
MT: The City Mission is important because of its uniqueness among other shelters in the region. The City Mission has a no turn away policy and provides year-round, on-site programming for residents. In addition, the Mission does not receive government funding. This allows for lengthened stays and more time to address issues that are often at the root of homelessness and/or crisis.
KN: What should someone do if they need help from the City Mission?
MT: Those seeking help from The City Mission may call us directly at 216-307-1382.
KN: How can the community help the City Mission and your programs?
MT: Community members can support The City Mission through giving, in-kind donations, church and organization partnerships, and volunteering. These opportunities are outlined in more detail on our website at https://www.thecitymission.org/support-us/.
The Disability Warriors at Liner Legal do more than just fight for your benefits, we fight for your quality of life. Our team is ready to help you if you need help now. For referrals and help, you can call Liner Legal and ask for our Client Concierge at (216) 282-1773. For more information on The City Mission, the programs they offer or how you can help, visit their website at thecitymission.org.