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The Cleveland Street Chronicle
Jim Schlecht Event

What Was the Hand Up Gala?


The Hand Up Gala was both an annual fundraiser for NEOCH as well as the Bishop William Cosgrove Center as a dignity-affirming fine dining experience for 200 members of the homeless population of Cleveland from 2010 to 2014. First held in 2010, the Hand Up Gala raises money for NEOCH’s Outreach Program and the Bishop William Cosgrove Center meal and day shelter services. This outreach program is designed to greatly reduce the number of people living outside in Downtown Cleveland. Through efforts of this Outreach Program, NEOCH has reduced the number of people living on the streets in Downtown Cleveland from hundreds each night at the turn of the century to about twenty-five individuals every night currently. The Cosgrove Center has served over 2 million meals, provided a safe haven to hundreds of thousands, and inspired hope in a just and compassionate manner to hundreds every day.  Thus, the fundraising effort of this event is essential for the wellness of the community.

The Bishop William Cosgrove Center is providing help and creating hope to families struggling with their housing today and for the last 20 years.  Their staff have provided over 2 million meals since their founding in 1994.  They provide referrals, housing assistance, and identification to hundreds of Clevelanders.  They offer breakfast and lunch to hundreds of thousands of hungry people and assist those with supportive services as they work to find their way back to stability.  The Cosgrove Center is a respite from the heat and the freezing cold and a meeting place for other community groups to provide assistance and a shoulder to cry on or a hand up to low income individuals.

For the past five years, the Hand Up Gala has provided the opportunity for homeless people to experience excellent cuisine and a fine dining atmosphere. Three chefs have donated their time and talents to make this event special.  In addition,  homeless people were served by local celebrities, politicians as well as Board Members of Diocese of Cleveland Catholic Charities and NEOCH.  The last event was October 18, 2013, with NEOCH and the Bishop Cosgrove Center co-sponsoring this event.  We have some amazing florists in the community who will help to make this event extra special.  We need your assistance to make this event successful.  Also, check out the photos from previous years. We have had the LMM Central Kitchen Head Chef Matt Barnes participate.  Before that we had John Aldewereld from the Renaissance Hotel in Downtown Cleveland as our lead chef.  The 2013 event featured the culinary work of Sharon Delk of the Cosgrove Center who planned, prepared and coordinated the meal.  The fund raiser has raised thousands of dollars for each agency, but more importantly has offered an amazing meal to hundreds of people every year. 

In 2014, we hosted the event in October 17, 2014.   We will celebrate 20 years of the Bishop Cosgrove Center with all the volunteers, music and the fine dining atmosphere.   

The Hand Up Gala is a fund raiser for two homeless social service and social justice organizations.  Every donation is appreciated for this important event.  All donations go to the two charities, and not to the cost of the meal or the fund raiser.

We are also putting together an advertisement book marking the 20 years of the Cosgrove Center.  If you would like to thank the staff and agency for all they do in the community click here.

Slideshow for Previous Gala Dinners

You can also donate directly on our website by clicking to donate go here and mark "Hand Up Gala" in the purpose line.