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The Cleveland Street Chronicle
Jim Schlecht Event


Homeless Stand Down Cleveland

What is the Homeless Stand Down?

The Homeless Stand Down started in San Diego California in the late 1980s as a weekend event for homeless veterans to relax and have contact with social service providers.  They pitched tents and it acted a respite from the stress of trying to find a way to no longer be homeless.  There were haircuts, food, medical care, entertainment and job skills building workshops.  Cleveland started our Stand Down in the early 1990s and we were the first city in the United States to include veterans and non veteran homeless individuals.  The program was originally organized by Catholic Charities and the Department of Veterans Affairs then transferred to NEOCH.  Other lead sponsors of the Stand Down include the City of Cleveland, InterAct Cleveland, and the current lead organization Hands On NEO.   The Stand Down serves between 500 and 1,800 people a year and has been staged at various venues throughout the community. 

There are hundreds of volunteers every year who make this project work and between 50 to 150 social service providers who attend and distribute information.  There are typically hygiene items given out, bagged lunches, bus tickets, clothing and other essentials for those who live on the streets.  There is typically entertainment and Cleveland has featured beautiful portraits for the population through the Cleveland Photography Society over the last five year.  Health care is a corner stone of the Stand Down with check ups, eye care, podiatry, and breast cancer screenings featured nearly every year.  There are haircuts and a wonderful hot lunch served for the hundreds gathered.  Personal shoppers help guide people through the boots, winter clothing and coats collected for distribution.  At this time, the Stand Down is scheduled in the heart of winter in Cleveland and acts as a winter restock after the huge donations received during the end of the year holidays. 

Here is the information on the 2017 Homeless Stand Down including the flyer to print out.

2016 marked the 25th Anniversary of the Homeless Stand Down in Cleveland.  

Here are two photo galleries for the 2016 Homeless Stand Down (January 23, 2016)

We have also a separate page on the History of the Homeless Stand Down

Thank you to the hundreds of volunteers who supported the event with donations, money and volunteer time.  A special thanks to the Homeless Stand Down planning committee whose dedication since August helped make the 25th annual events a success!        

Still want to help? 

1. If you are interested in helping to plan the 26th Homeless Stand Down in 2017 or fundraising events in support of our work, please email hsd(at)handsonneo(dot) org or fill out the form on their website.

2. Volunteer your time to causes like homelessness and hunger. Click here to view the ongoing calendar of HandsOn NEO opportunities. 

3. You can still donate, click here to make a financial gift that can support our Stand Down work all year long or contact us at Jeff at Handson NEO to coordinate a hygiene kit or basic need item drive.

4. If you would like to help drive homeless people to the Stand Down from the shelters, you can print out this form and send it into NEOCH.