How did you sleep last night? According to a recent HUD report, more than 500,000 individuals had nowhere to go on any given night in 2014. The good news is that homelessness has declined 11 percent since 2007, and in Cleveland, Ohio, where chronic homeless has been a protracted issue, community partners have taken a strong stance to remedy it.
“As long as we persevere, we will eradicate chronic homelessness in Cleveland,” said Kevin Nowak, VP in KeyBank’s Community Development segment. “We’re proud to be financing housing that provides people safe, clean, and supportive environments to call home.”
It’s not just a pipe dream. In 2006, more than 40 organizations, including KeyBank, came together to create the Housing First Initiative in Ohio’s Cuyahoga County. The Initiative, led by Enterprise Community Partners, responds to the crisis of men, women and children living on the streets or cycling in and out of shelters for months, even years, without hope for an affordable, safe place to call home.
Together, Housing First partners have agreed to produce 1,271 permanent supportive housing apartments, and, since 2006, they have decreased chronic homelessness in Cuyahoga County by nearly 73 percent. Key’s commitment to helping the homeless extends far outside of its headquarter city, across its entire branch network, from the Pacific Northwest to New England, and totals more than $100 million in investments.
“Key desires to see all of its communities thrive. Without considering every segment of the population, that cannot happen,” said Nowak.