By Caitlyn Gudmundsen, Senior Manager of Program Development and Outreach
Today’s Front Line Hero is Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry, which is supporting people without homes in Cleveland through the pandemic.
Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry (LMM) has faithfully served the community in Northeast Ohio since the 1960s. Among many services, LMM provides food and shelter to hundreds of people without homes every day. The COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately created chaos for people experiencing homelessness as shelter systems need to adhere to social distancing; in addition, public spaces have closed, leaving few opportunities for people to wash up or use the bathroom.
County officials and community partners made plans to reduce the number of people in shelters to prevent large numbers of people in the congregate setting. The Northeast Coalition for the Homeless placed people in need of shelter into hotel rooms, and LMM soon became involved with this work. LMM is now supporting more than 200 rooms at a Cleveland hotel with a capacity to house more than 380 people, providing some with a roof over their head for the first time in months. The hotel has allowed people without homes to safely quarantine and has effectively prevented the virus from spreading among this population. LMM is considering the possibility of using the hotel to help address the needs of people who have resisted going to a shelter due to past trauma or concerns about confidentiality.
Thank you to Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry for your commitment to the homeless, and creativity in finding solutions to meet their needs!