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Community West Foundation News Article

06.12.2024 - News

Haven Center Receives 1,200 Pairs of Socks for Lorain Homeless Community

By Richard Perrins
The Chronicle-Telegram

The Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority (LMHA) donated 1,200 pairs of socks to the Community West Foundation on Monday, which will be distributed to people experiencing homelessness in Lorain County by Neighborhood Alliance.

In April, LMHA employees decided to participate in Socks+, an initiative from the Community West Foundation designed to provide socks and other basic care items to people experiencing hardship in the Cleveland area. On Monday, LMHA delivered the new socks, collected by individual donations, to the Haven Center Homeless Shelter in Lorain.

Alicia Foss, president and CEO of Neighborhood Alliance, said socks are usually one of the most requested items by people living in the shelter, and the donations will help the organization provide a sense of comfort and dignity.

“If (wet socks) are the only socks you have when you come to the shelter, it can make you feel so much better in the moment to get clean, dry socks on,” Foss said. “When people come into the shelter, we like to be able to provide all their basic needs for them.”

Neighborhood Alliance operates the Haven Center, a 68-bed facility which, according to its website, is the only 24/7 emergency shelter available for men, women, children and families in the county.

Foss said the socks donated by LMHA will go to people living in the shelter, with the remainder being delivered to people living in the surrounding Lorain community and donated to the Neighborhood Alliance’s partner agencies.

As LMHA delivered boxes stuffed with socks to the Haven Center, Community West Foundation President and CEO Marty Uhle handed Foss a check, designating $90,000 in grant money to the Neighborhood Alliance. 

Uhle said the grant was for general operating so the funding won’t be limited to specific programs run by the Neighborhood Alliance. Foss said the money will go to the operating costs for the shelter, allowing the Neighborhood Alliance to keep it running and expand its reach.

The Community West Foundation awards grants on a quarterly basis, according to its website. Uhle said the grants not being designated for specific programs, only general operating, means that the organization can take care of its most pressing and timely needs. He said he takes it as a “privilege” to deliver grant money to shelter organizations like Neighborhood Alliance.

“There’s no more basic need than a place to sleep tonight,” Uhle said. “You can’t help anybody unless they have a stable place to sleep … there’s nothing more tragic than thinking about somebody sleeping in their car or outside, and it happens all the time. We can do better than that.”

Pictured from L-R:
-Gale Sayers Proby, Chief Operating Officer, Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority
-Judith Carlin, Chief Executive Officer, Lorain Metropolitan Housing Authority
-Alicia Foss, President and CEO, Neighborhood Alliance
-Marty Uhle, President and CEO, Community West Foundation

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