Why Profiles? 3 Good Reasons

By Kate Warren
Research Associate

In the past year and a half, I have managed the creation of 303 different community data profiles. You’ve probably seen them--they are one-page fact sheets that contain data about different geographies. We’ve released them for each county in Ohio, each state and federal legislative district in Ohio, each neighborhood in Cleveland, and most recently, each Cuyahoga County council district and each City of Cleveland ward. We are planning to do even more next year.

Last week on WCPN’s Friday Reporters’ Roundtable on Sound of Ideas,there was a discussion about our latest profiles. Chris Quinn, editor at noted, “lines for the county districts are pretty much meaningless…. We know where the poverty is-- it’s not changing. I mean we’ve looked at it by city council wards, we’ve looked at it by municipal boundaries, and so just doing it within a different set of lines isn’t all that enlightening because we know where the poverty is, we just aren’t doing anything to fix it.”

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Mayoral Senior Forum at Eliza Bryant Draws Over 60 Attendees

By William Tarter, Jr.
Policy Planning Associate and Community Advocacy
November 12, 2017

On October 25, 2017, the Council On Older Persons (COOP), in collaboration with Eliza Bryant Village, hosted the Senior Forum with Cleveland’s mayoral candidates: incumbent Mayor Frank G. Jackson and challenger City Councilman Zack Reed. The event was held at Eliza Bryant Village, the oldest senior living facility for African Americans in the country. (Eliza Bryant Village has been a long-standing member of COOP.)  The forum was moderated by retired WKYC journalist Tom Beres. Attendance exceeded 60 people, and was comprised of Eliza Bryant residents, elected officials, advocates, and representatives from senior organizations across the city.

The program opened with welcoming remarks from Danny Williams, executive director of Eliza Bryant, followed by comments from COOP Vice Chair Catherine Ciha. The first half of the program was a conversation with Tom Beres and Mayor Jackson. They discussed the current state of the city, describing economic momentum that has taken place in numerous neighborhoods across the city including building up the tax base, as well as the Mayor’s future plans to continue that momentum. He spoke about successes during his terms, including the successful recruitment and hosting of the RNC.  Mayor Jackson then provided insight on his administration’s successes on issues important to seniors, including housing and transportation, as well as some of future plans to help seniors who are in need. The audience then had a chance to ask questions, which touched on a number of issues, including public transportation, housing, and safety. Residents were especially interested in learning more about the issue of dirt bikes and how the proposed track would alleviate the concerns around reckless bikers.

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Poverty Numbers in Cleveland – It’s Complicated
By Emily Campbell
Associate Director and Williamson Family Fellow for Applied Research
September 14, 2017

The research team of the Center for Community Solutions has been waiting all year to see if the improvements in poverty rate in Cleveland would continue. With today’s 2016 data release from the U.S. Census Bureau, the answer is… probably not.

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New Data Next Week! What Community Solutions Will Look For

By Emily Campbell
Associate Director, Williamson Family Fellow for Applied Research
September 6, 2017

Each year, the U.S. Census Bureau releases an updated set of data about housing, income, employment, family structure, and health insurance coverage.  The 2016 Current Population Survey and 2016 American Community Survey one-year estimates are both scheduled for release the week of September 11. We, at The Center for Community Solutions, are anxiously awaiting these releases and are ready to quickly and accurately analyze the data. Below are some things we will examine.

1. Will the improving poverty trend continue? 
Last year, poverty in the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, and in communities across the state dropped, in some places by statistically significant amounts. In Cleveland, child poverty in particular dropped from an estimate of 58.5 percent in 2014, to 49.9 percent in 2015. If poverty holds steady or continues to decline, it’s a good indication that the prospects of low-income Ohioans have truly improved. But it is possible that the large declines shown last year were somewhat of a data anomaly. Our research staff each have a different appraisal of what will happen – will poverty continue to fall, go back up, or hold steady, and will any change be statistically significant?

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Four Compelling Facts (and One Excellent Report)

Emily Campbell
Associate Director and Williamson Family Fellow for Applied Research
August 2, 2017

United Way of Greater Cleveland recently unveiled its community assessment. With the help of The Center for Community Solutions, United Way staff examined a host of data on education, income, health, and basic needs. The resulting report represents an excellent collection of indicators of community conditions in Greater Cleveland. United Way found new ways to put the raw numbers into perspective. Of all the information shared during the report release event, there are four facts which stand out.

  1. While unemployment has fallen in the past several years, the unemployment rate for Cleveland residents remains higher than that in the rest of the county. United Way pointed out that the number of Cleveland residents who are unemployed is greater than the entire population of the City of Solon.

  2. The gap between median income in Cleveland and median income in Cuyahoga County is more than $16,000. That is enough to afford mortgage payments on a $90,000 house.

  3. Based on data from AAA, an older adult living at the poverty line would have to spend more than 75 percent of their income in order to own and maintain a car. 

  4. People with mental illness are no more likely to commit a violent crime than those without mental illness. But, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, they are ten times more likely to be the victim of violent crime.      

The full report provides many more insights into the challenges facing our community. It also explains how United Way will respond, while showing opportunities to improve health, social, and economic conditions.

Neighborhoods to Watch, For Better or Worse
By Kate Warren
Policy & Planning Associate
October 27, 2016

In this blog, I’ll share some of the neighborhood that stood out to me as I explored the data in the neighborhood profiles. For some highlights from the data, check out my blog from earlier in the week. Click here to view the Cleveland Neighborhood Profiles.

The Central Neighborhood Struggle
There are neighborhoods in Cleveland that are hurting, and then there’s the Central neighborhood, which was home to the nation’s first public housing, and remains heavily concentrated with public housing today. Central’s median household income of $9,647 is over $5,000 less than the next lowest earning neighborhood. At that income a single person would be well below the federal poverty level, but in Central, 43 percent of households are families with children, and most of those families are headed by a single parent. They have the highest rate of households with cash public assistance income (19 percent) and households receiving SNAP, or food stamps (68 percent). They have the highest poverty rate in the city, with 69 percent of residents living below poverty, and nearly half of residents living in deep poverty (less than 50% of the poverty threshold). While the senior poverty rate for Ohio is only 8 percent, 41 percent of seniors in Central live below poverty. These indicators paint a dismal picture of the Central Neighborhood.

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Living on $2 A Day
By John R. Corlett, President and Executive Director
October 29, 2015

About a year ago I did something that I hadn’t done before. I came back to work at an organization I had left at the end of 2007 — The Center for Community Solutions. I was fortunate enough to return as the President and Executive Director. During my previous time at CCS, I had worked on many policy/advocacy issues related to the local implementation of the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act, more popularly known as “welfare reform.” Some of the advocacy work we did was successful, but on some of the larger issues like time limits for cash assistance, we weren’t successful. 

Since being back at CCS, I have had a few Aha! moments. One of them was while I was at a meeting with Cuyahoga County officials and it was reported that there were approximately 1,500 adults remaining on the caseload of the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program. I was stunned because, when I had left Community Solutions towards the end of the last decade, there were 10 times that many people on the caseload. Some of them have been forced from the rolls by Ohio’s three-year time limit, while likely an equal number got tossed from the program after being sanctioned for various infractions. States became more likely to sanction after changes in federal TANF rules had the effect of requiring larger numbers of recipients to be working 20-30 hours a week. 

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