Extreme consequences across Ohio if SNAP benefits not funded due to shutdown

One out of every six Ohioans relies on help from the federal government to buy groceries for themselves or their families each month through the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly “food stamps”). In Cuyahoga County, that number is one in five. And even in Geauga County – the county with the lowest poverty rate and highest median household income...

Government shutdown: How federal workers impact Ohio’s economy

Assuming there is no agreement reached between congressional legislators and the White House, the partial government shutdown will pass the one-month mark this week. Last Wednesday, President Donald Trump signed legislation guaranteeing back pay to furloughed federal employees, many of whom have already missed a paycheck. There are more than 78,000 federal employees spread across Ohio There are more than...

An Evolving Vision for Follow the Money

One of the recommendations that came to me in 2012 while working on the third edition of Follow the Money was to go beyond the mechanics of budget process and focus on the substance of the policies addressed in those budgets. This suggestion came from no less than a mentor of mine, William J. Shkurti, a former director of the...

State Senator John Eklund and Senator-elect Nickie Antonio discuss budget, policy at HSAN event

What does the public policy environment look like in 2019? How can advocates make their voices heard during the 133rd General Assembly? Approximately 65 people heard answers to questions like these at 2018’s seventh meeting of the Human Services Advocacy Network (HSAN). The event, was held on December 14, 2018 at the offices of the Cuyahoga County Alcohol, Drug, Addiction...

John Corlett’s top 10 favorite reports of 2018

The Center for Community Solutions’ offices are closed through January 2, and on the last day of 2018 we want to share our president and executive director, John Corlett’s top 10 Community Solutions’ reports from 2018. The report topics span a variety of health and human services issues, ranging from seniors to teens, infant mortality to Medicaid. We hope you enjoy them!...

Medicaid freeze would hurt families, increase health costs

After a series of vetoes by the governor, the General Assembly seems primed for some last minute veto overrides before the end of what has been a very active lame-duck session. Of particular consequence is the threat of “freezing” the Medicaid expansion. Evidence shows that this program is a true safety net, with the majority of enrollees leaving once they...

Achievement Gap or Resource Gap? A Discussion on Poverty and Opportunity at Celebration of Human Services

On October 26, The Center for Community Solutions hosted its annual Celebration of Human Services. As part of the celebration, Community Solutions organized breakout sessions covering select topics. One such session delivered a powerful panel discussion around poverty and opportunity. Chris Matthews, a parent and Community Change Agent, Mary Bogle, Principal Research Associate at the Urban Institute and Christy Nicholls,...

Election 2018’s impact on health care and cost discussed at Celebration of Human Services

The Celebration of Human Services’ breakout sessions are unique because during these sessions, expert panelists discuss issues of vital importance to the local health and human services community. This blog post recaps the session titled “Election 2018: Healthcare Coverage & Cost.” The panel was moderated by Dan Cohn, Vice President of Strategy, at Mt. Sinai Health Care Foundation. The forum...

Criminal justice and behavioral health number one issue for many in Northeast Ohio

By: Tara Britton, tbritton@communitysolutions.com Brie Lusheck, blusheck@communitysolutions.com On October 26, The Center for Community Solutions hosted its annual Celebration of Human Services in Cleveland. The event highlighted the incredible service from individuals around the city as volunteers, providers and public officials gathered to pay homage to the human services work and workers in Cleveland. Three breakout sessions at the Celebration focused...

Spike in Cuyahoga County foster care numbers and spending focus of HHSA Committee

The number of children in foster care jumped 20 percent in 2018, one of several facts presented during testimony at the December 5 meeting of the Cuyahoga County Health, Human Services and Aging Committee. The meeting also featured a multiple contract revisions and extensions, issues that have dominated the past two committee meetings. The first request was to amend a...