Committee approves public funding for temporary staffing agency serving people recently released from prison

The Cuyahoga County Health, Human Services and Aging (HHSA) committee met on February 5, with a three-year contract between Cuyahoga County and Towards Employment (TE) on the agenda. The contract, worth $750,000, runs from February 2020 to February 2023. The contract, worth $750,000, runs from February 2020 to February 2023. TE is a nonprofit, headquartered in Downtown Cleveland, that specializes...

Unequal under the law: State control of social services perpetuates inequality

Black Americans have been excluded from receiving benefits many times since the United States started offering social services decades ago. Black Americans have been excluded from receiving benefits many times since the United States started offering social services decades ago. When the nation’s first federal health care program was created by the Freedman’s Bureau, Black Americans affected by a post-Civil...

Minority students and special education

A flashcard of a plate, something that I learned to call a dish, was what could have placed me in special education. I didn’t have a medically diagnosed physical or intellectual disability, just a difference in dialect. That seemingly small difference could have changed the course of my life. Special education is important for students who need it, but when students...

The Center for Community Solutions Board of Directors endorses March 17 Cuyahoga County health and human services levy

For more than 107 years, The Center for Community Solutions has led and supported efforts to reform and/or improve the delivery of health and human services at the local, state and national levels. In 1932 at the height of the Great Depression we advocated for a countywide welfare levy in response to unprecedented suffering and greater demands on the limited...

Cuyahoga County HHSA committee approves contracts for foster care and senior services

The Cuyahoga County Health, Human Services and Aging (HHSA) committee met January 22 to discuss two contract-approval requests for the Department of Child and Family Services (DCFS) and one contract-extension request for the Department of Senior and Adult Services (DSAS). Cuyahoga County is currently dealing with a significant increase in the number of children in county custody. Christine Alexander, from...

How the criminalization of mental illness and substance use disorders impacts African-Americans in Ohio

It is well established that minorities, especially African-Americans, are overrepresented in the nation’s criminal justice system, and have been since the prison population began to skyrocket four decades ago, and Ohio’s penal system looks no different. Black people in Ohio are nearly three times more likely to be in jail compared to the state’s general population. The U.S. Census Bureau...

New Medicaid block grant waiver: Risk disguised as flexibility

On January 30, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) unveiled a Medicaid block grant policy guidance to states calling it the ‘Healthy Adult Opportunity’ (HAO). CMS describes the new waiver program as a way for states to seek flexibility in program design for non-disabled adults and to achieve better outcomes. Upon review, however, the guidance reveals itself to...

Homeless services, multi-system youth contracts approved by health and human services committee

At the first 2020 meeting of the Cuyahoga County Council Health, Human Services and Aging Committee, the committee members heard updates on three homeless services contracts. The committee also heard one contract for at-risk youth. The first contract up for discussion was a one-year extension with Lutheran Metropolitan Ministries (LMM) worth $2,231,635. LMM operates the single-adult-male homeless shelter at 2100...