Norma Herr Shelter gets new operator at Cuyahoga County HHSA meeting

The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) will become the new operator for the Norma Herr Women’s Center, located at 2227 Payne Avenue.

The YWCA received the $1.9 million contract from the Cuyahoga County Council Health, Human Services and Aging (HHSA) Committee at the committee’s March 21 meeting. The contract will run from May 1, 2018 until December 31, 2018, with two one-year extension options.

Some of the changes that will take place include a complete program and policy re-evaluation to find opportunities for improvement

As has been covered previously in this blog series, the shelter was operated by Frontline Services for many years, but the organization faced criticism for the condition of the shelter. Following funding increases in the latest county budget, the next step was the approval of the contract with YWCA, which will operate the shelter in partnership with Emerald Development and Economic Network, Inc. (EDEN). Ruth Gillett, administrator of the Office of Homeless Services, testified about some of the changes that will take place, including a complete program and policy re-evaluation to find opportunities for improvement. Additionally, the shelter will see a staffing increase, to assist residents of the shelter with case management, as well as the addition of a facility manager to ensure that the building is safe and clean.

YWCA will become the new operator of Norma Herr Women’s Center, after previous operator criticized for shelter condition Click To Tweet

Teresa Sanders, Chief Program Officer for YWCA, explained to council that YWCA is also looking at national best practices for shelter operations. County Council Councilwoman Yvonne Conwell, who is also the chair of the HHSA committee, opened questioning, asking about which policies will be strengthened and changed. Sanders said that YWCA and the county are going to be meeting to discuss specific policy changes. Councilman Dale Miller noted that the transition is already underway, and began February 1. He wanted to know if the county would have enough time to evaluate how YWCA is doing before the contract expires at the end of the year, to which Gillett said yes.

The contract was passed out of committee to full council for second reading.