Cleveland Homeless Legal Assistance Program

The Cleveland Homeless Legal Assistance Program (CHLAP):  Provides free legal assistance for homeless people, those who have experienced homelessness within the last two years, and those in danger of becoming homeless.  Teams of attorneys staff intake sessions at selected homeless shelters or programs on a regularly scheduled basis.  Services are available over the phone, at the agency's office or at clinics.  Legal assistance services include screenings, follow-up, referrals and direct legal representation.  Contact Joan Burda at 216/635-0768 for more information. The Cleveland Homeless Legal Assistance Program is a cooperative project co-sponsored by NEOCH and the Cleveland Bar Association's Committee to Aid the Homeless.


The Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH) is a coalition of service providers, housing activists, members, and homeless people.  Lisa Thomas, Sr. Mary Frances Harrington, and Rev. George Hrbek founded NEOCH in 1989, as the successor to the Emergency Shelter Coalition.  A 21-person Board of Trustees governs NEOCH.  The NEOCH Board meets monthly and the NEOCH staff meets regularly with the homeless community and our membership. 


In 1996, NEOCH reaffirmed its role within the homeless community as an advocate for the homeless community by adopting a new mission statement.  The mission of the Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless is to empower and organize homeless and at-risk men, women and children to reduce homelessness and poverty through advocacy, public education and the creation of nurturing environments. NEOCH underwent an extensive strategic planning process to clarify the Coalition's role in the community and to create a work plan for the next five years.  NEOCH concentrates on four areas of interest: advocacy, empowerment projects, education, and finally research and coordination.

Programs and Services:


Bridging the Gap: Helps place single, homeless, adults into public housing.  Bridging the Gap (BTG) receives referrals from participating agencies and helps clients prepare their application for public housing.  BTG ensures that clients submit a complete application and they have the required documentation.  Once clients are housed, BTG ensures that they receive one year of follow up services from their referral agency.  Contact Dessa Finnerty at 216/635-2487


Cleveland Community Voice Mail: Creates access to basic telecommunications by providing phoneless and homeless people with 24-hour voicemail that is much like a home answering machine.  Participating agencies are given voice mail numbers to distribute to their clients.  Case managers then select clients who are serious about establishing a stable life.  A goal is agreed upon by the case manager and the client to determine what the client needs voice mail for and what they length of time it will take to achieve these goals. 



Program Contact and Referrals:

Call the CHLAP office to confirm intake sites, dates and times:
Homeless Legal Assistance Program         
P.O. Box 93061
Cleveland, OH  44101                   
216.635.0768 office

Call NEOCH for other information:             
3631 Perkins Avenue, 3A-3
Cleveland, OH  44114-4705
216.432.0540 office
216.361.9928 fax


Contact Us

Healthy Fathering Collaborative
P.O. Box 606194
Cleveland, OH  44106



*Email is the preferred form of contact.

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