What You Should Know About Community Support Services (CSS) Akron

I just got back from a tour of Community Support Services here in Akron.
Let me make this disclaimer: I’m not a reporter. I’m not a fact checker. And I am writing this all from memory. So if I make any mistakes please forgive me and CSS: just feel free to send me any corrections.
Here’s what I know: It all starts with mental health. Their services then radiate from that point.
“Last year, Community Support Services provided life changing services to more than 3,100 individuals in Summit County living with mental illnesses.”
 They offer:
  • Case management
  • Supported employment
  • Supported housing
  • counseling
  • Behavioral healthcare

Just to name a few things.
If you are in need of mental health services, no matter the income level, CSS is a place you want to go.
My area of interest was what they are doing in the area of homelessness.
They’ve got a new homeless day facility. It will have showers and washers and dryers and a sitting area. That should be open early Spring of this year.
I also got a tour of these amazing apartments they’ve build to help the chronically homeless and veterans.
CSS is truly an amazing operation. Akron is incredibly lucky to have them.

An easy thing you could do to support them would be be follow them on Facebook. You can do that here:

Community Support Services

An important part of The Homeless Charity is to support the homeless services in the area. We are pretty good at public relations and marketing. So if we can share that ability with these other service providers we will happily do it.
Here are some more links of CSS that you might find interesting:

We are incredibly lucky to have CSS in Akron. Thank you for all the hard work you people do!

I LOVE the tiny home idea!

Check out this article:
Tiny Houses Bring Big Change | YES! Weekly

All houses will be fully furnished and hooked up to standard utilities. They will be arranged into a sort of village, which will also feature a community garden and outdoor meeting space.

I’m a big fan of tiny homes for the homeless. They are appealing because they aren’t a massive structure to care for and they also don’t need a ton of renovation. 
I’m really leaning towards experimenting with this idea. 

Akron Homeless Are Featured In Cleveland.com Article

We are going to figure out a way for the homeless in Akron to have more options and dignity in how they choose to live.
Having to move in the middle of the winter sucks. Even in the best of conditions winter moving is the worst. Now try doing it with no money and being a person that no one wants around.
So this story is a good reminder that we non-homeless view our homeless neighbors as second class citizens. I find that especially ironic as we just all celebrated Christmas, a holiday that is meant to remind us that a force of tremendous love was put on this earth to be a guide of hope, faith and love.
2000 years later and it is is like we never even heard of a person named Jesus and what he tried to teach us.
Jennifer Conn from Cleveland.com came to The Second Chance Store to do a story on how the homeless are being kicked out of their camp.
Please take a moment to read this story. As you sit in your home or office reading it, remember that there are hundreds of people right outside your door that not only don’t have a place to call their own, no one wants them  around.
We will solve this!

Summit Metro Parks gives notice to Akron’s homeless to clear way for Freedom Trail construction

Thank you Jennifer Conn (@JenniferConn9) | Twitter for doing this story. It’s stories like these that are a tremendous help for the homeless in our community.
And thank you Paul and Paul for having the courage to do this story. I know that taking a stand on this issue makes you a lightening rod for people that either don’t support your cause or want to see you as an instigator.  You remind me of Luke Skywalker in Star Wars (or Jyn Erso in the newest Star Wars movie, Rogue One). You are taking a stand not because it benefits you. But because it’s the right thing to do!
Keep up the great work guys.

We Want To Build A Shower For The Homeless In Our Building


Imagine this: last night you slept outside in front of an abandoned store. You are frozen to the bone. You are hungry. You didn’t really sleep all that well. You never sleep all that well.
You need to get moving so that the police don’t stop you.
You put your blankets in a garbage bag that is ripping. You’ll have to get a new garbage bag somewhere, hopefully today.
Your shoes are wet. That makes your socks wet.
You really need a shower. You haven’t had one in two weeks. There is a place that has a shower. But you hate going there. You have to wait hours in line. The other homeless are angry waiting. They try to cut in line. They try to steal your stuff. You don’t really have the energy to go through that.
Maybe you’ll have energy enough for a shower tomorrow.
We want to help this process just a little bit.
We want to put a shower in our building at 15 Broad Street in Akron. There isn’t a place near us that has a drop in shower.
It is the #1 thing people have asked us for.
On top of that, we have the perfect place for it. There is a half bath with the water lines already run for a shower.
We just need to get the enclosure and make the drain. It should be a pretty straight forward job.
We could really use your help for this project. We believe we can do everything for under $1000.
Literally ANY amount would be a great help. If you only have a dollar we’d love to have it. A lot of people donating a little amount shows the people we work with, and the rest of the community, that people care about this cause.


2016 Shoes and Uniforms for Homeless Kids GoFundMe

I wanted to give you a quick update to the Shoes and Uniforms for Homeless Akron Kids GoFundMe Fundraiser.
These shoes and uniforms are for the Harvest Dinner on November 17 run by Project R.I.S.E., the only group in Akron solely dedicated to helping homeless kids. It’s a special dinner for local kids experiencing homelessness.

THIS FUNDRAISER IS GOING TO END FRIDAY NOVEMBER 4 so we’ll have time to get the supplies.

We had an awesome donation from a woman how put out a challenge for ALL Akron Schools Administration to match her donation of $50. That would be amazing! If you know any Akron School Administrators it would mean a great deal if you could pass this post on to them. 
Here’s one of the coolest things about society: There are people in our community that $50 leaving their bank account will mean almost nothing. And then there are people where $50 will change their lives.
Sometimes I try to imagine what it’s like being a homeless kid.
  • You don’t know where you’re going to sleep.
  • You don’t know how you’re going to get to school.
  • You don’t know how you’re going not look like the “homeless kid.”
  • You really aren’t even sure when you’re going to eat next.

The chaos of that situation has got to be brutal for a young person.
But we as a community here in Akron can make a huge difference without doing much.
One way is to help these kids have shoes and uniforms for school. If you aren’t aware, Akron City Schools requires all kids to have uniforms. There’s one more thing these kids can just add to the pile of stress: “Where is my mom going to get the money to buy me a uniform so I don’t get in trouble at school and, once again, not fit in?”
This is where things start to get really cool. If you have kids you might know that shoes can be really expensive. But what you might not know is, if you look around a little you can find amazing deals on shoes. Check out these New Balance shoes on clearance for $5.99:

Because we buy shoes in quantity, we can usually find a lot of shoes for a very little amount of money.
100% of the money that goes into this program goes to buying shoes and uniforms. There is no administrative overhead that comes out of this program.
Also, if you are wondering about our credentials, you should know that we are a “Certified Charity” on GoFundMe and we are an approved 501(c)(3) public charity through the IRS.

The homeless kids of Akron will thank you.

1.3 Million Children. When do we say enough?

Is it acceptable to have 1.3 million homeless kids in America?
We can change this!
Key Amendments to McKinney-Vento Act Take Effect October 1
The need for action is urgent: Public schools identified 1.3 million children and youth experiencing homelessness during the 2013–14 school year, including students who are sharing the housing of other people due to loss of housing, economic hardship, or a similar reason, or living in hotels/motels due to the lack of alternative adequate accommodations. That’s a 7% increase compared to the previous year and a 100% increase since 2007. Children and youth experiencing homelessness and housing instability are less likely to be academically successful, and less likely to graduate from high school and make it to and through college.