This article is from Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism. Please join their free mailing list, as this helps provide more public service reporting. For women survivors of sex trafficking struggling to make ends meet, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated an already desperate situation. Funding programs to support them have shifted to more urgent crisis funding— to house and feed the homeless, for example. Losing financial and food security only places these already scuffling women at an even greater risk of being trafficked again to earn money just to survive.
As moratoriums end Dec. 1, need grows for utility assistance; Guide to avoiding shutoffs
This article provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism. Please join our free mailing list as this helps us provide more public service reporting. CLEVELAND, Ohio – The needs of Greater Clevelanders have come in waves during the pandemic, much like the virus itself: first food, then rent, then internet so students could learn from home.
Now, as moratoriums that staved off utility disconnections cascade to an end, some families face a long winter unsure how they will keep the lights, heat and water on. Moratoriums on shut-offs with Cleveland Public Power and the Cleveland Water Department, for example, ends tomorrow, Tuesday, Dec.
Interactive: Explore Newly Released Hospital Data
This article provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism. Please join our free mailing list as this helps us provide more public service reporting. Updated: Additional data from Nov. 21-24 released on Nov. 27.
33 hospitals report they have no critical care bed and/or medical/surgery bed for adult patients on October 30
This article provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism. Please join our free mailing list as this helps us provide more public service reporting. Despite an October 20 court order issued by the Ohio Court of Claims, the Ohio Department of Health still had not released complete records as of late Wednesday night, claiming they needed several days to release information from a database that is updated daily. During Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s November 17 press conference, Governor DeWine said that the information with the current number of beds, ventilators, and other medical equipment available for each Ohio hospital will be released on a daily basis. “There is no reason why we can’t release that that I am aware of,” DeWine said.
After seven month legal battle, Eye on Ohio wins public records lawsuit over hospital capacity numbers
Court of Claims Rules that the Ohio Department of Health must disclose the number of beds and other equipment available
This article provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism. Please join our free mailing list as this helps us provide more public service reporting. As the ongoing pandemic continues to surge, the Ohio Court of Claims ruled last week that the Department of Health must share public records with Eye on Ohio, showing the number of beds and ventilators available for COVID-19 patients at individual hospitals throughout the state.
The ruling comes seven months after Eye on Ohio initially sought the records.
“In times of crisis transparency is paramount,” said Rebekah Crawford, who has her Ph.D. in Health Communication, Relating & Organizing from Ohio University. People want credibility and clear lines around what is known and what is uncertain. “When risk communicators are at their best,” Crawford said, “they remain credible by showing what is known and what is not known and by being clear about why we don’t know, and what we’re going to do to find out.”
When Eye on Ohio first requested records, at the end of March, the state had only about 2,200 confirmed cases and 55 deaths, according to the online Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center.
Coming out while stuck inside: LGBTQ+ youth and young adults face unique mental health risks as pandemic rages on
When Tyler, a sophomore at Cleveland State University, started hormone replacement therapy two months before spring break, the last thing he expected was to spend the rest of the semester with his parents in Westbrook, New York. Tyler had been living with three other trans students he befriended through CSU’s LGBTQ+ Student Services before campus housing closed in mid-March. When Tyler moved in with his parents, they were still uncomfortable with his trans identity and were not using his preferred pronouns (he/his).
“I wasn’t out in high school and college was the first place I felt like I was actually able to be myself,” Tyler said. “I felt like my sense of community was ripped away all at once.”
Those first few months of quarantine, when Tyler didn’t have a laptop and couldn’t access CSU’s online counseling or the LGBTQ+ center’s virtual drop-ins, were emotionally rough. “The conversations I had with my parents were conversations I was not prepared for, especially being on hormones.
Red tape remains a high hurdle, but Cleveland still able to provide rental assistance to pandemic-stricken tenants
This article provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism . Please join our free mailing list as this helps us provide more public service reporting. Tenants facing eviction in Cleveland Housing Court can access a temporary measure of relief through the current federal moratorium on evictions, and through the city and county’s rental aid programs. But, they’re no silver bullet. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) eviction moratorium, started on Sept. 1, was meant to pause pandemic-related eviction cases against tenants, to provide a measure of relief during these challenging times.
Haley Belisle, a recent graduate of Ohio Northern University, was baffled this spring when the Hardin County Board of elections rejected her application to vote absentee in the state’s presidential primary.
The problem was her signature on the application: It didn’t match her voter registration signature. “When I originally registered, I was just out of high school and I apparently signed my name in a very curly cursive, which I don’t do any more,” she said. The 24-year-old got a new application and replicated the original style, she said, effectively “forging my own signature.”
Belisle was able to cast her ballot.
That wasn’t the case for all potential voters in Ohio’s presidential primary.
This summer, Eye on Ohio set out to examine how many absentee ballot applications were rejected, why, and how voters could avoid those mistakes. The analysis of millions of Ohio applications from the state’s 88 counties revealed a patchwork and unreliable system for tracking the requests that makes it near-impossible to accurately know how many voters, if any, were disenfranchised. It also called into question the accuracy of information collected by state election officials on rejected applications.
With only weeks until the 2020 presidential election, and lingering concerns about the novel coronavirus, voters are applying for absentee ballots at a record pace.
That, along with President Donald Trump’s attacks on the use of mail-in ballots, though not supported by research, could bring magnified attention to the process, especially in a swing state like Ohio where Trump and Sen. Joe Biden are swapping narrow leads in the polls.
Applications for mail-in ballots received relatively little attention in the past, as most fair election advocates concentrated efforts on whether absentee and provisional ballots were counted.
This article provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism in partnership with the nonprofit newsroom, The Fuller Project. Please join Eye on Ohio’s free mailing list or the mailing list for the Fuller Project as this helps us provide more public service reporting. CHESAPEAKE, Ohio — The children at Stephanie Geneseo’s home-based child care center dart around in astronaut helmets while they battle green googly-eyed COVID alien germs, using play to learn about hand washing in a pandemic that shows no signs of letting up. “I want to make it fun so that it didn’t seem like something bad or weird to them,” Geneseo says. “We’ve done everything we can to make it as normal to their day as it could be,” she said in July after she reopened All Nestled Inn, her center in Chesapeake, Ohio.
The return to caring for children after a 10-week coronavirus shutdown was anything but normal for the 51-year-old, known as Mrs. Steffy to the families she serves.
Keeping her young charges healthy weighs on Geneseo as she works 18-hour days, watching children from early morning to midnight, to keep the business she spent 22 years building afloat.
Ohio, like many places across the country, didn’t have enough child care options before coronavirus struck.
One group succeeds with holistic approach; demand still exceeds supply
Sylvia Rucker has been a caretaker most of her life. As the head cook at Hannah Gibbons Elementary School in Collinwood, she prepares meals for approximately 250 students daily, and has four adult children of her own. But when her oldest daughter died unexpectedly in the summer of 2019, Rucker was suddenly thrust into the role of parent once again. “My daughter went into the hospital with a toothache. She passed away a week later, and left behind three kids,” says Rucker.
This article provided by Eye on Ohio, the nonprofit, nonpartisan Ohio Center for Journalism. Please join our free mailing list as this helps us provide more public service reporting. When Ohio Governor Mike DeWine issued the statewide coronavirus stay-at-home order in mid-March, Selina Pagan and other Latino leaders in Cleveland were worried.
They’d been planning in-person events to get more people to participate in the 2020 census – historically, Hispanics have been undercounted, resulting in a loss of federal funds and voting power at the local level. But, when everything was canceled, months and years of planning were suddenly tossed out the window. Pagan, who is president of the Young Latino Network in Cleveland, came up with a new idea when she came across a video online: “I saw a Puerto Rican pickup truck with a speaker strapped onto the back playing a loop announcing the stay-at-home order, and I thought, ‘That’s a pretty cool way to get your message across – how do we do that in our community?’”
She pitched the idea of doing something similar locally on a phone call with other voting and census outreach organizers, and the Cleveland Caravan (or La Caravana) was born.
At the inaugural caravan, held the first week in April, a pickup truck followed by dozens of cars wove through the densely-built streets of the Clark-Fulton neighborhood on Cleveland’s near West Side, which has a large Latino population.