the other opportunity corridor - healthy or not?

Submitted by Susan Miller on Sat, 06/06/2009 - 21:52.

Before we spend too much time talking about another "opportunity corridor", let's get the first one working. What say you?

Here's the rub: We just spent a barrel of cash for the Euclid Corridor with its sleek (if not faster or better Bus Rapid Transit) new buses. So what if it doesn't yet have fare collection or pedestrian safety or Transit Oriented Development down to a science? It does what it was supposed to do, right? It was called the Silver Line. Were we projecting the proverbial "silver lining"? Then as the Medical Mart saga unfolded (unfolded the cash from our wallets with nary a vote of the funders), it became the "Health Line" to connect downtown (where hospital furniture will be hawked right on our public mall) and the two hospital giants in University Circle. Somewhere in there, more and more land began to be cleared in what is called "midtown" - the ghost town between med and medmart.

But now we seem to be redefining what we will accept as healthcare. It's good if its your kidney, lung, heart or skeleton; Come on down, let's make a deal. We can fix you right up say CCF and UH. Having a baby? Aren't they cute!?! We're ready for ya! We can cut and stitch and medicate you to a longer life. We're so good at it, we've cornered the market on economic development in NEO; heck, we're the new steel and auto market! But there is another kind of illness that we'd prefer to sweep under the rug. It's the kind that carries such a stigma that a local architect apparently said, "the community's challenge is being cautious and thoughtful about development proposals, even during difficult times. (sic -the reporter was surely paraphrasing) Volpe actually said in reference to the possibility of a new psychiatric hospital, housing for seniors and permanent housing for the homeless going in on Euclid, "Especially these days, there are those that may feel that anything is better than nothing," he said. "I have never felt that way. I just never feel that things are bad enough that we should take anything that comes along." (Emphasis mine.)

Anything? Anything!?! Oh, dear! Are we marginalizing mental illness, homelessness and growing older? Oh MY!

And there's this:

Haviland opposes the project. He said Midtown, which has worked with CHN (Cleveland Housing Network) elsewhere, would support permanent supportive housing on a different site. Just not on Euclid Avenue.

"What this is, is a perpetuation of subsidized taxpayer projects that require additional support from tax dollars and foundations to sustain them," he said. "The city of Cleveland is going to notice that it is not generating the type of economic return as what our vision is. And it cuts into our ability to create the critical mass needed to change the dynamic on Euclid Avenue. That's the conflict."

But Haviland's own organization states:

Addressing the challenges of MidTown’s past has encouraged a vibrant future marked by reinvestment exceeding $750 million. The organization’s legacy of leadership, made possible through the financial and volunteer support of member organizations as well as funding from local foundations and government programs, sustains the ongoing evolution of the MidTown Business and Urban District and fuels the provision of member services. This collective cooperation enables MidTown Cleveland, Inc. to positively impact more than 800 businesses and 2,000 residents daily, advocating for their interests and guiding area development.

I don't see the point, Mr. Haviland. Is it just not what you'd dreamed? A little biomedical silicon valley burgeoning with coffee shops and haute couture boutiques, high dollar condos with parking garages filled with European imports? Don't worry, Mr. Haviland, the mentally ill need doctors, too. Even the homeless and seniors can ride the still slower-than-expected BRT along Euclid Ave. In fact, they may be more likely to ride it than others who are addicted to their cars. And you can stick your tech companies in there - they're small and with the BRT, they won't require much parking.

It looks to me like we've got a bad case of NIMBY - "Just not on Euclid Avenue." That's right. Hide the sick, the old and the poor. We wouldn't want anyone to know "those people" live here. By the way, we ought to know that CCF and UH are practicing  psychiatry right on Euclid Avenue, eh?

Cleveland's got a problem and it is apparently bigger than just government corruption. It goes to the very core of what some in "leadership" positions think. Think you can just pull yourself out of schizophrenia? Get the straight skinny on mental illness at NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). For example: "Without treatment the consequences of mental illness for the individual and society are staggering: unnecessary disability, unemployment, substance abuse, homelessness, inappropriate incarceration, suicide and wasted lives; The economic cost of untreated mental illness is more than 100 billion dollars each year in the United States." We are willing to send soldiers off to war, but don't want to deal with them or see them when they return with PTSD? What do you think? OK, Just not on Euclid Avenue? What do you think they're treating at the VA? And think about the cost to Cleveland (pdf) of driving the hungry, the homeless and the elderly out of plain sight.

I am dumbfounded! Someone please explain this to me. We seem to have a mind-body disconnect going on here - big time. My late father, who served on the board of the National Mental Health Association (now Mental Health America) is spinning in his grave.

This is about as smart as saying, "don't let those prisoners at Guantanamo who haven't even been charged set foot on the continental US, we don't want them here - not on "Euclid Avenue". (Yeah! Ship them to Bagram; not too many US tourists snooping around there., eh?) Out of sight - out of mind.

This is America Damn It!

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

Emma Lazarus, 1883

Cleveland should be so proud to lift a lamp, but instead we consider these sorely needed options as "anything", read "something possibly worse" than nothing. Phew! I'd say we've still got a lot of work to do on the Euclid Avenue opportunity corridor before we start corridoring anywhere else. Let's start in our heads, OK?

hat tip to mjarboe [at] plaind [dot] com for her story

Competing development proposals put Midtown Cleveland's future at a crossroads



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Maybe they should build the psychiatric hospital behind terminal tower? Then make the entire complex housing for dysfunctional or dependent citizens? The most dysfunctional can have the penthouses? The Avenue can be the social service center, each section supporting a different service. It would be convenient and centralized on the rail services so they easily get there from everywhere. Why hide them they are part of society put them as the center pieces so we can all come to terms with them. Then we can convert the Renaissance Hotel into a haven for indigents, and fly them in from other locations. It would be convenient as the rail connects to the airport. The city can collect all the public funds spent in other cities, basically having the highest percentages so requiring the highest amounts of funding.

Why not create one central location for the whole nation, maybe the world? Put the Crazy in C-Town!

"The most dysfunctional can have the penthouses..."

Already done - in fact, the Terminal Tower was built by the mentally ill (do you know how sick the Van boys really were... like no Jews in Shaker... ).

We are a community built by mentally ill leaderdship, and made increasingly more wretched by their mentally ill followers - Cleveland leaders are not worthy of government funding to house their victims, whether ill from lead poisoning or the distress of living under poor leadership...

Can you really see any benefit to the mentally ill to be placed in a facility at E.55th and Euclid, versus surrounded by parks and urban farms, for example? Did you know Cleveland has 1,000s of acres of land that has no commercial uses now or in any foreseeable future, according to our leaders.

Why spend tax dollars on expensive development zone land on Euclid? Who are the sellers making the money on these deals... that seems to be the real story, which the PD skipped over (as usual).

And who are the developers, who seem to care so much about the mentally ill and aged. Let's see the names of the executives and profiteers, and we'll match them up to their records of community involvement addressing these issues versus campaign contributions.

For Cleveland leaders to say this is the best they can do is typical - poor performance by ill leadership (probably to help ill political funders). None of Cleveland leaders' decisions make sense, and the poor editing of the Plain Dealer makes all local issues unintelligible, if not corrupt.

The only way to make things better is to change our leadership here, completely.

As for housing the mentally ill... start at the Cleveland Plain Dealer, where they have plenty of space available in their facilities and will have much more soon... house more mentally ill there.

Disrupt IT

Yeah they were, Incestuous

Yeah they were, Incestuous brothers.

And elitist snobs, which still exists in Shaker….not exclusive to the Jewish contingency, the protestants make great snobs.

But if I bring up complex thoughts, those around me can field them, educated and mindful are my neighbors. The Jews are the most conversational, in fact they relish in it. But I am in 44120 and nobody here is that judgmental. My circle is diverse, very diverse.

I have taught all my neighbors to swear….they do say what the fuck all the time. It warms my heart….






300 beds

  Susan--the 300 bed psychiatric hospital proposed downtown would close the old CPI at Metro and the facility in Sagamore Hills.  Chris Warren justifies the relocation in terms of the 500 employees living, shopping etc. on Euclid Ave.  Give me a break--these folks are on the Chronos clock and they have no time to leisurely spend their money sipping mocha lattes during the day, and I can guarantee you--the last place they will want to live is anywhere near their patients.  So, will some body please pop this bubble.  I am actually surprised that Mr. Haviland is even speaking up, when he agreed to one HTF project (NRP). Did he really expect that more vultures wouldn't swoop in for the federal monies?  Allow one vulture and you will get more.

You have to be homeless for

You have to be homeless for at least a year, that’s fair. Not ten months, wonder what they will do with people that need the two additional months to qualify? Isn’t that what it says will be the qualifications for the homeless housing; that looks like market rate condos. I am confused…I thought the market rate condos are designed, constructed and priced to make people eventually homeless? What is it that requires the homeless shelter to look like a million bucks? Is that so the homeless can feel proud of it?

I wonder if the friend that is sleeping on the couch for a month is homeless?

Is it time for cubes? A bed with a laundry and bathroom? How about temporary housing for anyone? The lowest cost housing. Having fifty thousand in credit card debt; is that a type of mental illness? Not really; your not insane until you lose everything, and then you must then sleep on the street for year to get vested.

Housing that looks like something that costs allot? Guess what it does cost allot!

Housing for seniors, housing for the homeless and a psychiatric hospital. One of these things is not like the other; can we tell which one is dissimilar and why? The person that is wandering the streets because they have psychological problems…shouldn’t be wandering the streets!

Was the psychiatric hospital that used to be on Turney Road; that now is market rate homes; was that in the wrong location? If the mind is disturbed is the park like setting not best? What does the Urban center offer, does it calm the mind?

When the VA built in Brecksville; there were reasons; they did not want to send people with physiological problems into high density areas. Why?

Get you video camera charged up, it looks like the corridor is going to become very dynamic. It will all make for great content.