#PovertyTruths

Most people living at Cogswell Hall live below the poverty line. Since society sometimes harbors assumptions and myths about poverty, we want you to know a few things about our low-income residents.

  • They pay rent. Each resident pays rent equal to 30% of his or her income. This income comes from sources such as social security, small pensions, current work, or retirement benefits.
  • Some work. Some of our residents work, usually at low paying, part-time jobs. Other residents volunteer in the community, some as often as daily. About one-fourth to one-third of them regularly do.
  • Some worked but now cannot. Police officer, nurse, social worker, sailor, musician – these are among the professions our residents had to leave because of a mental or physical disability that arrived in adulthood.
  • They take initiative. Residents initiate programs and activities such as a chair-exercise group, have written and been awarded a grant for a summer lawn party, and joined neighbors in controlling feral cats.
  • They are persistent. We have survivors of abuse, homelessness and trauma, including traumatic brain injury. We have people born with physical or intellectual disabilities. We are truly amazed with all that they do while coping daily with conditions and memories more intense than most of us ever experience.

In 2017, we at Cogswell Hall will be talking about poverty. We invite you to follow the #PovertyTruths theme in our blog, social media, print resources and other forums. Whether we’re profiling a living, breathing myth-buster or looking at social policies that affect people who are poor, we hope you will find the topic as important as we do. And we know we are not the only people with poverty experiences to share. Join the conversation!


If you are homeless and need housing, Cogswell Hall is one of a spectrum of options available to you in Greater Cleveland. We are neither a shelter nor transitional housing -- important though those are! Rather, we permanent supportive housing for all 41 of our residents.

Cogswell Hall's executive director calls the current government shutdown "unconscionable" as national advocates document how poor people will be hurt the most.

A Cleveland mental ward discharged Doreen to the street at age 18. She spent years homeless, in dreary group homes and even a nursing home, re-hospitalized frequently. Since moving to Cogswell Hall in December 2017, she has set a personal record for staying out of the hospital, returning just once for her shortest stay ever. She credits Cogswell's dignified, permanent housing and professional support for her progress -- and for time and space to pull her life together.

Fighting homelessness: A new, 3-minute video on affordable housing features a collaborative effort on Cleveland's West Side -- and two military veterans who find support there.

Paula Pratt, Cogswell Hall's new property manager, has seen some unforgiving evictions in the world of for-profit housing. It's different at Cogswell Hall, she says.

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