Oscar Rosado

The Neighborhood Alliance is hosting “Homerun for the Homeless” on Oct. 5. The purpose of this event is to raise support and awareness for those at risk of homelessness in the community.

The Neighborhood Alliance is a nonprofit organization that helps Lorain families with programs such as child enrichment, senior enrichment, family support, and shelter and emergency services.

“We are seeing a lot more family, and a lot more children,” said Emergency Services Director of the Haven Center, Gloria Olivencia. 

The Haven Center is a part of the Neighborhood Alliance, and is part of the shelter and emergency services program. It is Lorain County’s 24-hour 365-day emergency shelter for men, women, and children. It is located at 1536 E. 30th St., Lorain.

Olivencia has been a director a little over a year, and took the position this past June. Olivencia is responsible for overseeing the staff, such as the outreach team, and the shelter team, as well as overseeing the program, making sure clients have benefits, such as medicine and other needs. 

Olivencia went back to attend classes at LCCC to receive her GED to be the director for the Neighborhood Alliance. 

“I had to work full time with kids, but I was able to do afternoon classes,” said Olivencia, “I couldn’t have done it without the help of Mr. Scott Sterna.”

When in the GED program to work her way up as a director, Olivencia said, “I’ve been doing this job for over 19 years working with the homeless on her own. It was a no brainer to be in a position I had already mastered.”

It took four months for Olivencia to pass her GED. She finished in June 2017 and assumed the position of director exactly one year later. Working at the shelter as a director gave her more opportunity to work more with clients. Previously, she wasn’t able to accomplish as much as she is able to do today.

Olivenica’s goal in the Neighborhood Alliance is, “To get my people to be more self sustainable. To assist in every aspect.” 

“I am doing what is possible to help them get back on their feet,” said Olivencia. She said it is hard for clients to be into housing. She plans to cut client’s stay at the shelter from four-six months, to two-six months to find homes.

Worth all the hard work

“We take care of so many things. We do so many things for the community,” said Olivencia, “We can help pay rent. We’re more than just a shelter, we’re helping the entire community. It’s a lot of work, but it is worth it.”

LCCC Human Resources Information System Coordinator, Michelle McGhee has been a board member of the Neighborhood Alliance since 2009. She served on the executive committee, and was appointed on behalf of LCCC. 

“I am passionate about it,” said McGhee when asked about her involvement. She serves as the captain and co captain at the Homerun for the Homeless.

The Homerun for the Homeless happens annually, and supports not only Neighborhood Alliance, but also of those who have nowhere else left to go.

The one responsible for arranging the Homerun for the Homeless is Director of Creative Marketing Community Outreach of the Neighborhood Alliance Jadera Thomas. 

The event will be a one mile walk or a 5k run. Anyone can participate in the event, and choose to either walk or run. No matter of the two sections, everyone will meet in the same area. Runners will go first, and the walkers last. Those interested can go to https://runsignup.com/Race/OH/Avon/homerunforthehomelessrunwalk to sign up. Online registration closes on the morning of Oct. 4. There will be fees to sign up. 5k run walk for an adult as well as the one mile walk will be $25, 5k run walk for a child as well as the one mile walk will be $15. Those who simply want to donate can pay $25.

The concept of the event is that people are walking or running to homebase, symbolizing going home.

Join Team LCCC

“Anyone interested can join Team LCCC,” said McGhee. She also said that because of the number of volunteers, it is, “evidence people are showing support. All proceeds go to the Haven Center.”

Homerun for the homeless will take place at Sprenger Stadium located in 2009 Baseball Blvd., Avon. The Run starts at 9:00 a.m.

Anyone who needs help, may visit www.myneighborhoodalliance.org.