Conor Morris
Conor Morris

Stories by: Conor Morris

Conor Morris is a corps member with Report for America. Morris covered Appalachian southeast Ohio for the weekly newspaper The Athens News for six years. He reported on Athens County, but especially local government, the campus of Ohio University (his alma mater), cops and courts, and the social and economic issues facing the residents of Ohio’s poorest county. Morris helped guide The News toward two Newspaper of the Year awards in its division of the annual Ohio News Media Association Hooper Contest. Morris himself won six first-place Hooper awards for his reporting over the years, including for a story series about police and hospital failures in a sexual- assault investigation in Athens. Morris was born in Marietta, Ohio.
Cleveland Right to Counsel shows promising early results for tenants, and some landlords
Cleveland is one of seven cities in the U.S. that has enacted a right to counsel program that provides free legal representation to tenants facing eviction. Early statistics from the program’s first year of operation show promising results—dozens of evictions prevented despite a federal moratorium on evictions - but what will happen when that moratorium ends?
Asian Services in Action health center helps immigrants, refugees get vaccinated
While COVID-19 vaccination rates for Asian-Americans are relatively high in Ohio, many area Asian-American and Pacific Island (AAPI) refugees and immigrants have had to negotiate unique cultural and language barriers to get vaccinated. Asian Services in Action (ASIA) is helping residents overcome those barriers.
Clevelanders: learn to access local public records in a free, fun, text-message course
Our gift to the Cleveland community: A FREE text-message course delivered right to your phone.
Black Cleveland churches host vaccine clinics to protect their flock, and their communities
To combat the racial disparity in COVID-19 vaccinations, several historically Black churches in Cleveland have hosted vaccine clinics since February, through an initiative started by the Greater Cleveland Congregations’ interfaith coalition.
Vaccination navigation: United Way's 2-1-1 has helped thousands get appointments
A dedicated vaccine helpline through the United Way of Greater Cleveland's 2-1-1 system has helped more than 52,000 area residents get registered for the vaccine, or otherwise answered their questions about vaccination.
Support growing for ‘Pay to Stay’ legislation to help curb some evictions
Hard-off tenants currently have little time before landlords can file eviction notices. Eviction prevention laws could buy tenants some extra time to find help.
Cleveland saw a decrease in unsheltered homelessness in 2020: Can that continue?
In one of the most difficult years in memory, Cleveland nonprofits helped more people off the streets and into hotels or stable housing than usual. NEOCH executive director Chris Knestrick discusses how the pandemic changed funding priorities for homeless prevention, and what’s next. 
CMSD tries 'learning pods' to keep ESL students from falling behind in online schooling
Learning pods at Esperanza and the Boys and Girls Clubs are helping some Spanish-speaking CMSD students keep up with their school work in a remote learning environment.
One of two emergency utility aid programs in Cuyahoga County runs dry
CHN Housing Partners' fund for utilities assistance on delinquent bills has run dry, a spokesperson says, while Council for Economic Opportunities in Greater Cleveland still has some assistance money left. With thousands of Clevelanders facing large bills, here are some options for help.
Help on the Way: How to apply for utility assistance during the pandemic
Dealing with a mounting utility bill or shut-off notice can be scary, especially during a pandemic when electricity, water and gas are essential needs. With the moratoriums on past-due bills set to end today, here's a guide to how to find help. 
Utility bills come due as pandemic worsens, winter arrives
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.
Ticket to ride: Officials, riders debate the safety of riding the RTA during the pandemic
No COVID-19 cases have been traced back to the Greater Cleveland RTA, but ridership has largely decreased during the pandemic—partly due to worries about safety. What can be done to bring those riders back?
Four voting takeaways from a conversation with Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose
In a meeting last week with members of the Northeast Ohio Solutions Journalism Collaborative, Ohio secretary of state Frank LaRose addressed some of the concerns around voting in Ohio during the 2020 Presidential election.
Door-to-door: Advocates canvass neighborhoods, informing tenants and trying to prevent evictions
Members of the Democratic Socialists of America and other organizations are hitting Cleveland streets, making sure residents know their rights, and how to get assistance, when facing evictions.
Old school still rules: Lee-Harvard’s high census response rate could teach others a few tricks
Cleveland's Lee-Harvard neighborhood has seen an impressive response rate to the U.S. Census—as high as 70%. What can other areas learn from this east side neighborhood?
Rapid rehousing strategy helps protect domestic violence victims during a pandemic
During the cononavirus pandemic, financial and social stressors are leading to an increase in domestic violence cases. Agencies in Northeast Ohio, and around the country, are implementing new ways to keep victims safe.

Making it count: Community groups get creative in collecting census data during a pandemic
Cleveland is lagging in responses to the 2020 U.S. Census, so community groups are taking some creative measures to encourage traditionally hard-to-reach groups to be counted—and it's working.
Digital Divide: CMSD, nonprofits, and providers scramble to get students online for remote learning
As CMSD students prepare to start returning to school next week, officials are working with providers and nonprofits to ensure every student has access to a laptop or other device and has an internet connection at home.
Navigating the challenges in protecting Cleveland’s homeless from COVID-19
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, area homeless shelters have struggled to protect the homeless community from the virus. Their efforts have met with challenges, and seen some successes, while the fight continues.
Rental aid funds already going to ‘most critical’ cases; money still available for new applicants
Laura Boustani with CHN Housing Partners says demand for area rental assistance funds has been high since programs started this month, but there's still plenty of money available for those who apply.