Cleveland has rebounded in numerous ways, but there are still communities being left behind
amid the city's renaissance, notes Mark McDermott, vice president and Ohio market leader for Enterprise Community Partners, Inc
The locally based national nonprofit is attempting to fill that gap via its third annual Nurture an Idea Award
, which supports change-making community development initiatives in Cuyahoga County. Five finalists will have their projects voted on by a live audience and a panel of judges during a public event at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown
on October 24. Event partners are Ohio Savings Bank,
a division of New York Community Bank
, and the JP Morgan Chase Foundation.
Each idea from area nonprofit organizations addresses inequalities and creates opportunities for Cleveland's underserved population, says Kathy Matthews, program director at Enterprise. Finalists will present their plans at the free event from 4 to 7 p.m. Two winners will receive $10,000 each.
"We're looking to promote ideas that make a positive impact in the areas of available housing and community resources," says Matthews. "These ideas haven't been implemented, but require visibility and financial resources."
This year's finalists include:
- Cosmic Bobbins Foundation
's "Cleveland Sews," a workforce development and wealth-building sewing collaborative that stitches together Cuyahoga County's social fabric
- EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute
, which seeks to add to its culinary institute with a butcher shop located in the Buckeye/Shaker neighborhood
- ESOP Realty, Inc.
's home ownership program
- Greater Cleveland Food Bank
's "Food as Medicine Initiative," which aims to provide healthy meals to low-income residents diagnosed with diabetes and other food-related illnesses
- Tremont West Development Corporation
and Famicos Foundation
for a joint real estate investment cooperative that would acquire and redevelop affordable workforce housing in Cleveland neighborhoods
campaign is raising money for implementation of the finalists' ideas and will conclude on October 24 to coincide with the public event.
"There's five different approaches to creating opportunity here," says McDermott. "That's what makes this program special."
Involving the public is key to both raising awareness and making proposals a reality, adds Matthews.
"Having people attend will expose them to ideas and get some creative thinking to take place," she says. "Hopefully this will give these projects an even stronger chance to get implemented."