Choice Neighborhoods grant will help transform CMHA’s Woodhill Homes
The transformation of the Buckeye-Woodhill neighborhood continues, thanks to a game-changing $350,000 Choice Neighborhoods Planning Grant. The grant's recipient is the Woodhill Homes development, one of the first public housing projects in Cleveland built and managed by the Cleveland Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA).
How Cuyahoga Arts & Culture is helping organizations heal others through arts and music
The process of producing paintings, ceramics, and other art—as well as making music—isn’t just a creative skill. It’s a life skill. Cuyahoga Arts & Culture recognizes the importance of art and music therapy, supporting about 20 area organizations that offer such programming. FreshWater takes an inside look at their colorful and cathartic work.
Thriving in Fairfax: How Karamu House got its groove back
At Karamu House, necessity has been the mother of reinvention. Several years ago, the renowned 103-year-old performing arts institute was struggling to sustain itself amid funding and administrative challenges, but thanks to a laser-focused strategic plan, Karamu House is starting off the next 100 years on the right note—branding its rebirth as “Karamu 2.0.”
Who's Hiring in #CLE: Hard Rock Rocksino, Wigs 4 Kids, Sustainable Community Associates & more
Welcome to the latest edition of Fresh Water Cleveland's “Who’s Hiring” series, where we feature growing companies with open positions, what they’re looking for, and how to apply. This edition includes jobs from Sustainable Community Associates, Fairfax Renaissance Development Corporation, and Hard Rock Rocksino. Click here for the freshest opportunities fit to print.
A $700,000 grant will help save blighted, vacant homes and beautify CLE neighborhoods

Ever since the real estate housing crash in 2008, Cleveland communities have been faced with tackling the problem of vacant and blighted homes—pulling down property values and aesthetic appeal in neighborhoods already struggling.

According to Justin Fleming, director of real estate for Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP), there are about 9,500 vacant homes in the City of Cleveland. “I’d estimate that approximately 4,500 of those are structurally capable of being rehabbed within a reasonable budget,” he says. “The other 5,000 are likely structurally too far gone to reasonably saved.”

But thanks to a three-year, $700,000 grant given to CNP by Detroit-based Quicken Loans, some of those homes that can be rehabbed will get that much-needed work. Read about how this grant will help blighted neighborhoods and rehab vacant homes here.

All-access: Cuyahoga Arts & Culture-funded programs ensure arts are for everyone
When the community talks, Cuyahoga Arts & Culture (CAC) listens. As CAC enters its second decade of funding arts and cultural programming in Northeast Ohio, one of its top priorities will be working to achieve equity and diversity in programming—a focus identified as the result of a community listening project and in-depth assessments.
A neighborhood in bloom: Kinsman residents plant the seeds for reinvention
The Kinsman/Central neighborhood on Cleveland’s east side has long been regarded as one of the poorest areas in the city—perhaps even the state—with little direction or hope for revival. But with the help of Burten, Bell, Carr Development (BBC), this once-thriving neighborhood is rediscovering its potential.
Intergenerational Playscape brings folks of all ages together for innovative play

Oversized chess and checkers boards, a concrete ping-pong table, and a figure-eight walking track are just a few features of Cleveland's newest playland for kids—and kids at heart. As of this Thursday, Oct. 19, a group of people spanning multiple generations will have a new place to play, learn, and socialize when Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP) dedicates its Intergenerational Playscape and Garden on the front yard of St. Luke’s Pointe in the Buckeye-Shaker neighborhood.

The playscape is one of the final steps in the transformation of the historic St. Luke’s hospital building campus, which has truly become an intergenerational learning center. Read about the dedication ceremony here.

Freshtoberfest empowers CLE youth to rock the turntables—and the chef's table
Fresh beats and even fresher bites are the name of the game at Freshtoberfest—where Cleveland youth battle it out hip-hop style for culinary domination. This year marked the third annual installment of the event, which was held at Tri-C's Hospitality Management Center last Friday. Meshing hip-hop and horticulture, the "youth garden battle" competition teamed nine youth gardens with eight local chefs to design a dish inspired by their own ingredients. Learn more about this funky fresh fest here.
Local artists help beautify NEORSD green infrastructure project in Buckeye

Buckeye trees rooted to Woodland Hills / water flows as cascading streams / Lake Erie awaits clean raindrops” reads a passage of Dawn Arrington’s poem, which will be inscribed on a wall along E. 104th Street within the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District’s (NEORSD) Buckeye Green Infrastructure project.

Set for completion by January 2018, the project is part of Project Clean Lake—a 25-year plan to reduce pollution in Lake Erie by four billion gallons per year. Learn about the public artists involved in the project here.

Reclaiming Cleveland's "Forest City" moniker at the root level
There's a whole campaign underway to bring the Forest City back to life. Here's the story of the foot soldiers in that effort—trees raised to green up our urban neighborhoods.
Who’s Hiring in CLE: Melt, Hard Rock Rocksino, Amazon…
Welcome to the latest edition of Fresh Water Cleveland's “who’s hiring” series, where we feature growing companies with open positions, what they’re looking for and how to apply. See all of the listings here.
Who’s Hiring in CLE: JACK Entertainment, Detroit Shoreway …
Welcome to the latest edition of Fresh Water Cleveland's “who’s hiring” series, where we feature growing companies and organizations with open positions, what they’re looking for and how to apply. 

Get the whole list here.
Neighborhood champions recognized with third annual Vibrant City Awards
Last month, Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP) hosted its third annual Vibrant City Awards Lunch. More than 500 city leaders, stakeholders and community development professionals gathered at Cleveland's Edgewater Park to celebrate leading neighborhood revitalization efforts.

Click here to see who received the honors.
Side dish: a smokin' list of BBQ joints outside downtown
Michael Symon's Mabel's BBQ has smoked up plenty of press since the much anticipated meat emporium opened its doors on East Fourth Street last year. Mabel's may be Cleveland's go-to barbecue joint at the moment, but the city boasts a growing list of savory options for folks seeking to satisfy their carnivorous cravings. Fresh Water is happy to deliver the deliciousness with these BBQ hot spots at points across the 216.

Get the smokin' list — including the 411 on Proper Sloppers and chicken cupcakes here
'Cardinal Nest' nurtures students from Euclid to Warrensville Heights and beyond
When Carly Hill attended East Cleveland’s Shaw High School, she was accustomed to being one of the star pupils — earning good grades, participating in mock trials in preparation for her planned law career and she was often chosen for special projects.
Hills describes her experience at Shaw being a part of a small group of students intensely interested in learning. In fact, she earned all As, except for her first and only B in 11th grade.
“Imagine being in a class of 20 students,” Hill says. “In most of my classes, there was a small group of students interested in learning among a disruptive group, and as a result, we were always the only ones picked for special projects. Then those five well-behaved students were placed in AP and honors classes. That group of students aren't necessarily there because they know more, it's merely because they are not disruptive.”
Carly HillSo when Hill graduated in 2010 as valedictorian and headed off to Howard University on a scholarship, she expected life to be the same at the prestigious college. But things were different from the moment she stepped onto the Washington, D.C. campus.
“Shaw High School is 99.9 percent African American and Howard also is an historically black college, and I thought I knew what it was like to be black,” Hill recalls. “But I was around a completely different group of people. It was culture shock.”
No longer was Hill among a select group of serious straight A students. She was among the country’s best and brightest. “I expected it to be a little different, but not as different, and I knew it was a good college” she recalls. “It was a real culture shock to realize they don’t know me and I had to prove myself. At Shaw it was not as hard to separate yourself. At Howard, everyone is that kid, everyone is the best.”
By the time she got to Howard, Hill had decided to major in biology instead of law. But she was not prepared for the required chemistry minor and received a D in the class. Hill lost both her scholarship and her self-confidence. After her first semester, she briefly dropped out of Howard.
“I lost hope,” Hill says.

Read the rest of the story to find out how she regained it.
St. Luke's garners national spotlight
The National Trust for Historic Preservation shines a light on the stunning resurrection of St. Luke's in Buckeye. From Katherine Flynn for Preservation magazine:

St. Luke’s was vacant for a total of eight years, and things weren’t looking good; it was the target of vandals and copper wire prospectors, and moisture damage severely eroded the plaster on the building’s interior. In 2006, the community development organization Cleveland Neighborhood Progress (CNP) came up with what some may have called a far-fetched plan to put it back into use.

“Frankly, a lot of folks in Buckeye had just gotten used to this kind of cultural erasure happening,” says Wayne Mortensen, the director of design and development at the organization. “When businesses or institutions shut down, the buildings would fall into disrepair and they would just eventually be torn down.

“So the ability to bring that [St. Luke’s] back,” he says, “was a pretty big shot in the arm for a neighborhood that was just assuming that it would be lost.”

Read the whole story here.
First person: Inside the local fight against human trafficking
Fresh Water contributor Christopher Johnston steps inside Cleveland's human trafficking scene to uncover some dark realities — and the people and organizations battling them.
Podcast: a Clevelander 'steps up' to University Hospitals — and a local jobs pipeline beefs up
This episode of "Neighbor Up Spotlight" welcomes Amanda Harris, who tells her successful employment story that was made possible by an innovative program — Step Up to UH. Also, Alicenne Passavanti explains how like opportunities are expanding into the hospitality industry.