Featured Stories

Seeking asylum: A journey to escape Congolese political violence, find peace in Cleveland
When Jonas Mbonga crossed the border from Mexico to Texas in the summer of 2018, he thought it would be the end of a long and dangerous journey. Instead, it was the start of an even more difficult path—navigating the immigration detention system in the United States.
Expanding manufacturing innovations: MAGNET pitch competition now covers all of Northern Ohio
For seven years, MANGET's annual MSPIRE event has stood as the only pitch challenge for Northeast Ohio’s manufacturing-focused entrepreneurs. This year, the competition expands to all of northern Ohio, in a partnership with Toledo-based ProMedica Innovations. Who will pitch the most innovative hard tech, advanced materials, product, or technology this year?
It’s all a Blur: Lake Erie Ink’s teen writers reflect on life today in new anthology
Lake Erie Ink, a Cleveland Heights writing space for youth, last week released its sixth annual teen anthology, "Blur," depicting the voices and reflections of area teenagers.
Ohio's first LGBTQ-friendly apartments feel inclusive to some, like any other building to others
There aren't rainbow flags flying or posters touting gay-friendly events at A Place for Us—Ohio's first LGBTQ-friendly senior housing community. After six years, some say say the building is not fulfilling its promise to be a space that proactively supports older LGBTQ people, while other residents think the space is just fine the way it is.
Awake in Every Sense: Botanical Garden presents immersive fabric installation
Fiber artist Rachel Hayes’ large-scale installation, Awake in Every Sense, opens this weekend at the Cleveland Botanical Garden—providing a stimulating experience in color and movement.
A rising tide: SCORE works with Community Development Corporations to uplift local businesses
While small businesses in Cleveland are still recovering from COVID-19, nonprofit SCORE Cleveland is teaming up with area Community Development Corporations to offer the resources and tools that can help these businesses recover.
How area communities are building small transit solutions to solve big issue of sprawl
While GCRTA's recent NextGen route redesign has helped some people get to work on time, other smaller Northeast Ohio cities are working on their own public transit solutions, and how the Paradox Prize helped them do it.
Stuck in Cleveland: Riders struggle to use public transit to get to work
Northeast Ohio residents’ ability to get to work by public transit has been in the spotlight in recent years, with the Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority’s  NextGen route redesign, implemented in June 2021, attempting to improve service frequency and job access. This may help, but what else can be done? 
In the zone: Archaic zoning regulations can hamper construction of new infill housing
Outdated city zoning codes in many Cleveland communities make new construction virtually impossible on the inner ring suburbs’ smaller vacant lots. But some communities are working toward adapting their codes to accommodate modern-day infill housing to meet a variety of needs.
Two generations of environmental advocates warn of climate change urgency
Baby Boomers and GenZ may be decades apart in age, but in the case of climate change two women of different generations involved with Black Environmental Leaders are on the same page. 
Historic overhaul: 108-year-old office building emerges as 75 Public Square Apartments
The 15-story Public Square office building that was the former home of Cleveland Electric and Illuminating Company is now 114 one- and two-bedroom apartments, offering something for everyone in the heart of the city. 
Boosting the dream: Cuyahoga Arts & Culture grants set these two artists on an upward trajectory
Cuyahoga Arts & Culture's Support for Artists program can launch artists' careers with grants and other assistance. Two artists share their stories of how the CAC helped bring their visions to realities. 
Inspiring the uninspired: Destination Dream Foundation aims to motivate youth through the arts
Artist and entrepreneur Jada Renee has fond memories of her grandparents’ home on Forest Avenue in the Buckeye neighborhood. Today she has embarked on an ioby crowdfunding campaign to transform the property into INDI Art House — a place dedicated to youth workforce development programming, mental health, and the arts. 
Bans Off Our Bodies Rally: Saturday’s event draws nearly 1,000 to Willard Park
The Bans Off Our Bodies Rally in Willard Park last Saturday drew hundreds of people who were protesting the possibility that the Supreme Court will soon overturn its historic Roe v. Wade decision to protect a woman's right to choose what she does with her body. FreshWater managing photographer Bob Perkoski was there. 
Rolling on the River: New 150-foot mural at The Foundry depicts rowing, teamwork, diversity
The Foundry Community Rowing and Sailing Center has been growing steadily ever since in opened on the banks of the Cuyahoga. The newest addition is a 150-foot mural that can be seen from afar and embraces the teamwork and diversity The Foundry promotes.
What Cleveland can learn from how San Antonio helps low-income residents with water bills
From Cleveland to Philly to San Antonio, water-discount programs aren’t reaching everyone they should. Because of this, University of Wisconsin-Madison associate professor Manny Teodoro says these programs should only be one part of the solution. What else can be done?
Fun and games (and cosplay): FAN EXPO rolls through the CLE with something for everyone
FAN EXPO Cleveland came to town last weekend and FreshWater managing photographer Bob Perkoski caught all the superheroes, cosplayers, celebrities, and antics at the annual traveling sci-fi, anime, and comics convention.
Summer (arts) loving: With CAC funding, these summer arts camps aim to cultivate minds and bodies
Summer is coming and it's time for camp! Thanks to Cuyahoga Arts & Culture, there are a bunch of camps that will engage the kids' minds and bodies while having a fun summer break.
What can Philadelphia learn from Cleveland’s water department?
In the second part of this NEO SoJo series on water affordability, we travel from Philadelphia back to Cleveland to look at the successes and failings of water discount programs meant to help low-income people.
What can Cleveland learn from Philadelphia’s ambitious experiment in water billing?
Water has increasingly become more expensive for people struggling to make ends meet. In part one of this three part series, NEO SoJo reporter Conor Morris examines what Philadelphia is doing to relieve some people of the financial burden—and how Cleveland can follow suit.