Social Change

photo Bob Perkoskiphoto Bob Perkoski

Like other industrial cities around the turn of the 20th century, Cleveland prospered and grew rapidly, earning many of its residents handsome nest eggs. Fortunately for future Clevelanders, wealthy industrialists made a habit of digging deep to give back. Generous contributions lead to the creation of the Metroparks system, Cleveland Orchestra, Playhouse Square and numerous other enduring regional assets. Who's leading the charge these days to affect change for the public good? Social innovation requires us to think differently about how to solve tough social problems. It's getting new people around the table, from techies and artists to those already working on the issues. It's not just coming up with ideas; it's putting good ideas to work.

Three things you should do this weekend
There's a lot happening in the CLE this weekend! It's sometimes hard to keep track of all the weekend entertainment and activity options, so we chose three not-to-miss events hosted by Lake Erie Ink, 78th Street Studios, and Towards Employment.
Let the Oppressed Go Free: Sculptor Timothy Schmalz returns to CLE with human trafficking sculpture
Last week, world-renowned sculptor Timothy Schmalz's bronze 20-foot sculpture, "Let the Oppressed Go Free," was placed in Public Square by Community West Foundation and the Collaborative to End Human Trafficking to raise awareness of the ongoing plague happening around the world. Schmalz is also the artist behind the Matthew 25 sculpture series placed around Cleveland.
EDWINS owner offers $250 in exchange for guns
EDWINS founder Brandon Chostowski is offering $250 in credit to use in his restaurants and shops to anyone who turns in a gun in an effort to reduce gun violence in Cleveland.
Annual candlelight memorial honors those who died with lived experience of homelessness
Every year on Dec. 21, the Winter Solstice and the longest night of the year, NEOCH honors those who died in the homeless community with a candlelight memorial.
Building on hope: I_You Design Lab aims to give the displaced a sense of home
When his classmates in architecture school were dreaming of building skyscrapers and office towers, Sai Sindondit was dreaming of creating affordable, sustainable, and functional permanent communities to house displaced populations—from the homeless to refugees and disaster victims. With the launch of I_You Design Lab, he has started to fulfill that dream.  
Greater Cleveland Food Bank completes first phase of its expansion plan
The Greater Cleveland Food Bank yesterday opened the doors to its new 197,00-square-foot Partner Distribution Hub—the first step in the Food Bank’s long-term plan to serve more people in its coverage area and make sure those in need have a full range of services. 
For the love of literacy: Groups work together to overhaul, restock Little Free Libraries
The National Council of Jewish Women Cleveland last week celebrated the official transition to its role in caring for and stocking Little Free Libraries in Cuyahoga County. The organization kicked off the celebration with partners Krylon and CleveHome with a new library at Franklin D. Roosevelt in Glenville. 
Food Justice: Many Clevelanders struggle for healthy, affordable food
There are many efforts are underway at farms, community gardens, markets, social service organizations, and public agencies to nourish communities like Cleveland—the nation’s poorest big city—where food deserts are common and healthy foods are not the cheapest, most affordable, or most accessible options. 
Completed! First house purchased in LMM’s Breaking New Ground project ready for tenants
After nearly three years, Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry last week celebrated the completion of renovations on the very first house purchased in its Breaking New Ground Campaign—a $4 million-plus initiative to break the cycle of poverty and homelessness in Cleveland.
Marching on: Newest Civil Rights Trail marker honors Carl B. Stokes, Cleveland’s first Black mayor
Cleveland Restoration Society on June 8 will place at City Hall the second historical marker on the Cleveland Civil Rights Trail, honoring late Cleveland Mayor Carl B. Stokes.
Answering the call for help: EDWINS founder travels to Poland to cook for Ukrainian refugees
EDWINS founder Brandon Chrostowski recently returned from Poland, near the Ukrainian border, working with World Central Kitchen to feed hundreds of refugees. He shared his emotional experience with FreshWater's Evan Gallagher.
We Have to Buy a House: Church raises funds to house the homeless through LMM’s Breaking New Ground
Through their "We Have to Buy a House" campaign, the members of Fairmount Presbyterian Church donated $126,000 to Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry to buy and renovate a house for a family experiencing homelessness.
Home for the Holidays: Browns All-Pro Myles Garrett helps United Way celebrate the season
Last week, Cleveland Browns’ All-Pro defensive end Myles Garrett and United Way of Greater Cleveland hosted the Home for the Holidays community event to celebrate the season and help kids stock up on school supplies and winter gear. 
Building community: University Settlement continues its Broadway Rising vision
From a new home for University Settlement and lots of affordable housing, to lead abatement and removal of asthma triggers, the Broadway Rising project in Slavic Village is on the move to improving one of Cleveland's poorest neighborhoods.
Rocking the vote: CLE's mayoral candidates are working hard to win over young professionals
Marking their first time sharing the stage since September’s mayoral primary, nonprofit leader Justin Bibb and current Cleveland City Council president Kevin Kelley competed toe-to-toe at Friday’s Mayoral Town Hall to reach young professionals.
HELP is planting the seed for a hydroponic greenhouse in downtown Euclid
Euclid's HELP Harvest Greenhouse will teach life and employment skills by providing both paid employment and on-the-job training in growing hydroponic crops and fresh produce.
Neighborhood Pets set to double in size after COVID-19 unleashes need for affordable pet care
Slavic Village’s pet-friendliest spot is about to double in size—and not a moment too soon. 
Food for Thought: JCU student entrepreneurs create food buggy to feed the homeless
Students in John Carroll University's entrepreneurial program are feeding hungry customers while also feeding the homeless with their new food buggy concept.
New Leaf Project study shows one-time direct cash transfers positively impact the homeless
An experiment in Vancouver, British Columbia shows that when people experiencing homelessness are given one-time $7,500 payments, they moved into stable housing faster, they spent fewer days homeless, and saved more than $1,000 in a year.
Welcome to the dollhouse: This CLE single mom is reimagining the classic toy with Play Maysie
For Kayla Lupean, a Christmas night brainstorm has turned into the gift that keeps on giving.