We believe a strong community is an inclusive community, where people of all abilities can live their best lives. We’re proud to support nonprofit organizations across Northeast Ohio that provide essential services—from residential housing to inclusive sports to job training and more—to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. In honor of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, we’re highlighting these grantee organizations below. Read on to learn more about the impact they are making in Greater Cleveland:
Blossom Hill provides family-style group living and supported living services for individuals with developmental disabilities. The organization traces its roots to founder Angeline Lennartz, who established its predecessor, Children Forever School, in 1968. Blossom Hill opened Cuyahoga County’s first community-based group home in 1963. Today, it operates three facilities housing dozens of individuals and coordinating approximately 100 activities every month for its residents. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to learn more.
Since 1992, Deepwood Foundation has been supporting Lake County children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families. Through their community assistance program, Deepwood Foundation provides financial support to programs and activities like therapeutic camps, child care, educational opportunities and more. They make adaptive and therapeutic equipment available for children and adults and advocate for individuals with disabilities. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram for more information.
Down Syndrome Association of Northeast Ohio
The Down Syndrome Association of Northeast Ohio began in the early 1980s as a grassroots parent movement and now provides support, education and advocacy for more than 1,000 families throughout the region. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to learn more about their work.
Empower Sports was founded on the belief that no athlete should ever be left on the sidelines. Through sports and fitness activities, the organization aims to develop social skills, self-esteem and physical well-being for athletes of all ages and abilities. Their year-round programming includes basketball, softball, soccer, flag football, lacrosse, golf and general exercise classes. All programs are designed to be fully inclusive and create organic opportunities for social and emotional development. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.
GiGi’s Playhouse Cleveland is an achievement center located in Lakewood that changes lives through consistent delivery of 20 free educational, therapeutic-based, and career development programs for individuals with Down syndrome, their families and the community. Through these free programs and through their Generation G Campaign for global acceptance, GiGi’s Playhouse and their network of 57+ playhouses across the U.S. and Mexico empower families by maximizing opportunities for daily achievement and lasting acceptance. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to learn more.
Since 1961, the Hattie Larlham Foundation has provided care and support to children and adults throughout Ohio. In 2021, the organization served 1,600 individuals statewide through its network of residential and community-based services. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram to learn more.
HELP Foundation offers a wide range of services for adults and children, from summer educational programming to residential services to vocational training and job placement assistance. In 2021, more than 100 students were enrolled in HELP’s extended school year programming. HELP assists individuals of all ages with disabilities in navigating their path toward community employment, working with employer partners across the region to match individuals with job opportunities. In 2021, job retention after 90 days for HELP’s placements was 57.4%, which exceeded the statewide average retention of 53.9%. Follow HELP Foundation on Facebook or Instagram to learn more about their work.
Koinonia is dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and other complex conditions. Founded in 1974, Koinonia provides residential, adult day and career services to more than 350 people, with a staff of over 300 professionals. Their service portfolio includes 21 licensed group homes, more than 60 supported and shared living arrangements, transportation services and shared living options. Follow them on Facebook, or Twitter to learn more.
Linking Employment Abilities and Potential (LEAP) provides tools, resources and support services for integrating people with disabilities fully into their communities to promote equal opportunities, self- determination and respect. Follow them on Facebook or Twitter to learn more about their work.
New Avenues to Independence provides opportunities for people with disabilities and special needs through support services and inclusive programming. They serve more than 300 people per year in Northeast Ohio through residential services at their nine group homes, community-based programs, employment assistance, music therapy and more. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for more information.
North Coast Community Homes develops and maintains safe, comfortable and affordable community housing of high quality for individuals with developmental disabilities, mental illness, and other disabilities. The organization maintains 193 community homes in more than 60 neighborhoods across Northeast Ohio, providing high-quality homes to more than 600 residents. Follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to learn more.
Two Foundation provides workforce training to individuals of all abilities through Two Café and Boutique. The organization has placed 84 graduates with 42 local businesses, including national chains like Nike Factory Store and Home Depot. Visit their website to learn more about their work.