Cleveland Foundation announces $11.4 million in June grants

Foundation awards $21.2 million to Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga organizations in Q2 2017

RELEASE DATE: 06.29.2017

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Foundation board of directors today approved   $11.4 million in grants for the month of June to support residents in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties. The announcement brings the foundation’s grantmaking total to $21.2 million for the second quarter of 2017 and to $41.8 million for the first half of the year.

This latest round of funding in the community primarily focuses on three of the foundation’s priority areas of impact: education, youth development and health & human services.

“This month we continued our focus on helping youth in our community and our underserved populations,” said India Pierce Lee, Cleveland Foundation senior vice president, program. “From extending educational and mentoring opportunities, to supporting expansion of critical human services across a number of sectors – it’s imperative that the foundation continue to serve all of Greater Cleveland.”

Highlights from the recently approved grants include:


  • Formed in 2010 with four schools serving 1,165 students, Breakthrough Schools will serve 3,400 students across 11 schools in the upcoming 2017-18 school year. In order to continue to build upon what a new Stanford University report recently dubbed “the strongest charter school operating group in Ohio,” the foundation granted $500,000 to Friends of Breakthrough Schools to support two new schools opening in fall 2017 and the grade expansion of Breakthrough’s new schools that opened in 2015 and 2016. The grant also includes funding for support services that Breakthrough provides to all of its schools.

Youth Development

  • Entering the final year of a three-year ramp-up, the True2U mentoring program will serve all eighth graders in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) beginning in 2017-18. Administered by Neighborhood Leadership Institute (NLI), True2U is an innovative mentoring and career awareness program that prepares eighth grade students for the transition from middle school to high school. Mentoring is delivered using a unique advisory model in which groups of approximately 12 students are led by a team of two or three mentors. The advisory groups meet at the schools for three hours each month and mentors facilitate a structured personal development and career exploration curriculum that helps students think about career options and how they can use high school as a pathway to their future. The foundation approved a grant of $700,000 to NLI to assist with staffing, training, curriculum and student materials, special events and the recruitment of 550-600 additional mentors to ensure all 2,453 eighth graders across 68 CMSD schools have access to the program.

Health & Human Services

  • The second largest resettlement office in Ohio, Cleveland Catholic Charities’ Migration and Refugee Service (MRS) was awarded a three-year renewable grant from the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement to open the Ohio Center for Survivors of Torture in 2016. Demand for services in this pilot launch has been overwhelming. Originally anticipating serving 75 individuals, the center served 123 survivors in the first year of operations and is on pace to serve more than 170 this year. To assist MRS in bridging the 18-month gap until federal funds can be renewed, the foundation granted Cleveland Catholic Charities $225,000 for staffing, transportation and translation services to expand and strengthen resources for survivors of torture.
  • Originally established as a collaboration between Amish families and medical professionals, DDC Clinic for Special Needs Children has evolved into an internationally recognized, pioneering research facility and family-oriented specialized care clinic – blossoming into a global leader in diagnosing, treating, and researching rare and complex genetic disorders. In addition to serving more than 800 patient families from 22 Ohio counties, 30 states and several foreign countries, DDC is also a licensed genetics laboratory. Due to significant demand for the organization’s services and the need for additional research capabilities, the foundation granted DDC $135,000 to retain a new physician-scientist who will provide patient care and lead complex research projects and clinical trials.
  • Since 1991, Emerald Development and Economic Network (EDEN) has been providing, operating, and advocating for safe, decent, affordable housing and support services for some of the most vulnerable families and individuals in Cuyahoga County. The foundation granted EDEN $225,000 to continue advancing its innovative approaches to addressing the community’s housing needs by:
    • Adding a full-time community housing agent who will extend services to those with substance use disorders who are exiting state prisons
    • Engaging in the second year of a pilot addressing housing stability for young adults
    • Conducting a market study to ensure the work EDEN is undertaking aligns with the current community housing needs and to identify gaps and areas for sustainable growth