Cleveland Foundation announces $180,000 grant for Global Cleveland’s International Village

Neighborhood revitalization project creates safe, affordable housing and support services for underserved families in Stockyard, Clark-Fulton and Old Brooklyn

RELEASE DATE: 5.22.2017

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Foundation board of directors recently announced a grant of $180,000 to support Global Cleveland and the organization’s International Village neighborhood revitalization project on Cleveland’s near west side.

The International Village initiative is a unique community and economic development approach that focuses on utilizing the untapped potential of immigrants to revitalize a neighborhood. Located within the Stockyard, Clark-Fulton and Old Brooklyn neighborhoods, International Village’s mission is to create a thriving community that supports Cleveland’s growing population of “newcomers” — refugees, immigrants and migrants from US territories. The program works to create safe, affordable housing while providing support services to newcomer families integrating into their neighborhoods.

Last year, Cleveland resettled just over 1,100 refugees, welcomed more than 5,000 international students, and had more than 2,500 immigrants take the oath to become New Americans. Global Cleveland remains committed to welcoming these international newcomers to our region, and ensuring they have the tools needed to find success in Cleveland. The international-born population of Cleveland represents 4.9% of the population and more than 5.1% of the total spending power of Cleveland, more than $576 million.

“We’re going to use the natural energy of immigrants and refugees to revitalize the neighborhood and strengthen the city. Newcomers frequently face difficulties as they adjust to their life in the United States, often revolving around a lack of understanding of the language, culture, and systems we use on a daily basis,” said Joe Cimperman, president, Global Cleveland. “We are deeply grateful for the support of the Cleveland Foundation. This grant, in combination with support from other organizations, will allow us to continue making a difference in the lives of an underserved population in the heart of Greater Cleveland.”

International Village is comprised of 2,661 properties – of which 31 percent have been foreclosed upon since 2005. As of January 2017, there are 53 active foreclosures and 145 vacant homes within the International Village area. Global Cleveland will work in collaboration with the City of Cleveland to push these properties to demolition, while working to acquire 20 vacant and abandoned homes each year.

Plans for International Village include:

  • Increasing opportunities and resources for students and their families by hosting monthly tours and quarterly forums geared towards attracting additional investments from civic and business leaders, key City of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County staff, and Greater Cleveland residents
  • Creating a sustainable process to bridge social, cultural, and economic gaps between the current residents, businesses, community groups and newcomers relocating to the area
  • Facilitating professional connections by engaging local and regional business leaders as: 1) volunteers to provide career training and professional development to residents and newcomers; 2) as mentors to budding entrepreneurs; and, 3) the Economic & Community Development Institute (ECDI), as investors to help to launch at least three new businesses.

“Immigrants and refugees are a significant part of the tapestry that makes the city of Cleveland so unique,” said Mayor Frank G. Jackson. “It is our job to welcome them and to provide them with the tools to succeed. The International Village initiative is one of many things the City is doing to stop the decline, stabilize our neighborhoods, and position them for the future as part of my Healthy Neighborhoods Initiative.”

Global Cleveland’s vision is to continue growing the community located within a roughly half-mile radius of Thomas Jefferson International Newcomers Academy (3145 W. 46th St.). Thomas Jefferson is a part of the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and is the only Pre-K through grade 12, English immersion school in the state of Ohio. The school currently serves nearly 950 students who speak more than 30 languages.

“The work of Global Cleveland aligns directly with the Cleveland Foundation’s focus on investing in people and place,” said Kimalon Meriweather, Cleveland Foundation program officer. “The International Village initiative will impact education & youth development, neighborhoods, health & human services and economic development, which are four of the foundation’s core priority areas. We’re excited to be able to partner in this significant undertaking.”

The International Village is actively supported by Metro West and a number of private developers and community organizations including but not limited to The Geis Foundation, Mustard Seed Development, the Refugee Services Collaborative, the City of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County Land Reutilization Corporation, Neighborhood Housing Network, MetroHealth System, and Cleveland Public Theatre. For more information on International Village, contact Jazmin Long, Director of Community Relations and Strategic Partnerships, at

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About the Cleveland Foundation: Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and one of the largest today, with assets of $2.13 billion and 2016 grants of $93.6 million. Through the generosity of donors, the foundation improves the lives of residents of Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking and providing leadership on vital issues. The foundation tackles the community’s priority areas – education and youth development, neighborhoods, health and human services, arts and culture, economic development and purposeful aging – and responds to the community’s needs.

For more information on the Cleveland Foundation, visit and follow us on Facebook (/ClevelandFoundation), Twitter (@CleveFoundation) and Instagram (@CleveFoundation).

About Global Cleveland: Global Cleveland, a non-profit economic development agency, was founded in 2011 to serve as a catalyst for economic growth by attracting and connecting international talent. We engage with public and private partners to welcome immigrants and refugees and help them succeed as new Clevelanders.

For more information about Global Cleveland, visit and follow us on Facebook (@GlobalCleveland), Twitter (@GlobalCleveland) and Instagram (@GlobalCleveland).

About the City of Cleveland: The City of Cleveland is committed to improving the quality of life for its residents by strengthening neighborhoods, delivering superior services, embracing diversity and making Cleveland a desirable, safe city in which to live, work, play, and do business. For more information on the City of Cleveland, visit online at, Twitter at @cityofcleveland or Facebook at