Cleveland Foundation announces $4.1 million in May grants

RELEASE DATE: 5.29.2015

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Foundation board of directors has approved $4.1 million in grants for the month of May.

A focus of the foundation’s May funding supports innovative programs launching or expanding to serve the most vulnerable in our community.

“This month’s grants showcase the diversity of people in our community who benefit from Cleveland Foundation support,” said Robert E. Eckardt, executive vice president of the Cleveland Foundation. “It includes young people aging out of the foster system, the homeless population and people returning from prison. We’re pleased these grants also demonstrate the range of non-profit organizations committed to providing basic human needs to our neighbors.”

The May grants include:

  • $200,000 to support the efforts of the Greater Cleveland Food Bank to expand its successful SNAP Outreach Program, which helps eligible individuals enroll in the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This grant will help the Food Bank reach more SNAP-eligible households through a best-practice SNAP messaging and outreach effort.
  • $200,000 to Linking Employment Abilities & Potential (LEAP) to launch the LEAP Training Academy, a new program to train community stakeholders on effective systems of integrated care and employment for individuals with disabilities. The academy will target Cuyahoga County businesses seeking to employ individuals with disabilities and will also develop special programming for those individuals, their family members and caregivers, and professionals serving this vulnerable population.
  • $199,500 to Humility of Mary Housing to help fund renovations at its Opportunity House facility, which serves homeless young men aged 18-24 who have aged out of the foster system and have a diagnosed disability. The renovations will create private bathrooms and kitchens for each unit, a required standard for federal and state funding. The Cleveland Foundation provided early funding for this facility, which opened in 2010 after converting a former convent in Garfield Heights.
  • $70,000 to Jordan Community Resource Center (JCRC), which serves female ex-offenders, those at risk of incarceration and young women who have aged out of the foster system. The grant supports a new partnership between JCRC and the Women’s Northeast Reintegration Center to expand a certified janitorial training program onsite for women during incarceration. This follows a 2014 Cleveland Foundation grant that helped JCRC launch this Success Supportive Housing & Workforce Development program.
  • $75,000 to EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute to continue the Cleveland Foundation’s support of this unique culinary training program for prisoner re-entrants. The foundation provided initial start-up support to EDWINS in 2013 and this latest grant will allow the program to adjust its model to provide additional educational and case management support to its participants.
  • $200,000 to Famicos Foundation, Inc. to continue the successful Circle North Healthy Neighborhoods Project. Circle North is an area in the Glenville neighborhood where the Famicos Foundation and its project partners, including Neighborhood Connections, have targeted efforts to better link residents to University Circle institutions. This grant will help expand the project’s youth employment program, launch a Glenville Youth Summit and provide leadership training sessions for residents.

In addition, several of the newly-approved grants will support youth development and education initiatives, focusing on literacy and summer learning opportunities:

  • $50,000 to Saint Martin de Porres High School to support the addition of a reading specialist at the school, which has noted that many incoming freshmen are grade levels behind in reading. The specialist will provide individualized support to challenged students and will coordinate with teachers to ensure successful integration of specialized reading services.
  • $15,800 to the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning to pilot a new six-week family literacy program this summer. In partnership with the Parma branch of the Cuyahoga County Public Library and the Parma Adult Basic Literacy Education (ABLE) Program, this program will provide adult GED training and arts-integrated literacy programming for children and parents. During the program, families will create and illustrate a family story that will be collected into an anthology for presentation at a culminating event.
  • $10,000 to Julie Billiart School to launch the Camp Crusaders program, a four-week summer camp for students with special learning needs, such as autism. The program will emphasize social skills development by incorporating them into daily academic lessons, physical activities, field trips and art.
  • $10,000 to Urban Community School in partnership with Schools That Can for an i2STEM camp, which will target Cleveland students in grades 5-8. The camp will focus on project-based learning opportunities involving science, technology, engineering and mathematics and will recruit “near peers” from the MC2 STEM High School to assist.


Established in 1914, the Cleveland Foundation is the world’s first community foundation and one of the largest today, with assets of $2.1 billion and 2014 grants of $98 million. Through the generosity of donors, the foundation improves the lives of Greater Clevelanders by building community endowment, addressing needs through grantmaking, and providing leadership on vital issues. The foundation tackles the community’s priority areas – economic transformation, public-school improvement, youth development, neighborhood revitalization, and arts advancement – and responds to the community’s needs. 

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