Cleveland Foundation announces $5.9 million in June grants

Board approval brings second-quarter total to $24 million for Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga nonprofits

 Release Date: 7.10.2019

CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Foundation board of directors today announced $5.9 million in grants for the month of June. Supporting residents in Cuyahoga, Lake and Geauga counties, the foundation invested $24 million in the second quarter of 2019 and $55 million in the community year-to-date.

“Our mission at the Cleveland Foundation is to enhance the lives of all residents in our community,” said India Pierce Lee, Cleveland Foundation senior vice president for program. “Many of our grants this month highlight our commitment to social justice for populations that have been marginalized for far too long. We are proud to be able to support the important work of these organizations that help to ensure equitable protection and representation for all who call Cleveland home.”

Highlights of June grants approved by the foundation’s Board of Directors include:

Youth & Human Services

  • Emerald Development and Economic Network (EDEN) Inc. ($245,000) – Two-year support to help the organization increase its capacity in its role as a housing developer, provider, manager and advocate for people with disabilities who are experiencing homelessness or are at risk for homelessness
  • Neighborhood Leadership Institute ($745,683) – Continued funding for the fifth year of the True2U program, an innovative youth development and career awareness mentoring program for all 2,500 Cleveland Metropolitan School District eighth graders
  • Equality Ohio Education Fund ($279,000) – Two-year support for the expansion of the organization’s mission to provide residents and community leaders with up-to-date information, resources and technical assistance on issues impacting LGBTQ community members – with a particular focus on increasing outreach into Lake and Geauga counties
  • Providence House ($250,000) – Funding for the renovation of the Weizer Building to better allow the organization to serve children and families in the Buckeye neighborhood and the southeast side of Cleveland by housing its primary administrative headquarters and family resilience programming, as well as offering case management services
  • FrontLine Service ($215,000) – Support for the organization to renovate its space on the heels of its recent merger with the Cleveland Mediation Center and its expansions in trauma-informed service delivery

Arts & Culture

  • Cleveland Print Room ($199,000) – Expansion of the organization’s Teen Institute and arts mastery programs, focused on photography and lens-based media; funding includes continued support of 10 neighborhood sites and a proposed doubling of youth participation in arts mastery

Neighborhood Revitalization

  • Greater Cleveland Habitat for Humanity ($250,000) – Support for the construction of 10 single-family units and to assist in 10-15 exterior repairs for existing residents of Grandview Avenue in the Buckeye-Woodhill neighborhood
  • Legal Aid Society of Cleveland ($250,000) – Support for the launch of Phase I of the Housing Justice Alliance, which will help ensure that all Cleveland tenants living in poverty and facing eviction will have legal representation in civil housing court


  • The Negev Foundation ($75,241) – Two-year funding for three pilot projects using Israeli technologies to address algae bloom management, soil quality and leak detection in water infrastructure; proposed project partners include: Cleveland Metroparks, Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District and Avon Lake Regional Water


  • Cleveland Metropolitan School District ($1,100,000) – Continued support for six new high schools that opened within the past three years, as well as the academic design and start-up of a new West Side High School campus in the Detroit-Shoreway neighborhood (W. 45th & Detroit Ave.)
  • Great Lakes Science Center ($190,673) – Funding for the organization to pilot an intensive education program that will rapidly accelerate Cleveland Metropolitan School District 8th graders’ skills and self-efficacy with emerging technologies, including design, coding, Internet of Things (IoT) sensors usage, and innovations through blockchain-based technologies
  • College Now Greater Cleveland ($100,000) – Support for the Say Yes Scholars Program at Cuyahoga Community College (Tri-C); in partnership with Tri-C and other community partners, the Scholars Program will focus on improving student semester-to-semester persistence, credit accumulation and completion rates through success coaching, comprehensive support services and financial support

The foundation also announced the addition of Baiju R. Shah as the Steven A. Minter Senior Fellow for Innovation. Thanks to funding provided through the Steven A. Minter Fellowship Fund, Shah will consult with foundation leadership to develop strategic initiatives and partnerships that advance Cleveland’s innovation economy.

“Baiju has a proven track record of successful innovation and we’re pleased to work with him,” said Ronn Richard, Cleveland Foundation president & CEO. “This partnership will strengthen our commitment to address important economic issues that affect so many of the residents of Greater Cleveland.”

Shah is the former CEO of BioMotiv and co-leader of The Harrington Project for Discovery & Development. He has extensive experience in launching companies and innovation platforms as well as economic development. Prior to BioMotiv, Shah was president and CEO of BioEnterprise, a partnership of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland Clinic, MetroHealth and University Hospitals.

“I am honored to work with the Cleveland Foundation to create a vibrant environment that supports innovators and entrepreneurs, companies, and our communities,” said Shah. “The foundation is uniquely positioned to serve as a catalyst, convener and funder for positive impact throughout our region.”

In the community, Shah currently serves on the boards of Destination Cleveland and Global Cleveland, of which he was the founding chair. He was also the founding chair of Summer on the Cuyahoga and has served on several other civic boards. Shah, a Cleveland native, started his business career as a consultant with McKinsey & Company. He received a juris doctor from Harvard Law School and a bachelor’s degree from Yale University.

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