Cleveland Foundation partners with YMCA of Greater Cleveland to address opioid epidemic

Funding to expand recovery housing for women released from prison and homeless men

Release Date: 4.14.2017

CLEVELAND – In February 2017, Cuyahoga County saw its deadliest month ever for heroin and fentanyl-related overdose deaths, with 60 confirmed fatalities reported by the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office. In response to the glaring need for services to combat the opioid epidemic and particularly to serve those that are homeless or reentering our community from the criminal justice system, the Cleveland Foundation board of directors has approved $198,721 for the YMCA of Greater Cleveland to expand its successful recovery housing program.

Y-Haven, a program of the YMCA of Greater Cleveland, has secured two additional floors in the Carl B. Stokes building through a partnership with the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority. With this additional space, Y-Haven’s two new opioid recovery programs will target 40 men who have completed drug treatment (with a priority given to those who are currently homeless and face significant barriers including co-occurring mental health problems and/or criminal histories) and 40 women with a focus on those who have recently been released from prison or who are seeking diversion from prison.

“The lack of treatment beds within our community to address this epidemic has resulted in waiting lists which could take weeks or months and ultimately prevent people from getting the help they deserve,” said Ronn Richard, President and CEO of the Cleveland Foundation. “We are proud to support the expansion of this high-quality program to meet an urgent need in Greater Cleveland.”

For more than 20 years, Y-Haven has offered a continuum of care to homeless men with addiction and other barriers to housing. Y-Haven offers a highly effective model of transitional and recovery housing, drug and alcohol treatment and other supports including vocational training, employment assistance, arts opportunities, linkage to medical and mental health care and permanent housing. 

This latest funding announcement from the Cleveland Foundation continues its focus on addressing this public health crisis in our community. In November, the foundation announced a grant to New Directions and its partner Ascent to launch a smart-phone application, which includes 24/7/365 peer recovery coaching that will focus on helping individuals with substance use disorders transitioning to treatment programs. Information and other resources are provided to support his or her abstinence from alcohol and drugs, especially heroin and other forms of opioids. The grant also included support for New Directions to establish four local chapters of Young People in Recovery (YPR), a national grassroots advocacy organization focused on creating recovery-ready communities for young people in or seeking recovery.

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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 $2.1 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, Twitter @CleveFoundation and Instagram @CleveFoundation.

About the YMCA of Greater Cleveland

The YMCA is the unparalleled cause for strengthening communities, because we are the community. We are a powerful association of men, women and children, joined together by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of kids, promoting healthy living and fostering a sense of social responsibility. At the YMCA of Greater Cleveland believe that lasting personal and social change can only come about when we all work together to invest in our kids, our health and our neighbors. That’s why strengthening community is our cause. Every day, we work side by side with our neighbors throughout Northeast Ohio to ensure that everyone regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. For more information on the YMCA visit