News from our Ohio team and our partners
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November 2016

Greater Cleveland Food Bank and Cosmic Bobbins Win Enterprise Community Partners’ Nurture an Idea Award
The Greater Cleveland Food Bank and Cosmic Bobbins Foundation are the winners of Enterprise’s third annual Nurture an Idea Award, which helps Northeast Ohio nonprofit organizations implement transformative community development initiatives that create opportunity and address inequities in Cuyahoga County. Each winner received a $10,000 grant, made possible by Ohio Savings Bank, a Division of New York Community Bank and JP Morgan Chase, to help fund the following initiatives:

  • Cosmic Bobbins Foundation: The Cleveland Sews Initiative – A workforce development and wealth-building sewing collaborative that stitches together Cuyahoga County's social fabric, thereby creating jobs, increasing stability and building hope in community members who have faced hardship due to racial and economic inequities.

  • Greater Cleveland Food Bank: Food as Medicine Initiative – An initiative to improve health outcomes by providing a steady supply of healthy, nutritious food to low-income clients who are diagnosed with food-related illnesses such as diabetes and hypertension.

The Nurture an Idea Award winners were selected from a group of five finalists, all of whom presented their promising ideas to, and were voted on by, the audience and an expert panel of judges. The other finalists included:

  • EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant Institute: EDWINS Butcher Shop - A Stronger Student, a Stronger Community - To deepen its mission of changing the face of re-entry, EDWINS Leadership and Restaurant Institute will enrich its rigorous culinary institute and thriving Shaker Square French eatery with a butcher shop located in the Buckeye/Shaker neighborhood
  • ESOP Realty, Inc.: ESOP Realty will develop a fully sustainable model as a nonprofit real estate brokerage helping people lift themselves out of poverty and build wealth through homeownership
  • Tremont West Development Corporation and Famicos Foundation: Workforce Housing Investment Coop Exploration – Tremont and Famicos are propose jointly carrying out a community process and engaging relevant experts to establish Ohio’s first Real Estate Investment Cooperative (REIC). This REIC would acquire, redevelop and manage mixed-use and “Missing Middle” properties with the express intent of protecting affordable workforce housing in Cleveland neighborhoods experiencing private market speculation that is driving housing prices beyond the reach of the working and middle class.

2016 Voice & Vision Award Recipient: Hal Keller
Congratulations to Hal Keller, who was recognized by Homeport for 35 years of contributions to the lives of some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. Over the course of three decades, Hal has created a legacy in Central Ohio through his voice and vision at the local, state and federal levels to address the practical needs of families and seniors.

Mr. Keller is the president of the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing, an organization that has helped finance over 40,000 homes for low-income people in Ohio and Kentucky since 1989.

Homeport promotes better lives by creating homes for sale and rent with opportunities for growth, health and stability.

The Cuyahoga EITC Coalition Needs You
Starting this January, VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) sites will open throughout Cuyahoga County to help residents e-file their federal and state income tax returns for free and for those who may be eligible, claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC).

The Cuyahoga EITC Coalition provides free tax preparation services to over 15,000 community members each year. The Coalition is looking for volunteers to help greet clients and prepare taxes at over 25 Cuyahoga County locations. No prior experience needed to become a volunteer, just attend a Coalition-led training to become an IRS-certified volunteer tax preparer.

For information on free tax preparation services, contact Keely Andrews at To volunteer, sign up today by visiting or contact Gina Morris at Find information on training sessions.

Addressing Racial Equity in Our Thinking, Our Partnerships and Our Work 
The Cleveland team from Enterprise Community Partners recently attended the Racial Equity Institute’s Groundwater workshop, sponsored by Cleveland Neighborhood Progress. We joined dozens of other housing and community professionals from across the city. 

Participating in this workshop helped us to realize how deeply structural racism is embedded in our country and it is transforming our thinking about how to create opportunity in and with low-income neighborhoods. 

Enterprise believes that building a community of opportunity requires healthy, affordable and appropriate housing, access to jobs and income, ample transportation and supportive community resources for all residents. For far too many low-income families, success in life, the quality of available education, the availability of well-paying jobs and their health, are limited by the places where they live.

But the fact is that the color of one’s skin is the most predictive factor when it comes to opportunity and its related factors. Racial inequities are prevalent throughout our community and need be first seen and then addressed. This type of learning along with ongoing dialogue will be top of mind as we develop our strategies and implement our work in the future.   

Thank you to Cleveland Neighborhood Progress for making this important training possible. Watch an abridged version of the presentation.

Congratulations to Cleveland Housing Network on 1,000 Lease Purchase Homes
Cleveland Housing Network (CHN) recently celebrated the sale of its 1,000th home through its Lease Purchase Program, which has invested a total of $286 million in Cleveland’s neighborhoods. This nationally recognized program utilizes the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and has developed nearly 2,200 properties since 1987.

Read more on page 7 of the Ohio Housing Finance Agency fall update.

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