An update of the happenings at Cuyahoga Land Bank
Discovery Center | New Horizon Home - 2016.1.1

Neighborhood Advocates Collaborate to Relocate Discovery Center

Three summers ago, Concerned Citizens, Inc. Director Anita Gardner took Cuyahoga Land Bank President Gus Frangos and staff on a neighborhood tour of Kinsman Avenue.  Many buildings had decayed and were abandoned in the aftermath of the foreclosure crisis post-2008.  One building had housed the small offices of a neighborhood child enrichment center known as the “Discovery Center,” run by Gardner.  “Our children need mentoring, job and citizenship training in order to be productive citizens wheLand Bank Staff n they grow up,” she said.  Gardner partnered with Shirley Ellington (who has since passed away) in serving children from the neighborhood at their small offices near East 138th and Kinsman.
Gardner and Ellington volunteered their time, efforts, and resources to help train and support children with community activities, arts, crafts and computer training. But alas, the offices suffered from a roof leak, building decay and vandalism which the owner would not fix.  As a result, the center closed.
Undaunted, the tour with Cuyahoga Land Bank staff resulted in a pact between Gardner and the Cuyahoga Land Bank that together they would find another suitable, safe and clean building to serve as a permanent home for “Anita’s kids.”
After reviewing vacant and abandoned properties for three years, a Land Bank Staff property on East 137th Street became available.  This was a large two family home with parking and plenty of space where children could engage in activities both inside and outside.
While the building was structurally sound, it needed significant renovation.  Cleveland Councilman Ken Johnson and Councilman Terrell Pruitt answered the call each by providing support to help in the renovation.  Additionally, the Cuyahoga Land Bank invested funds to complete the work.  The rehabilitation was completed by Beneficial Properties whose principal owner is Marvin Stover.  The property was finally finished in October, 2015.
“I cannot tell you how beautiful Mr. Stover made this building.  He went above and beyond in making this accessible to our kids including handicapped individuals.” said Gardner.  The finished property came equipped with a handicap ramp and customized renovations throughout the home.
At a recent tour of the building, Concerned Citizens, Inc. Board Member Jefferson D. Tufts praised the success of this project and the combined work of Anita Gardner, Cuyahoga Land Bank, Councilmen Johnson and Pruitt as well as the contractor Marvin Stover.  “This means a great deal to the children oLand Bank Staff f this community,” said Tufts.
This spring, all of the children’s programming will once again begin but with enhanced activities such as entrepreneurship, community workshops, art festivals, educational tutoring and family support services.  â€œThis is the kind of investment in our children that will help them make wise and healthy choices,” said Gardner. 
For Gardner, this is a dream come true.  It is a dream she refused to let die.  A grand opening for the new center will be announced in the Spring of 2016.

New Horizon Home: A New Beginning

On a chilly December evening, friends, parishioners and staff of several partner organizations came together to welcome Ms. Tauri and her three children into their new home in Slavic Village.  The home renovation was made possible through the partnership between the Cuyahoga Land Bank, The City Mission, Renew Communities, Hope Church and Cuyahoga Valley Church.Land Bank Staff
Staff and volunteers had thought of every last detail down to pink and purple painted walls for Tauri's daughters, a playpen in the living room, a fully decorated Christmas tree and stockings draped over the handrail.  Tauri’s son beamed from ear to ear as he warmed a mug of cocoa in the kitchen packed with people there to celebrate with him and his family.
“Thank you, thank you to everyone,” Tauri exclaimed to the crowd at the welcoming celebration.  “This home is a blessing!”Land Bank Staff
Most recently, Tauri and her family had been living at Laura’s Home, a Women’s Crisis Center run by the City Mission.  They came to the City Mission when Tauri and her family became homeless.  At Laura’s Home, Tauri found the opportunity to begin a new chapter in her life and for her family.  Classes and counseling helped Tauri gain the skills and confidence needed to find a job at the local library. 
Tauri credits her faith in God for the positive change in her life.  “If I do go into another depression, I don’t have to stay there,” says Tauri.  “God will provide for us!  I’m not in it by myself,” she stated.
Land Bank Staff Almost two years ago, the City Mission and the Cuyahoga Land Bank had a vision to bring their missions together, housing and ministry, to develop a countywide, church-sponsored, permanent affordable housing initiative. Last spring, sponsored by Church on the Rise, the first family to benefit from the program moved into their new home.  Tauri's home is the second house completed through the partnership.  The third family and house has been identified and is in the planning stage.  “Our goal at the Cuyahoga Land Bank, is to find a new life for vacant properties and it brings a special joy to see both the house and the family that will live in it get an opportunity at a fresh start,” said Cuyahoga Land Bank President, Gus Frangos.  “Seeing this family in their new home – what more could we want for the holidays?”
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Home Owner Feature

Nissim Mashmoor recently moved into his new home in Euclid after participating in the Cuyahoga Land Bank's Deed-In-Escrow Program. Nissim comments "Because of the Cuyahoga Land Bank, I'm a happy home owner. They have helped me achieve my goal of home ownership." The Cuyahoga Land Bank would like to congratulate Nissim on his new home!    

Bid on this Euclid home before January 8th!

This home at 311 East 195th St in Euclid requires minimal renovation and is now available under the Advantage Plus Loan Program. Minimum bid starts at $6,000!

Home for Sale in Cleveland

This Colonial home at 868 Rondel Rd in Cleveland requires renovation and is now available through our Deed-In-Escrow Program.

Home Under Renovation in Maple Heights

This ranch home at 18971 Nitra Ave in Maple Heights is under renovation by the Cuyahoga Land Bank and is listed for sale.  For details on this property, please call 216-698-8853 and for a list of other homes currently under renovation, visit our website.

Mission Complete Celebration!

A second home was sold to a Northeast Ohio veteran through project Mission Complete in December. This is the second local project in South Euclid that partnered with the Purple Heart Homes, City of South Euclid and the Cuyahoga Land Bank to rehabilitate a home for a disabled veteran. The celebration brought together more than two hundred volunteers, donors, suppliers and supporters of the project at St. John Lutheran Church. 

The mission of the Cuyahoga Land Bank is to strategically acquire properties, return them to productive use, reduce blight, increase property values, support community goals and improve the quality of life for county residents.

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