project leader
LaToya L
1336 E. 91st
(Cleveland, OH)
latest update rss
We have a home!

the project

Project LIFT is an emerging nonprofit 501(c)(3) targeting the needs of court-involved transitional age males (16-21) who live within the city of Cleveland. Project LIFT is a supportive housing program focused on assisting participants with developing real world skills to successfully navigate adulthood. Project LIFT is committed to providing resources to address those at risk of homelesness, abuse, neglect, mental illness, and future criminal behavior. A structured environment that promotes healthy relationships, effective coping skills, and access to self-development is essential to reducing recidivism, improving school performance, engaging in prosocial activities and excelling. Project LIFT seeks to be the resource that "inspires the ambition to aspire" in each of the participants.

the steps

Success requires community partnerships and volunteers to complete the renovations. Currently, we are working with the Cuyahoga Land Bank to secure a property that has been vacant and abandoned within the Hough neighborhood. The timeframe to secure the building could be as much as 8 months. In that time, it is essential to develop relationships with local businesses and residents, as we hope to be a community resource for all residents of Hough. Additionally, we are reaching out to every church and community agency to request volunteers and resources to promote the project and assist with renovations. These letters of support are being drafted and will be mailed by the end of the month.  We are seeking out the assistance of Habitat for Humanity and local carpentry schools to assist with minor repairs. We are working to create a volunteer program as an option for court referrals for those in need of community service hours. There are six schools within Hough and we would like to develop a service project to assist with planting flowers, cleaning, and other tasks.

why we're doing it

I have worked as a social worker for 12 years providing resources to those who are court-involved, have experienced trauma, suffer from mental illness, and come from dysfunctional family environments. I have provided those resources in the home, community, office, school, and correctional facility.

I have witnessed clients full of rage and violence, who expressed hopelessness and appear apathetic develop self-worth and transition that into academic success, positive relationships, and most importantly, belief in a future. I have seen young men ready for discharge into the community beg to stay in the facility, because they believed no one would support or care for them the same in the community.

Housing is but one aspect of Project LIFT that enables us to provide a safe environment to continue the progress they have made. It is virtually impossible to excel in an environment that promotes negativity and chaos, yet we ask these young men to do so every time they leave custody. I am doing this because the city of Cleveland confines far too many young men, while providing far too limited services when they are released. If we hope to see transformation in our communities, we must first provide opportunities within the communities to support and sustain such growth.

In the city of Cleveland, there were 2,317 court involved juveniles who accounted for 6,337 charges, of those, 93% were African American males. The age range of committment for juveniles was 15-18, accounting for 90% of all committments. In 2015, ODYS admitted 468 youth who were 92% male, 60% African American, 31% White, and 8% other. The average age of release was 18.3. Nearly 35% of all families within the city of Cleveland live below the poverty line.

Project LIFT specifically chose the Hough neighborhood, because it represents Cleveland's history and future. While this area is full of resources such as hospitals and universities, it is also severely impacted by abandoned and dilapidated buildings that welcome criminal activity. However, there are residents who have held on to their homes and businesses who refuse to give up. Project LIFT hopes to share in the rebirth of the community.


DISBURSEMENT BUDGET (as of 7/10/17):

RAISED = $290.00
ioby Platform Fee  (waived)
 Payment Processing Fee (3%)   $8.45 (waived)

The original budget submitted was for $3,000.00 to address structural upgrades to the home. Since the submission of the budget, there has been several changes, which has altered the budget. Project LIFT was awarded a grant in the amount of $3,000.00 and secured a second grant providing skilled contractors to complete the renovations. The current cost of renovations is $3,750. That leaves a balance of $750.00. With the funds raised through ioby, the remaining balance is $460.00. I will donate the balance to ensure that the project is completed.



*Structural Upgrades*

The building to be purchased is in need of some structural upgrades, such as sidewalk paving, enhancing the steps and porch, as well as other minor upgrades.

Based on preliminary estimates the cost to complete the repairs are approximately $3,000.00. The property will have a full inspection. This will provide specific estimates on the work required.

Project LIFT will work with contractors to reduce cost wherever possible. Volunteers will be enlisted to complete the majority of work that does not require certification or specialized training.

SUBTOTAL = $3,000
ioby Platform Fee waived
Donation Processing Fee of 3%  waived



We have a home!

Project LIFT secured it's first supportive housing location through a successful collaboration with the Cuyahoga County Land Bank. Renovations have already begun and we need your help! The property is located in the Hough neighborhood at 1515 E. 81st St. and Wade Park. We are projected to open in August 2017. 

Consider donating through this website to help us reach our goal. We will also accept in-kind donations of housing items such as bedding, kitchen supplies, etc. If you would like to be hands on, we definitely could use your assistance. Beginning April 2017, we will host weekly community service projects to clean, paint, and renovate the space. Stay tuned for more details!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


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