Doing Good in the Neighborhood

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Doing Good in the Neighborhood

The Rev. Dr. Jimmie Hicks, Jr. believes anything worth doing is worth doing first-class, making him a perfect Cuyahoga Land Bank renovation partner. His extensive leadership drive and success comes from his five years as an officer in the U.S. Army Reserves, eight years of service as a City of Cleveland Heights Councilman, 23 years as CEO of the Hicks Insurance Agency, and 17 years as the Pastor of The Start Right Church of God in Christ.

Rev. Hicks also serves as the executive director of Start Right Community Development Corp (SRCDC), a non-profit community development corporation in the City of Cleveland Heights established in 2008. SRCDC’s mission is to develop programs within the community that will help low and moderate-income families in blighted areas.

Start Right Development CDC operates a Good Neighbor Project, which fully rehabilitates vacant and blighted homes in Cleveland Heights and East Cleveland. Start Right CDC has successfully rehabilitated seven homes in the Caledonia neighborhood of Cleveland Heights. The organization’s most recent renovation is a four-bedroom, two-bath multi-family house on Helmsdale Road, which was purchased from the Cuyahoga Land Bank’s inventory.

With the help of its general contractor, Brad Cavanaugh of Kings Housing Network, the group completed a comprehensive renovation of the property, including updating electrical and plumbing systems, new kitchens and baths, and taking steps to make the home more energy efficient.

Start Right recently sold the home to a single, first-time home buyer who will live in the home and rent the additional unit as an investment opportunity.

Rev. Hicks, a Cleveland Heights native, sees excellent community value in renovating abandoned and vacant properties and returning them to the city’s tax rolls. “We are able to take a home in bad condition, fully rehab it and make it affordable and available for a new homeowner,” he says.

“Working with the Cuyahoga Land Bank was an excellent experience,” says Rev. Hicks. “We’re looking forward to a long working relationship and making an impact in the community.”