The Cuyahoga Land Bank, Church on the Rise and The City Mission came together on April 9, 2014 to announce an agreement and shared vision for permanent housing for families transitioning out of Laura’s Home Women’s Crisis Center, a ministry of The City Mission.
The City Mission and the Cuyahoga Land Bank launched “New Horizons” – a countywide, church-sponsored permanent housing initiative. The first sponsoring church is Church on the Rise, a church in Westlake, Ohio with a strong urban ministry. Under the New Horizons initiative, the Cuyahoga Land Bank will provide deeply discounted homes to a sponsoring church which will acquire the home for families transitioning from Laura’s Home. It is a collaboration made in heaven according to the three partners.
“‘New Horizons’ is a model which provides permanent housing and ongoing support services for families in need,” said Cuyahoga Land Bank President Gus Frangos. “We are excited to partner with The City Mission, Laura’s Home and Church on the Rise.”
The Cuyahoga Land Bank will provide the home, professional renovation specifications and technical assistance. The sponsoring church, in this case The Church on the Rise will partner with The City Mission to acquire the property from the Cuyahoga Land Bank, take responsibility for its renovation through its volunteer tradesmen and church parishioners and then provide ongoing property management services. In turn, The City Mission will provide “wrap-around services,” including case management, job placement, mental health and other wellness services. These services are tailored to strengthen families and allow families in crises to get a fresh start and become productive.
“In our efforts to help families move from crisis to independent living, the most significant challenge we face is the lack of affordable housing. This partnership has the potential to effectively address that issue and at the same time provide so much more – security, stability and hope for the future,” said The City Mission CEO Richard Trickel. “The City Mission is thrilled to be working in partnership with the Cuyahoga Land Bank and the local church community impacting lives one family at a time.”
The City Mission and other faith-based organizations provide critical services to men, women and children who are struggling with human services needs and various crises. The goal of these organizations is to transition individuals and families from crisis to stability. Permanent housing is a big part of that equation. According to the recently issued National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Annual Out of Reach report, there has been a decline of affordable permanent housing options.
“The synergy that this ongoing mission to help the homeless is creating in our congregation is outstanding! We have over 40 volunteers and will literally have to work in shifts due to the massive support of the cause,” said Church on the Rise Senior Pastor Paul Endrei. “It’s our vision to inspire both suburban and urban churches to sponsor homeless families and provide them permanent housing that these desperate families have been mentored to maintain and afford.”