Making a Difference Through Community Collaboration

 

At the Cuyahoga Land Bank, we understand that collaboration is key in making real change in our community.  In response to increasing requests for assistance from organizations and church groups that are doing good works in our neighborhoods, the Cuyahoga Land Bank hosted a Community Collaboration Workshop on June 15 at the City Mission.  More than 140 leaders of faith-based and non-profit organizations in Cuyahoga County gathered for an informative presentation on ways to work with the Cuyahoga Land Bank to stabilize our community, repurpose vacant land and expand affordable housing options for our county’s citizens.

“We were encouraged by the level of participation in the workshop,” said Dennis Roberts, Director of Programs and Property Management at the Cuyahoga Land Bank.  “There were some familiar faces in the room, but there were also a lot of people from new and different organizations who are eager to work with us.”

In recent years, the Cuyahoga Land Bank has been involved in dozens of collaborations with social service organizations and non-profits in the region that offer affordable housing, community stabilization, and skilled training opportunities. The Cuyahoga Land Bank’s mission is to reduce blight, increase property values, and improve the quality of life for county residents through property acquisition, renovation and demolition. One of the ways this is accomplished is by working collaboratively with organizations throughout Cuyahoga County actively to advance their missions and find unique property uses that benefit these community-based organizations and the citizens they serve.
By making low-cost/no-cost properties available to local organizations and churches, the Cuyahoga Land Bank has been able to help others make a real impact in their communities in a variety of ways. These properties have been renovated by volunteers and utilized as affordable housing for single mothers, homeless veterans, recovery housing, and many others.
Hosted by local media personality Obie Shelton, the Community Collaboration Workshop included a step-by-step guide to working with the Cuyahoga Land Bank, a panel discussion highlighting successful partnerships, and a dynamic question and answer session.  Pre- and post-event networking also allowed participants to share resources and make new connections.
“Workshop participants heard first-hand how we are working with groups like theirs,” says Vatreisha Nyemba, Manager of Compliance and Program Development for the Cuyahoga Land Bank.  “Participants were extremely engaged, and we hope to have inspired them to go back and identify ways that their church group or social service organization can work with the Cuyahoga Land Bank to help them advance their mission in the community.”
“This is just the beginning of our collaborative efforts,” says Nyemba.  “There is so much more that can be done when we work together!”

Here’s just a sample of some of the feedback we received about the Community Collaboration Workshop:

“Great first step getting the word out that the Land Bank is encouraging collaborations.”

“Absolutely extraordinary blessing to people, communities, organizations and collaboratives to dream big and/or bigger and know that professional, committed and proven experience is available to succeed and accomplish your dreams for helping others!”

“Great information and ability to learn from those who have been successful with the process.”

Non-profit organizations interested in partnering with the Cuyahoga Land Bank can complete a Non-Profit Program Proposal HERE. Check out our video highlights from our Community Collaboration Workshop HERE.

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