One Story at a Time…

Housing First

Ted Howard’s efficiency apartment in Cleveland’s Glenville Neighborhood has been a safe haven for him for nearly three years. Tidy and compact, he calls it a “blessing for this place to be here.

“Because of my addiction I couldn’t get money to get an apartment,” he said.

Ted lives in Liberty at St. Clair, a 72-unit apartment building on St. Clair Avenue. Liberty, a Housing First apartment building, is one of eight with more than 500 units around Cleveland.

Without housing, people struggle to keep or find a job, care for children and move out of poverty. Without housing, people have a hard time getting clean and sober.

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, in partnership with Enterprise Community Partners and the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Office of Homeless Services, brought together housing, service providers and foundations to create the Housing First Initiative.

The Initiative was created to address the challenge of chronic homelessness, and to develop a strategy for bringing Housing First to Cuyahoga County.

The shared goal is to develop 1,000 units of permanent supportive housing in Cuyahoga County.

“Housing First” is both an initiative and a philosophy that no matter what obstacles people face, ensuring them a home is paramount. Housing First combines permanent affordable housing with onsite supportive services such as education and job skills training, as well as substance abuse and mental health issues. It is a proven solution to end longterm homelessness for people like Ted.

Ted moved in and out of homelessness for years after becoming addicted to cocaine and losing his job. He stayed at the men’s homeless shelter, and at other times would crash at a friend’s place.

Now Ted takes the bus to vocational training and attends 12-step meetings in the community room of his building. “I’m on the right track.”

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Our Mission

For more than 16 years, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland has worked to improve the lives of those most in need with special attention to families, women and children living in poverty.

News & Events

Dear County Executive

Foundation President Susanna H. Krey joined others community leaders, asked by The Center for Community Solutions, to write letters to the incoming Cuyahoga County executive to be elected this November. Community Solutions believes they represent an opportunity for a remarkable partnership between the new executive and the community
he will be leading. A partnership that could lead to real solutions to today’s challenges. They encouraged him to read these letters, reach out to the authors, and give real consideration to incorporating their ideas into his strategic planning. By doing so, we can move forward…finding community solutions together. See all the letters. Read Susanna Krey’s letter.

Third Quarter Grants Awarded

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland awarded more than $300,000 in third quarter grants to Cuyahoga County nonprofits, including about $108,000 to 32 organizations that provide basic need services, such as food, clothing, bus passes and more, to economically struggling area residents.  See the third quarter grantees here and the Good Samaritan grantees here.

Foundation Adds Four Board Members

The foundation is pleased to welcome four new board members: Sean P. Hennessy, Latisha James, Geralyn M. Presti, and Dr. Woodrow Whitlow, Jr. The new board members bring diverse and eclectic backgrounds and expertise to the foundation coming from careers in science, education, business and finance. Read more.

Called by Faith

There’s a new name and look for the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland’s newsletter which shares the good work and stories of Catholic women religious and their lay partners in northeast Ohio. Read Called by Faith here.

Assuring Stable Homes

The Foundation is committed to ending homelessness and recently has focused on the problem of homeless youth, bringing together a collaboration of organizations and agencies working on the issue.


The foundation has awarded nearly a million of dollars in grants since late 2012 to local nonprofits involved in reducing youth homelessness and has partnered with Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative, the YWCA Greater Cleveland and others on the issue.


Listen to a recent Sound of Ideas show on WCPN 90.3 on the connection between aging out of foster care and youth homelessness. The foundation sponsored a local discussion on the issue and co-sponsored a national conference to highlight the connection between aging out of foster care and unprepared youth often becoming homeless. Watch a piece by Newsnet5 on the issue.


Cleveland was one of a nine pilot communities that participated in the federal 2013 Youth Count Initiative in January.  Read about the survey results. Watch a video on the issue with local experts and homeless youth.


Foundations’ Efforts to Sustain Sister-Affiliated Ministries

A recently released study documents and assesses a 10-year initiative undertaken by the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland and the Sisters of Charity Foundation of South Carolina to sustain the ministries of Catholic sisters in Northeast Ohio and South Carolina. The full study, Support for Sister-Affiliated Ministries During Challenging Times: Understanding a Foundation Initiative in Two Regions, can be seen here.


The Collaboration for Ministry Initiative was undertaken by the foundations to encourage and support collaboration among different religious orders. The study offers lessons learned from the collaborations to help others with similar ambitions, as well as to strengthen and sustain sister-affiliated ministries and grassroots programming. More…