Slavic Village Development (SVD) announced Monday that it received a $50,000 gift from an anonymous donor. Per the donor’s instructions, the funds will be divided between housing stability assistance, a business assistance fund, support of Community Stewards and SVD’s operating reserve fund.
The donation was made in response to a January 2021 story by Daniel Polletta, “Facing eviction, residents struggle to find help,” published by The Land, Ideastream, FreshWater Cleveland and others and paid for and commissioned by the Northeast Ohio Solutions Journalism Cooperative (NEOSOJO.)
The story discussed the challenges many renters are facing during the pandemic and how issues are exacerbated by paperwork requirements and other bureaucratic barriers. It also featured efforts by SVD to cut through some of those restrictions and provide relief to some renters facing eviction.
“We were completely floored by the generosity of our donor. In speaking with them, they emphasized how touched they were by the care shown by our staff towards our residents,” said Christopher Alvarado, Slavic Village Development executive director, in a press release. “While community development corporations usually work almost exclusively on ‘brick-and-mortar’ projects that build new homes or create spaces for businesses, we have taken direction from our residents who have asked us to help folks stay in place.”
SVD’s Healthy Homes Initiative led by Lynn Rodemann, SVD’s Housing Outreach Specialist, works directly with residents who are in danger of eviction due to missing rent, or who may lose access to power, water, or heat when utility bills are missed. While SVD’s staff first work with existing partners such as CHN Housing Partners or EDEN, Inc. to extend a lifeline to households, not every applicant in need meets the requirements for assistance.
Rodemann, who was profiled in Polletta’s story, added, “This donation will go to help over 500 families in Slavic Village who are in need of a safety net in these trying times. These funds are helping to make sure we all make it to the other side of the pandemic together, and safely.”
Maria McGinnis is a senior journalism major at Kent State University and an editorial intern at The Land.
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