Cleveland Councilman Zack Reed, Nonprofits Launch Home Rehab Job Program for Ex-Offenders

Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed talks with reporters outside a home in the Union-Miles neighborhood.
Cleveland City Councilman Zack Reed talks with reporters outside a home in the Union-Miles neighborhood. [Nick Castele / ideastream]
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A program to put formerly incarcerated people to work fixing up city homes will get an injection of cash from city councilman and mayoral candidate Zack Reed. 

Reed said he’s putting about $100,000 in casino tax revenue money toward rehabbing two vacant houses in his southeast side ward. Reed said he would introduce legislation on Monday to allocate the funds. 

Local nonprofits will train and hire people released from prison to take part. Union-Miles Development Corporation, Mt. Pleasant NOW, Slavic Village Development and the nonprofit Passages are running the program, called Building Futures.

Reed said he believes jobs like these can help bring down violence.

“Our hope is to show that this works,” Reed said. “And then to be able to go to those foundations and those other financial institutions, and to say to them, regardless of who sits in the council seat or the mayor’s seat, if we want to see this violence reduced, if we want to see lives changed and lives and communities better, this is one of the programs that you need to fund.”

He gave a press conference in the Union-Miles neighborhood outside one home on the rehab list that’s valued by the county at $22,600.

Work is expected to begin at the end of July, usually takes no more than four months, according to Roshawn Sample, the director of Union-Miles Development Corporation.

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