Congratulations to United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland for winning the Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Cleveland Chapter’s 2021 Foundation Leadership Award!
This award is much deserved. United Black Fund of Greater Cleveland demonstrates outstanding commitment to improving the health and well-being of vulnerable, underserved African American seniors. UBF accomplishes this goal by developing innovative programs that eliminate barriers seniors face in their efforts to improve their quality of life. UBF has supported Eliza Bryant Village (EBV) with more than $136,000 over a 23-year partnership.
Many of EBV’s clients grew up in Hough and now call EBV home. Cleveland’s Hough neighborhood is ranked as the 11th most impoverished among cities of at least 654,000, according to the U.S. Census data (cleveland.com, 9/26/16), which has been shown to increase mortality rates and adverse health conditions. Through our working relationship, UBF and EBV have advanced programming to help remove significant barriers to healthy living for many of Cleveland’s older adults. Funding from UBF supports seniors in a new initiative to educate the importance of a healthy lifestyle, including smart food choices and enriching activities for the mind and body. Under the Villages’ Medical Director and Dietitian direction, EBV provides food, education, and presentations on smart eating and fitness choices. To better serve seniors with mobility issues, chair yoga improves mobility, reduces stress, improves circulation, and improves the immune function of participating older adults. These unique programs help older adults who struggle with mobility and do not have the financial means to access fresh and healthy foods.
The long-term effects of living in poverty for the seniors served at EBV aren’t limited to physical consequences. Informal internal surveys revealed that most seniors at EBV have suffered from abuse, crime, neglect, or criminal victimization during their lifetimes. Thanks to a grant from UBF, we created a Relaxation Room that helps seniors find a calming space to think, relax, talk or listen.
To help seniors in crisis, EBV launched an Elder Justice Center in December 2019 to provide temporary housing and various social supports for the growing population of elders who are experiencing trauma, violence, abuse, or criminal victimization. UBF supported EBV as a leader in combatting elder abuse by naming a room in the Elder Justice Center for $10,000. This partnership highlights the commitment of UBF to supporting critical nonprofits like EBV that work to create solutions to unmet and emerging issues within our community, such as elder abuse.