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LakewoodAlive has busy, but very productive weekend

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On Saturday, August 15, LakewoodAlive’s staff and board members came together to paint a house for a resident on Riverside Drive, who had been cited by the city for peeling paint. Twenty-five staff, board members and community members were able to get the house painted in just five hours. The participants had fun while completing this project and the homeowner is very happy with her newly painted home. Thank you to the LakewoodAlive board and community members for helping to make this project a success!


On Sunday, August 16, Cross Point Church worked with LakewoodAlive as part of their Day of Service to help with a yard clean up on Eldred Avenue, for a homeowner who had also been cited by the city. Nine Cross Point Church members worked tirelessly all morning long cutting down trees and removing all of the ivy off of the house. The work of the church members made a world of difference on the house. LakewoodAlive thanks Cross Point Church for all of their hard work on this project.

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Lakewood New Life Church teams with LakewoodAlive, tackling many weeds and vines for successful yard clean-ups

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On Saturday, July 25, Lakewood New Life Church volunteers joined LakewoodAlive to complete two yard clean-ups on Riverside Drive. Volunteers worked tirelessly all morning tackling weeds and vines, while still having a lot of fun, to get the yards in great shape. These yard clean-ups were made possible through LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Program.

LakewoodAlive would like to thank all twenty-six of the Lakewood New Life Church volunteers and LakewoodAlive volunteers: Judge Carroll & Bonnie Carroll, Matt Bixenstine, Christopher Parkman, Alex Johnson and Tom Ostromek for all of their hard work.

LakewoodAlive would also like to thank the City of Lakewood’s Refuse Department for their help. We could not have completed these projects without the help of all our volunteers.

For more information on LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Program, contact Allison Urbanek, Housing Outreach Director at 216-521-0655 or

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St. Edward High School’s 75 volunteers to Undertake Beautification Project in Lakewood’s Birdtown Neighborhood May 16

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LakewoodAlive, a non-profit community development organization, is coordinating 75 volunteers from St. Edward High School – including alumni, students and parents – on May 16 from 9 am-noon. There will be six highly visible curb appeal projects taking place in this proud working-class neighborhood.

LakewoodAlive’s Community Engagement Program is developing outreach to homeowners and residents in two low-moderate income neighborhoods to support affordable housing, stabilize and establish a sense of pride, ownership, and leverage the power of neighborhood relationships.

WHAT:          Curb appeal project with St. Edward’s students, families and alumni; coordinated by LakewoodAlive

WHEN:          Saturday, May 16, 9 am-12 noon

WHERE:        12311 Plover, 12319 Plover, 12510 Plover, 2116 Robin, 2112 Robin, 2108 Robin

MORE INFORMATION: Contact Allison Urbanek, LakewoodAlive Housing Outreach Director, at 216-521-0655 or

Community Forum May 13: “Exploring the Legend: Is Equality Alive in Lakewood?”

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Join us for our next forum “Exploring the Legend: Is Equality Alive in Lakewood?” as we discuss the importance of equality and efforts to welcome lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals to our community. The forum continues LakewoodAlive’s tradition of hosting community conversations dating back more than 10 years.

When: Wednesday, May 13, 7-8:30pm
Where: Lakewood Public Library, 15425 Detroit Avenue

Panelists include:

  • Michaela Hahn Burriss, Midwest Outreach Manager, Small Business Majority
  • Michael Daso, Financial Consultant, AXA Advisors
  • Alana Jochum, Northeast Ohio Director, Equality Ohio
  • Maureen Greeves, Lakewood resident and parent
  • Michelle Tomallo (Moderator), President and Co-founder, Fit Technologies

Audience members will be encouraged to join the conversation and ask the panelists questions.

The forum is free and open to the public.

See the forum flyer here: Exploring the Legend Flyer

Creative Collaboration Leads to Vacant Property Transformation

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1446 Mars Avenue as it appeared in summer 2013.

By: Colin McEwen and Ian Andrews

In 2012, the city of Lakewood bought two boarding houses that had become troubled properties in the community.

One of those homes, at 1446 Mars Avenue, was unveiled to the community at a special open house on Wednesday night.

Since 2013, the city partnered with LakewoodAlive and the Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization to completely transform the property. A similar project is underway at 1436 Grace Avenue — also a former boarding house.

“Government action, private sector ingenuity, and marketplace trends have aligned for this great outcome,” said Lakewood Mayor Michael Summers. “This is a remarkable transformation from a major threat to this historic neighborhood, to what is now its crown jewel.”

1446 Mars Avenue After

1446 Mars Avenue on April 8, 2015.

The developer, Darren Mancuso of Relief Properties, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to breathe new life into the former 13-bedroom vacant home.

The 2,600-square-foot structure is now a single-family home. Relief Properties created an open floor plan, while preserving many historic elements including a coat tree, a set of pocket doors, original columns, a stain glass window, among other efforts.

Dozens of members of the community, including Mayor   Summers and Ohio State Representative Nickie Antonio, stopped by the home for a tour during the open house, marveling at the restoration.

1446 Mars Ribbon Cutting

Relief Properties Owner and Developer Darren Mancuso cuts the ribbon to celebrate the completion of a near-total renovation at 1446 Mars Avenue.

“I could not be more thrilled to see 1446 Mars undergo such a dramatic transformation,” said LakewoodAlive Executive Director Ian Andrews. “None of this would have been possible without the incredible partnership of the city of Lakewood, Detroit Shoreway Community Development Organization and Relief Properties. Additionally, this house serves as an example of how a turn-of-the-century home can support modern design while maintaining its historic integrity.”

Click here to see video shot by Rick Uldricks, Lakewood Citizen.

For more information, call Housing Outreach Director Allison Urbanek at 216-521-0655.

Before pictures of 1446 Mars Avenue

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