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LakewoodAlive to Host “Knowing Your Home: Historic Roofing Material Maintenance” Workshop on May 18

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Register Now to Attend this Free Workshop at 1st Choice Roofing Company

Lakewood, OH – Our city is chock-full of historic homes but with aging beauty comes great responsibility.  Just how can Lakewood homeowners protect and preserve the historic roofs over our heads?

LakewoodAlive Historic Roofing Workshop

LakeewoodAlive’s “Historic Roofing Material Maintenance” workshop takes place May 18.

LakewoodAlive will host “Knowing Your Home: Historic Roofing Material Maintenance” on Thursday, May 18, from 7 to 9 p.m. at 1st Choice Roofing Company (11309 Franklin Boulevard in Cleveland).  The seventh workshop of 2017 for this popular home maintenance educational program will highlight various historic roofing materials including slate, clay tile, cement, metal and wooden shingles.

These historic materials have comprised the roofs of many Lakewood homes that were built 80 to 100 years ago. They are strong and long-lasting materials that, like most aspects of your home, require periodic attention.  1st Choice Roofing’s presentation will focus on best practices for maintenance, repair and, in some cases, replacement.  Our presenters will highlight the strengths and weaknesses of each material, costs of repair and options for similar material replacement.

Visit for more information and click here to reserve your free spot.

Now in its fourth year, LakewoodAlive’s “Knowing Your Home” series draws hundreds of attendees annually.  Our workshop series is generously supported by: Citizens Bank, City of Lakewood, Cleveland Lumber Company, Fifth Third Bank, First Federal Lakewood, PNC, Remax Beyond 2000, The University of Akron Lakewood and Third Federal Savings & Loan.

In lieu of being charged for these events, participants are encouraged to either consider making a donation to LakewoodAlive or bringing canned foods or other non-perishable items for donation to the Lakewood Community Services Center. We appreciate your support.

Lakewood Merchants Invited to Participate in LakewoodAlive’s Blossoms Program

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Calling all Lakewood merchants and business owners: Here’s a terrific opportunity to add a splash of color and greenery to your storefront.

Lakewood Merchants and LakewoodAlive Blossoms Program

The Blossoms Program resulted in the placement of more than 50 flower boxes last year.

LakewoodAlive is pleased to announce the expansion of its Blossoms Program, a beautification initiative designed to help merchants make their storefronts more attractive and inviting.  Now entering its 11th year, this popular program resulted in the placement of more than 50 flower boxes in 2016, as begonias and impatiens dotted Lakewood’s urban landscape from June through mid-October.

Through a partnership with Lakewood Garden Center, participants in the Blossoms Program receive access to newly-designed EarthBox® planters with flowers appropriate for the sun/shade needs of your particular business location.  These EarthBox planters feature built-in water reservoirs that significantly reduce watering requirements.

Here’s the simple, five-step process for your business to participate in the 2017 Blossoms Program:

  • Step 1 – Call EarthBox at 888-917-3908 or visit
    • Order your green EarthBox with the screen, water tube and two mulch covers
      (SKU 80201) for $32.95 each. Purchase three or more for $29.95 each.
    • Order a stand to go with your new EarthBox (SKU 81201.01) for $49.95 each.
  • Step 2 – Call Paul Bilyk at Lakewood Garden Center to order Blossoms (216-221-0200). Ask for the LakewoodAlive Blossoms Kit ($62).  Deadline to order is May 19, 2017.
  • Step 3 – Pick up your Blossoms at Lakewood Garden Center when called (usually around early June).
  • Step 4 – Set up your EarthBox with the Blossoms Kit, water and enjoy!
  • Step 5 – Call LakewoodAlive at 216-521-0655 should you have any questions.

Please note: Participating merchants are responsible for planting their Blossoms and watering them throughout the duration of the program.   

“We’re proud to be able to offer the popular and successful Blossoms Program to all Lakewood merchants,” said Ian Andrews, LakewoodAlive Executive Director.  “The beautification of our commercial corridors makes Lakewood a more inviting destination for residents and visitors, alike, and enhances the overall vibrancy of our community.”

For more information regarding the Blossoms Program, please contact LakewoodAlive at 216-521-0655.

LakewoodAlive to Co-Host Homebuyer Education Workshop Series

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Homebuyer Educational Opportunities Take Place May 18 and May 25 at Clock Electric; Register by Calling 216-361-0718

It’s the perfect time of year to pursue homeownership, but are you truly ready to make an offer?  By preparing ahead of time, you can enter the homebuying process with more confidence.

Homebuyer Education Workshop

Call 216-361-0718 to register for this free workshop.

LakewoodAlive is teaming with Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP) – a full-service, HUD-approved housing and financial counseling agency – and Third Federal Savings & Loan to offer a pair of educational workshops for prospective homebuyers.  The free, two-part Homebuyer Education Workshop series will take place from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 18, and Thursday, May 25, at Clock Electric, Inc. (1624 Coutant Avenue) in Lakewood.

To register for this FREE homebuyer workshop series, call 216-361-0718.

This workshop series will teach the important basics of homebuying, equipping attendees with knowledge to successfully maneuver through this process.  Attendees are strongly encouraged to attend both portions, as the May 25 course will build on that from May 18.  Covered homebuyer topics will include:

  • Homeownership Readiness
  • Budgeting and Credit Management
  • Financing
  • Accessing Affordable Mortgage Products
  • Shopping for a Home
  • Maintaining a Home

Prospective homebuyers will also have a chance to learn about Third Federal’s homeownership opportunities for downpayment assistance, as well as the City of Lakewood’s downpayment assistance program.

“By striving to enhance homebuyer education, we’re able to better fulfill our mission to foster and sustain vibrant neighborhoods in Lakewood,” said Allison Urbanek, LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Director.  “Purchasing a home represents a major life milestone for anyone, and our workshop series is designed to assist prospective homebuyers along the way, providing education and peace of mind.”

Homebuyer Workshop Flyer

Get to Know LakewoodAlive: Housing Outreach

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By Ian Andrews, LakewoodAlive Executive Director

Lakewood is a city of homes and we love them dearly. They might be old, the toilet in the basement might leak a little, and the porch might be a little spongy in the middle. But we can agree that one of the badges of honor we all wear on our collective sleeve is the pride we have in our homes.

LakewoodAlive Housing Outreach

Lakewood has moved into its second century and it is more important than ever to ensure our homes are healthy and safe. More than 80% of all Lakewood’s homes were built before 1935. Our aging housing stock has a lot of charm and character, but with that comes higher costs for repairs and improvements.

But it’s not just about homes. It’s about the people who live here. LakewoodAlive’s Housing Outreach Program, led by Housing Outreach Director Allison Urbanek, seeks to work with residents to ensure everyone lives in healthy and safe housing. Our homes need to maintain their value, their curb appeal for the neighborhood, and their ability to fill you with pride as a great place to make your home. We also need to ensure our residents have access to the knowledge, resources and tools to keep those homes healthy and safe while combating disinvestment and fostering vibrant neighborhoods.

Take our friend George who has lived on Plover Street in Birdtown for over 60 years.  LakewoodAlive didn’t know George before our Community Engagement Program began in 2015. Around that time, our Engager Mark McNamara was tasked with knocking on doors in Birdtown with a goal of meeting residents and making every attempt to connect folks to resources to improve their quality of life.

George is homebound and has significant health issues and like many seniors, he is on a fixed income.  He likes to sit on his front porch and wave at passersby and learn about what’s happening around town. He can fondly recall the days of the candy shop that was across the street and the butcher down the block when Birdtown had stores in front of, or built into, homes.

When Mark met George, he learned that his furnace wasn’t working well and the house was drafty. The exterior paint was peeling. The tree in the front yard was causing service issues from the utility lines that run from a nearby pole. And his garden, all 3’ x 12’ of it facing Plover Street, left much to be desired.

LakewoodAlive Housing OutreachEnter LakewoodAlive. We brought together the resources at our disposal and tackled each issue, one by one. Through our partnership with the Cleveland Housing Network, we were able to provide him with a new furnace and insulation through Dominion’s Weatherization Program.

Our Paint Program, supported by the City of Lakewood and federal Community Development Block Grant funding, helped provide the paint and supplies. Cox Communications supplied volunteer labor to paint the house. LakewoodAlive also partnered with St. Edward High School for a neighborhood beautification day that saw more than 80 students and parents help improve five properties in the neighborhood, including George’s tiny front yard garden.

Cox Communications then offered to pay a tree service removal company to take out the pine tree that was partially dead.

One year later, George found himself without a working washing machine. LakewoodAlive put out a call to board members, donors and volunteers. Within a few days, we had the funds for 75% of the cost of a basic washing machine. LakewoodAlive was able to cover the balance by using its 80/20 Program, whereby we put up 80% of the costs of a repair or critical need and the homeowner provides 20%. Today, George has a working washing machine, clean clothes and a beaming sense of pride.

LakewoodAlive Housing Outreach

We are the cheerleaders who provide a service to the community that augments the lengths that government can go and that the private market won’t support. This middle ground is where we make impactful improvements in our community. We don’t solve every problem and we can’t help everyone but we always try to come to a resolution. Our goal is to educate and empower residents. In its fourth year, the free Knowing Your Home Series provides workshops that help folks of all income levels learn how to maintain and improve their home. Wet basement, leaking roof, leaning garage, or curb appeal: we design workshops that will meet the needs of our aging housing stock.

None of this happens without the support of the City of Lakewood through partnership with multiple offices at City Hall; through access to Community Development Block Grant funding; and through collaboration to comprehensively tackle difficult properties in ways that can leverage our strengths. We also receive support from financial institutions, most notably First Federal Lakewood. Their commitment to LakewoodAlive, particularly the Housing Outreach Program, is incredible and allows us to be flexible and nimble when utilizing private funds to support our community.

Do you know a neighbor that may need help? Or do you have a question about a project or improvement in your home? Contact our Housing Outreach Director Allison Urbanek at 216-521-0655 or She is more than happy to talk through the situation and determine next steps.

LakewoodAlive to Host Community Forum Regarding Refugees on May 10

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Distinguished Group of Panelists to Participate in Discussion at Lakewood Congregational Church; Public Invited to Attend

Our city has a rich history of tolerance and a welcoming spirit.  In the wake of executive orders on immigration policy, Lakewood City Council recently passed a resolution reinforcing its “commitment to hope, equality, tolerance, inclusion and optimism.”  But what can our community learn from this hot-button issue?

LakewoodAlive Refugees Community Forum

LakewoodAlive, a nonprofit community development organization, announces it will host a community forum – entitled From Refugee to Neighbor Part 2: Understanding Public Policy and Community Impact– from 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, May 10, at the Lakewood Congregational Church Sanctuary (1375 West Clifton Blvd.).  This community conversation will build on a previous refugee forum from November 2015 by providing insightful dialogue relevant to the current refugee climate.

Both the general public and members of the media are invited to attend this free forum as the community seeks to listen, learn and reinforce our commitment to celebrating Lakewood’s growing diversity.  The discussion will delve into our role as a resettlement location, how public policy impacts the refugee community and the progress that’s been made towards supporting refugees.  Panelist Thomas Kate of The Refugee Response will share his personal story as a refugee to our region.

Moderator David Dombrowiak, President and Chief Executive Officer for the Community West Foundation, will oversee a distinguished group of panelists for an informative discussion.  The final 30 minutes will be devoted to panelists fielding questions from the audience.

The panelists participating in this community forum include:

NOTE: Church entrances may be utilized off of West Clifton or from the parking lot.  The parking lot entrance is handicap-accessible.  Overflow parking may be available at Cornucopia, Beck Center and Horace Mann School.

LakewoodAlive hosts community forums pertaining to topics relevant to Lakewood citizens.  For more information regarding the “From Refugee to Neighbor Part 2: Understanding Public Policy and Community Impact” community forum on May 10, please visit

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