CLEVELAND — Community leaders are working to revitalize one of Cleveland’s Clark-Fulton neighborhood on the city's near-West side through a new plan set to help it thrive like surrounding neighborhoods.
Ricardo León grew up around Cleveland’s Clark-Fulton neighborhood.
“I basically am a lifelong resident of the stockyards neighborhood, which is the neighboring neighborhood,” he said. "There is value here. There is a reason to invest here. There is a reason to stay here.”
León, who works with the Metro West Community Development Organization, is now focused on improving his old stomping grounds. He joined other local leaders hoping to bring change to an area known for crime to some.
“I grew up in Clark Fulton, actually, right next to Lincoln-West High School,” said Keisha Gonzalez, program manager of the Cleveland Foundation.
“I've lived on the near west side now for about 15 years,” said Greg Zucca with MetroHealth System.
After working on their Clark-Fulton Together Community development plan for the past three years, the group is preparing to present it to the community. León says the plan covers “green space, housing, economic opportunity, job creation.”
For Zucca, the idea of bringing change also brings in more opportunities for the community.
“Health care doesn't just occur in the four walls of a hospital or doctor's office, and we see this plan as really an opportunity for us to be part of that, that bigger conversation about the built environment,” he said.
The group is hosting community meetings to reveal their plan in order to get feedback from residents. The meeting will also serve as a means to show future developers what the community needs while preserving its Latino heritage. The meetings start Thursday tonight the Sunday. The group is will then submit a final version of the plan to the city in the next few months.
“To see these investments only anchors me further to believe that my kids, my boys will eventually also decide to stay in Cleveland,” Gonzalez.
As they press on, León hopes his neighborhood wants to move forward and is on the same page.
“Tell us what you want to see improved in the neighborhood or how you would like the neighborhood to change and we will find a way to create a plan that incorporates all those elements.”
Events take place over three days:
Clark-Fulton Together Community Meeting
Thursday, June 10, 5-7 p.m.
The Family Ministry Center
3389 Fulton Road, Cleveland, OH 44109
Clark-Fulton Together Open House
Saturday & Sunday, June 12-13, 1-5 p.m.
The Phunkenship Yard
3332 West 32nd Street, Cleveland, OH 44109
Food and refreshments will be provided to participants. It will also be live-streamed via the Clark-Fulton Together Facebook page.
Click here to see the presentation on the plans.