By Jim Carney
Evern Marie Clark stood in front of her apartment at Cascade Village in Akron and broke into a wide smile.
“This is my castle,” Clark, 61, said of her town home, where she has lived for the past six years. “I love it!”
Clark was the first resident of Cascade Village, a collection of 242 mixed-income housing units located on the site of the former Elizabeth Park housing project along East North Street and underneath the All-America Bridge. Her life illustrates how the complex has evolved since receipt of a large foundation grant.
In the spring of 2011, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation awarded Cascade Village and its managing organization a $1.7 million grant (over four years) to help the new neighborhood build relationships and skills among residents.
Clark, who had lived at the 1940-built Elizabeth Park, is a computer teacher at Cascade Village and helps residents improve computer skills. She receives a $200 monthly stipend, paid from the grant, for her work.
Knight foundation money helps pay the salaries of several staff members who work at the development, said Jessica Russell, director of community life.
“Our whole initiative is to involve residents and get them being engaged in the community,” Russell said.
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.