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2015 Annual Luncheon for Neighborhood Housing Services

Our next event for Tuesday was the 2015 Annual Luncheon for Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) which is celebrating 40 years of "achieving, preserving, and sustaining" home ownership. We heard two fine speakers who were Mr. Jonathan Mintz, Founding President and Chief Executive Officer of the Cities for Financial Empowerment, a national non-profit organization that supports municipal efforts to help low-come families and individuals achieve long-term financial stability, and Mr. Paul Weech, CEO of NeighborWorks America which supports a network of more than 240 nonprofit organizations with technical assistance, grants and training for more than 12,000 professionals in the affordable housing and community development field every year.

We said hello to Mr. Lou Tisler, the Executive Director of NHS, who told us that he really likes Ms. Margaret W. Wong a lot and appreciates the support that she has given to NHS over the years.

We shared a table with Mr. Michael Lepley, Ms. Kris Keniray, and Mr. Khalid Ali who all work at Housing Research and Advocacy Center whose mission is to promote fair housing and diverse communities and work to eliminate housing discrimination in Northeast Ohio. Naturally they do a lot of work with people who have immigrated to the United States/Cleveland from other countries.

Mr. Tisler also brought up the subject of immigration when he spoke of a housing program supported by Mayor Jackson and Councilman Cimperman that would assist refugees. We wanted to find out some more about this so we talked to Ms. Marge Misak, Land Trust Program Director from NHS as we were getting ready to leave. Ms. Misak told us that the program is being organized in conjunction with Cleveland Catholic Charities and it will set aside housing units with a preference towards refugees ultimately occupying them. One such location is a building on West 45th Street that will have a ribbon cutting ceremony on April 1st. Ms. Misak told us that, thankfully, many of the CDC's of Cleveland are becoming aware of the refugee situation and are starting to join forces to deal with it.

Among the other people that we saw at the luncheon today were our friends Mr. Jim Rokakis of the Thriving Communities Institute; Mr. Michael Love, Economic Development Director of South Eucild; Mr. Tony D'Amico, Brookpark City Councilman; and, of course, Mr. Marty Gelfand, South Euclid City Councilman.

We also shook hands with Mr. Brian D. Tucker, Vice President and Director of Corporate Affairs for Dollar Bank, who told us that the first note of of congratulations that he received when he started his new position came from Ms. Margaret W. Wong.

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