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Cuyahoga County Announces $7.9 Million in Federal Funding to Invest in Norma Herr Center

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Exterior of the Norma Herr Women's Cente    Exterior of the Norma Herr Women's Center

New building will offer more personal space, improved shelter experience

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, OH - Cuyahoga County will invest $7.9 million in federal funds to enhance the Norma Herr Center. The money, which comes from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) HOME-ARPA Program, is subject to approval by the Cuyahoga County Council and will be proposed at the March 26 meeting.

"Cuyahoga County is taking a significant step towards a more equitable and compassionate community for all," said Cuyahoga County Executive Chris Ronayne. "This substantial investment will provide a more dignified, respectable experience for residents as they enter the shelter system and begin their journey towards permanent housing. The County is committed to supporting those in need and to pursuing long-term solutions to homelessness.”

The Cuyahoga County Department of Housing and Community Development will utilize the funds to renovate the Norma Herr II Non-congregate Shelter. The new building, which is owned by the Emerald Development and Economic Network (EDEN) sits adjacent to the shelter at 2227 Payne Avenue.

The Norma Herr Center, operated by the YWCA of Greater Cleveland, serves an average of 170 people each night. In addition to providing shelter, the facility offers resources and services to assist the unhoused with finding permanent housing.

"The renovation and rehabilitation of this project are long overdue and necessary to provide our residents with safe, decent, and dignified living spaces. The facility will continue to offer resources and services to assist with securing permanent housing. Additionally, these renovations serve as an investment in the Cuyahoga Continuum Strategic Plan, furthering our efforts to enhance the support for individuals experiencing housing crises,” adds Melissa Sirak, Director of the Cuyahoga County Office of Homeless Services.

In 2021, Congress appropriated $5 billion in ARPA funds to address the need for homelessness assistance and supportive services administered through the HOME-ARPA program to perform activities that primarily benefit qualifying individuals and families who are homeless, at risk of homelessness, or in other vulnerable populations. The project was created to provide safe housing options, including non-congregated living for the unhoused.

"Ending homelessness begins with providing individuals with the proper resources to move forward on a path to sustainable housing," said Sara Parks Jackson, Cuyahoga County's Director of Housing and Community Development. "Today, we are investing in hope, safety, and a brighter future for those in need."

On March 5, Cuyahoga County opened the newly renovated Emergency Shelter at 2020 Lakeside Avenue, with plans to continue renovations at 2100 Lakeside and Norma Herr I.

For more information about the Cuyahoga County Office of Homeless Services, visit