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EDEN, Inc.

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EDEN Celebrates 30 Years of Providing Housing Solutions

On September 11th, EDEN celebrated its 30th anniversary with a Garden Party celebration. Nearly 300 supporters, community leaders, nonprofit professionals, and stakeholders attended to mark this achievement. We ate great food, competed for prizes, spent time with one another, and most importantly, we celebrated EDEN and its essential service to our community. What an invigorating and memorable evening!

At the event, we premiered our new video featuring our staff, a board member, property owner, and our tenants. We believe the message is clear: a safe, secure place to call home allows people to stabilize themselves, improve their health and well-being, participate in society, and work on their personal aspirations. Please watch it at www.EDENcle.org/video and let us know what you think about our hopes for the future!

We are especially grateful to our sponsors and donors. Please visit our event page for the list and to view their ads. If you wish to receive a copy of the program booklet, please send an email.

Thank you for your time, your treasures, and talents. Thank you for believing that a safe home builds stability and hope. Thank you for your faith in EDEN.
We look forward to working with you to meeting the challenges and opportunities of the next 30 years!

2021 Honorees

Outstanding Partner: Cuyahoga County Office of Homeless Services

OHSIt was in the spirit of a true public-private partnership that the Office of Homeless Services (OHS) was established in 1992, and we are truly grateful for the sustaining leadership of these tremendously dedicated public servants. Their role as advocate and collaborator has been essential in paving the road to success for many of the Continuum of Care initiatives, including the HMIS system, shelter, rapid re-housing, coordinated entry, rental assistance and permanent supportive housing.

They have a small-but-oh-so-mighty staff of four who oversee more than $40 million from the Department of Housing & Urban Development, the State of Ohio, and local funding sources. OHS has been instrumental in implementing HUD requirements and in transforming the homeless system to prioritize persons who are Veterans and chronically homeless, as well as families and young adults, for housing.

EDEN wanted to recognize OHS tonight, as they have shown tremendous leadership, guidance, and compassion to both those who are experiencing homelessness and to the agencies that provide services in the homeless system in what is often a very challenging environment.

Outstanding Partner: Housing First Initiative

Housing FirstBack in 2002, Permanent Supportive Housing was only a concept Cuyahoga County had heard about as a solution to ending long-term homelessness. A group of partners (Sisters of Charity Foundation, FrontLine Service, Enterprise Community Partners, Office of Homeless Services, CHN Housing Partners, and EDEN) came together to learn more about permanent supportive housing (PSH); visit existing projects in cities such as Columbus, Chicago, and New York; and start to garner support from private and public sectors to develop units in our own community.

Our original goal was to develop 1,000 units of housing in 10 years for the chronically or long-term homeless. Our Initiative follows a philosophy called “housing first,” meaning that we have low barriers for people to enter housing. We move people into housing quickly, help them to increase and maintain their housing stability, and then allow them to work on any issues that may have contributed to their homelessness. We provide permanent housing units for persons who are long-term homeless and have a disability. There are supportive services on-site that are tailored to the individual needs of the residents. To date, we have 738 units in operation and another 50 in the development phase, with the latest building focusing on young adults who are homeless. We have nearly ended chronic homelessness in Cuyahoga County, reducing chronic homeless numbers by 80% since we opened our first PSH building in 2006. We feel with our current PSH portfolio, we will be able meet the needs for housing of the chronically homeless population in Cuyahoga County.

The Housing First partners we are honoring have been together for almost 20 years, and they still remain committed to our goal of ending chronic homelessness. We have experienced setbacks from time to time, but much more progress. It is not often that we set out to accomplish a lofty goal and actually achieve it, but we have. EDEN is honored and humbled to work with such amazing organizations as our tremendous partners in the Housing First Initiative.

Outstanding Goal Achievement: Dartrell

DartrellWhen Dartrell was only seven years old, he was recruited by gang members to help run drugs. This led to him being in and out of the criminal justice system throughout his adolescence. Keeping his reputation was the only thing he felt worth fighting for. “I never could slow down to have peace of mind. I was always at war with myself or someone else.”

Homelessness followed him everywhere. “When I add up all the times I was on the streets and in and out of shelters, it comes to about ten years. I went to a halfway house for a year and a half because I was on parole. And then I heard about EDEN.”

Dartrell has been living at the Commons at West Village for five years. “It was scary at first, because I didn’t like having rules, but I wanted to feel safe. I got put out of every place that I’ve been since I was seven years old. So to be able to have my own keys and pay my own rent … just having responsibilities is a big thing to me.”

“I worked with my FrontLine counselor. I learned I could be alone. I was in groups all the time, you know. When you are by yourself, you find yourself.”

When Dartrell first moved into West Village, he started volunteering for the Catholic Diocese Food Pantry across the street. He impressed the staff with his hard work. When a job opening arose, they offered it to him. “I was a manager in six months. And I just want to see if maybe I can get into upper management—I want to be helping everybody.”

Dartrell is astonished at how much he has changed. He has not only found peace, but hope for a bright future. EDEN is proud to recognize his achievements and celebrate his dreams.

Outstanding Goal Achievement: John

JohnA nice home doesn’t seem to be such a lofty goal, but to John, it defined the pinnacle of success. “In foster care, I said to myself that one day I’m going to be on my own, and the one thing I want is a nice home. It took me a long time, and I’ve been through a lot, but God sent the right people to me to make it happen.”

John was placed in an orphanage at age two and then entered the foster system when he was six. While in foster care, he was bounced from family to family. At sixteen, John ran away and ended up in Ohio.
Out of work and suffering from depression, John lost his housing and became homeless. For three years, he slept underneath the bridge on the corner of Lakeside and West 3rd near the old Municipal Stadium. He applied for permanent supportive housing in 1998 and has lived at EDEN properties ever since.

Once John felt secure in a home, he began to thrive and give back. He became a volunteer patient navigator at MetroHealth for clients with HIV, a Sergeant-at-Arms at OCOA, and a motivational speaker. He also became a red coat volunteer at Playhouse Square and has been with them for ten years.

Nowadays, Precious—John’s 5-year-old Havanese support dog—is always at his side. “When I get depressed, I am so grateful for Precious because she helps me cope.”

Reflecting on his journey, John affirmed, “God sends people to people. Sometimes I sit back and reflect on all the people who helped me get where I am. Never forget where you come from, and always remember where you want to go.”

Outstanding Service: Dennis Morton

Dennis MortonDennis joined EDEN’s Board in November of 2012 and stepped in as acting president in December of 2015 when the Board president at the time encountered health issues. He was then voted in as President from October 2016 through February 2021.

Dennis has a long career in affordable housing. He was the Director of the Cleveland office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from 1977-2005, after which he retired or (as he would say) “was released”.
He then went on to establish AJM Capital LLC, which helps organizations with a broad spectrum of HUD programs, including asset dispositions, asset management, and compliance for housing development.

Dennis also served in the army infantry. He is married to Mary, who is a very patient woman and still holding out hope that he will reduce his workload and level of commitments (Dennis’ definition of retirement doesn’t match hers). He also has two beautiful grown children. You will rarely see Dennis in anything besides a suit and tie, even during the midst of a pandemic when he was home and attending meetings virtually. He has a unique sense of humor and is always smiling and laughing—especially at his own jokes.

Dennis has been a tremendous asset and support to EDEN, its staff, clients, and the overall work we do. He will be missed as he ends his third board term in February of 2022.

Outstanding Service: Edna Wisniewski- 25 Years

Edna is known to staff, clients and property owners as someone you can count on and who always goes above and beyond in her job. Her kindness and empathy shine through in her megawatt smile—as well as her words and actions.
She began her career at EDEN as a Maintenance Technician 25 years ago. In 2008, she transitioned into her current position of Housing Quality Standards Inspector. No matter what her role, Edna is always the most highly-requested staff member by our clients for unit visits. This is because, upon meeting Edna, clients instantly know she will do whatever she can to support them and help them to be successful in housing.

Edna is deeply compassionate, but if she sees injustice, she will fight to right the wrong. You will see a tough side of her as she works to get the outcome she feels should be achieved. One should never mistake her kindness for a weakness! Edna is extremely loyal and dedicated, not only in her professional life, but to her family as well. When you ask about her children or grandchildren, her face lights up and you can see the deep love she has for them.

EDEN is extremely lucky to have such an incredible person like Edna working for us for so many years. We hope she realizes how highly we value her and how important her long-standing service is to us and our participants.

Outstanding Service: Barbara Dorsey - 24 Years

Barb DorseyWhen one reads the list of EDEN’s values, one of the first staff names that comes to mind is Barbara Dorsey. Barbara will soon be at EDEN for 25 years. She holds a wealth of EDEN institutional knowledge and is always willing to share a fun anecdote about the early years of the organization—as well as the “growing pains” the agency has endured. She tells the best stories about the past days and former staff of EDEN.

Barbara’s unwavering commitment to EDEN has earned her the respect and love of her coworkers, our vendors, and tenants. In her role as Accounts Payable Specialist Lead, Barbara is an excellent steward of EDEN’S finances and has developed enduring relationships with many of our vendors. Her loyalty to EDEN and vendors alike has helped to enhance EDEN’S reputation in many arenas.

Barbara is a caregiver at heart, and that caring nature transcends from her personal life to her EDEN family. She is the first to wish staff a “Happy Birthday” and to check in on people if she hasn’t seen them in a while or knows they may be enduring some rough patches. She has an extremely generous spirit, but a sassy side too.

EDEN’S extended family has definitely been blessed by having Barbara as one of our long-term members. As we celebrate our 30th Anniversary, we celebrate those who, like Barbara, have made EDEN’s success possible.

Outstanding Service: Lori Ross - 22 Years

Lori Ross is unshakably committed to any project or task that is set before her, evident by her 22 year career at EDEN. She takes pride in her work, which is done efficiently yet thoughtfully. Ask Lori about any participant, property owner, or partner and it is almost guaranteed that she has some historical knowledge to share that is often helpful in navigating difficult situations.

One of her greatest qualities is her ability to empathize with others, whether it be our participants or her peers. Lori wears her heart on her sleeve and always steps up when someone is in need or when she knows she can help. Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or if her co-worker is having a rough day, she is there to celebrate or sympathize.

Creating strong relationships over the years, Lori has kept in touch with many staff members who have come and gone through her long tenure at the organization. She is a trustworthy friend and has built life-long connections because of her loving nature.

Even through her own personal obstacles, she continually perseveres, going above and beyond to participate in the Events Committee, train new staff members, or complete the behind-the-scenes tasks that keep things moving across the agency. We are extremely blessed to have the service of Lori Ross over the last 22 years at EDEN and we look forward to many, many more.


Event Sponsors

Click on the leaf to see sponsor's program ad.

Rose Sponsors



Bellwether Enterprise click


clickEnergy Management Specialists/EMS



Lilac Sponsors

click Irene & Gary Collins

Hiti, DiFrancesco and Siebold, Inc. - Architects click

click Huntington Bank

J8 Security click

click John G. Johnson Construction Company

click KeyBank

LDA architects click

click Marous Brothers Construction

Millstone Management Group click

click Mistick Construction

Oswald Companies click

click PIRHL, LLC

University Settlement Inc. click


Tulip Sponsors

click ACS CTS Decon

Beth & Rick Adams click

click ALCA Associates

CHN Housing Partners click

click EDEN Board of Directors

EDEN Senior Leadership Team click

click Enterprise Community Partners

Everstream click

click FrontLine Service

Gilmore Jasion Mahler, LTD click

click Kathryn Kazol & Deb Ross

Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing click

click TNT Construction

Westfield click

click YWCA of Cleveland


Daisy Sponsors

Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Cuyahoga County. click

click Batteries+Bulbs

A Big Fan of EDEN click

click Butler Human Services

Denk Associates, Inc. click

click Jim & Therese Sweeney Drake

Michael Doud click

click Famicos Foundation

Family Promise of Greater Cleveland click

click Front Steps Housing and Services

Janus Small Associates click

click Joseph's Home

Legal Aid Society of Cleveland click

click MRI Software

Northwest Neighborhoods CDC click

click Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C.

One View Communications click

click Right Choice Contracting, LLC

Kathleen and Robert Rosowski click

click Surety Title Agency, Inc.

Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP click

click West Roofing Systems, Inc.


Table Sponsors

The Centers for Families and Children

Cleveland Menu

Mental Health, Addiction and Recovery Services Board of Lorain County

click Northeast Ohio Coalition for the Homeless

Jon & Molly Petrus

Erin Sislowski


Richard Areddy

Cenweld Corporation

DJD Investment Company

Reginald Fields

John G. Johnson Construction Company

Keith & Catherine Kearney

Michael & Sara Laskey

Kate Lodge

McSherry & Co., LPA

Mistick Construction

Oswald Companies

Parma Movers

Jon & Molly Petrus

Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland

Prize Donors

Akron RubberDucks

AutoZone Brookpark Rd


Brooke Melrose Esthetics

Cleveland Ballet

Cleveland Monsters

Core CLE

Discount Tire Parma Heights

EDEN Senior Leadership Team

Judi & Chris Engel

Linda Erb

Forest City Shuffleboard

Greater Cleveland Aquarium

Herman’s Furniture and Design

Jennifer Stefanek Art and Design

Peggy Ledger

Angelique Luzader

Max StrengthFitness

My Time Skin & Nails

Jon & Molly Petrus

The Pollock Family

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Santa Rosa Stitches

Heather Skrzypiec

Jacquie Skryzpiec

Michele & Rob Sommerfelt

Synergy Woods

Christie Tatman-Stroh


click Gentile's Bakery

Let's Entertain click

click Northcoast Lito


click The Tomato Guys

Wonderhouse Films click



EDEN Values Transparency

GuideStarEDEN has earned the 2021 GuideStar Platinum Seal of Transparency, the leading symbol of accountability in the nonprofit world. GuideStar serves to legitimize nonprofits and is a source of information to potential donors and grantors. If you are thinking about donating to us — and we are incredibly grateful if you do — rest assured we value responsibility, transparency, and accountability with the funds with which we are entrusted. For more information, visit GuideStar.



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