Statement from Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio on possible county jail site

February 14, 2022

Cuyahoga County’s misguided and secretive pursuit of a new jail site in the Slavic Village/North Broadway area is a flagrant slap in the face to all the young people who find hope and inspiration at our flagship Broadway Boys & Girls Club. It is also an affront to all the families and businesses in a neighborhood still reeling from the foreclosure crisis 15 years ago.

Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeast Ohio strongly opposes locating the new jail in this neighborhood and stands in unity with the nonprofit and city government entities fighting this proposal.

Our kids deserve better. Our neighborhood deserves better.

Slavic Village/North Broadway has done so much work to invest and create a pathway forward. Building a county jail at this site would  set back the community in a significant way and undermine so much progress. It is beyond troubling that the county is seriously considering this site even though it has not sought input from the people who live and work in this neighborhood.

The county had a moral obligation to engage the community in this decision. It failed to meet that obligation in spectacular fashion.

The county should consider other locations in commercial and industrial districts, sites that do not impact a residential neighborhood, Some will argue that this project would create jobs. We believe what Slavic Village/North Broadway really needs is more impactful county, city and private investment, not a taxpayer-funded enticement to attract bail bondsmen and payday lenders.

Cleveland ranks No. 1 in the country for child poverty. Don’t allow the kids in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods grow up in the shadow of a jail. By doing so, you would be sending a terrible message.