The event, held at Cleveland Public Theater in Cleveland’s Gordon Square neighborhood, raises funds for the YMCA of Greater Cleveland’s Y-Haven transitional housing and re-entry program for men.
A combination of corporate sponsors, individual donors, and proceeds from a silent auction made up the contributions to this year’s fundraiser.
The event also honored retiring Cleveland City councilman Jay Westbrook, a longtime supporter of Y-Haven. Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, also a longtime supporter of the YMCA of Greater Cleveland and its Y-Haven program, offered his remarks in honor of Councilman Westbrook.
An original play, titled “A Life Without,” a moving and humorous story about the challenge to make meaning out of the difficult and seemingly random events of our lives, was created and performed by residents of Y-Haven in partnership with the Cleveland Public Theater’s Education Department.
A fourteen-year partnership between the two organizations, the project introduces theatre arts to homeless men recovering substance abuse and mental health challenges. As they work with CPT artists to create an original performance based on their personal experiences, participants develop skills and capacities that support sobriety and transition to employment, permanent housing, and independent living.
“ A consistent audience favorite, the CPT/Y-Haven Theatre Project offers candid insight into important issues of our society and gives real hope for growth and change. Audiences are deeply moved by the poignant stories presented in this powerful collaboration,” said Executive Director of the Y-Haven program, Chip Joseph.
Every year, the original work is presented to enthusiastic full houses at CPT, and is toured to Cleveland area homeless shelters, recovery centers, and college campuses.
Upon the conclusion of the play’s tour in mid-December, the cast of “A Life Without” enjoyed a private lunch with Mayor Frank Jackson.
Learn more about the Y-Haven program here.