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Recovery, Housing, Hope

Y-Haven provides Residential Substance Use Disorder treatment, treatment for those with a co-occurring Mental Health disorder(s), and transitional Housing for women and men in Greater Cleveland. 

Y-Haven specializes in serving adults who have experienced homelessness, who are returning to the community from incarceration, and who are seeking to recover from Opioid Use Disorder.



To make a referral or refer yourself, simply call 216-431-2018 extension #3452, or email Our Intake staff will contact you quickly. Admissions take place twice a week.



  • Residential Treatment, Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP) or Outpatient Treatment, depending on need

  • Mental Health Treatment in the form of group & individual counseling

  • Transitional Housing for all clients as needed throughout the treatment process

  • Health Care and Medication Assisted Treatment (Vivitrol and Sublocade) provided by Y-Haven partners

  • Case Management, Vocational Support, Medication Monitoring, Permanent Housing Placement, Veteran Services, Family Programming, and other supportive services

  • 2 and 3 person furnished suites, each with shared kitchen and bath  

  • Round-the-clock resident support and security

  • Follow-up Care for 6 months after clients exit the supportive transitional housing program



  • SUD: Y-Haven serves those seeking to recover from Substance Use Disorders

  • Age: Single adults, 21 years and older.

  • Physical & Mental Health: Those with a mental health or physical health diagnosis must be actively engaged with an appropriate provider and adherent with medication/treatment

  • Independence: Ability to successfully function in a semi-independent living environment.

  • Payment: Y-Haven serves individuals regardless of ability to pay


Y-Haven is accredited by CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities), it is certified by the Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, and all clinical staff are licensed by the State of Ohio.)


6001 Woodland Ave, Suite 703
Cleveland, OH 44104

Ed Gemerchak, LISW-S
Senior Vice President of
Behavioral Services, Y-Haven

Karen Wukela
Operations Director

Phil Buck, LISW-S
Clinical Director


Advisory Board

Walter Balester
Jack Breisch
Chesley Cheatham
Rosemary Creeden
Beth Darmstadter
Dan Dugan
Bridget Franklin
Marc Hays
Scott Heasley
Gayle Jun
Phil Martino
Andrew Moleski
Jeff Smith
Tom Zych


Steps & Stages Play 

On January 27,2024, Y-Haven residents perform "Troubled Waters." The play is based on true stories of empowerment and survival co-written by members of this year’s Y-Haven Theatre Project. The residents of a cursed city in the middle of a draught find themselves engulfed in darkness even when the sun is shining. When rain begins to fall, it appears as though their prayers have been answered. However, as the waters continue to rise, they must search within to break the curse and build anew. Tickets are available for purchase, all proceeds benefit Y-Haven.

Purchase Tickets

Since 1999, Cleveland Public Theatre and Y-Haven have collaborated to create an original theater production, performed by residents of Y-Haven, based on their personal experiences. The play is an example of the transformational power of the arts and helps participants develop skills and capacities that support their sobriety and transition to employment, permanent housing and independent living. All ticket proceeds benefit Y-Haven. 

Addiction and homelessness are inflictions that often hide in the shadows, may be affecting someone you know. Yet, with the courageous participation of some residents at Y-Haven and the guidance and creativity of the talented Cleveland Public Theatre staff, the YMCA of Greater Cleveland is casting a spotlight on this issue. By bringing their stories to light on stage, we aim to humanize recovering addicts' challenging journey on their never-ending path to sobriety and productivity. 

Y-Haven and the Cleveland Public Theatre have partnered over the past 24 years on this theatrical production to engage, educate, and inspire Cleveland audiences. Featuring Y-Haven residents and former residents who have no theatrical training, this moving performance explores the challenges and realities of living in recovery from substance.



Y-Haven is grateful to receive support from our mission partners. 

  • ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County

  • State of Ohio Development Services Agency

  • Cuyahoga County Office of Re-Entry

  • U.S. Veterans Administration

  • Cuyahoga County / City of Cleveland Office of Homeless Services

  • The United Way of Greater Cleveland

  • The Cleveland Foundation and other community foundations

  • Northern Haserot, Inc.

  • Private Donors 


Donation Needs

Support for Y-Haven comes from grants from the Federal, City and County government, the Department of Veteran Affairs, philanthropic foundations, and individual charitable contributions. Please support our efforts to help men turn their lives around and donate today. For other donation options please call 216-431-2018.

“Welcome Home Kits” for Y-Haven residents moving into housing

When Y-Haven residents move into their new home they need to set up their kitchen & home.
Y-Haven is seeking completed “kits” in a box or laundry basket to provide to residents who are moving into their own housing.  Welcome Kit items should be gently worn or new.   

Suggested “Welcome Home Kit” contents:

  • Plates & silverware
  • Glasses, mugs
  • Pots, pans, skillet
  • Toaster
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cleaning Supplies (sponges, dish soap, cleanser, laundry detergent)
  • Dish towels, dish rack
  • Kitchen utensils (knives, can opener, peeler, etc.
  • Pillows, sheets, towels
  • Shower curtain

Winter Clothing for Men & Women

Donations should be new or gently worn and freshly laundered.

  • Hats
  • Gloves
  • Scarves
  • Coats
  • Long Johns
  • Boots

Online Donations

Y-Haven will always accept the help of our wonderful donors.

  • $100 provides 40 bus tickets to help a resident attend medical appointments and seek employment.

  • $250 provides newly arriving residents with “welcome kits” containing kitchen supplies and linens they can take when the leave.

  • $1,000 sponsors one homeless cast member in Y-Haven’s Annual Play done in collaboration with the Cleveland Public Theatre. 

  • $2,500 adopts one of ten Y-Haven community rooms providing a home-like setting for resident fellowship.




Dominic's Story

My name is Dominic. I grew up in Cleveland with three siblings, a father who was a steelworker, and a mother who was a homemaker. I was close to my siblings and as we went throughout our childhood, we raised each other. My family was everything to me. When my parents divorced, my whole life changed. I used to be totally opposed to drugs, but now turned to them to heal my pain. I couldn’t stop using. My back was injured once and I became addicted to painkillers, which kept leading me down the path of using more and more drugs. So, drugs became not just a medicine for my body, but also for my mind. Until I got here four months ago, I didn’t even want to be alive. Y-Haven became my 21st attempt at rehabilitation. My addictions lead to homelessness, and Y-Haven provided me with not only a roof over my head, but also a chance to reclaim my future. The councilors here don’t judge, and truly care about residents’ recovery. My main motivation for my recovery is my family. I can now call myself a grandfather, a father, and a brother. In the future, I want to be an amazing grandfather, continue my passion of being someone who fixes rather than destroys, and most importantly, stay sober. Y-Haven has given me a second chance at life, and I will use it well.

Cherita's Story 

My name is Cherita and I am currently 39 years old. I started using crack cocaine at the age of 23. I dealt with a variety of challenges, such as depression, domestic violence, and self-esteem issues. Eventually, as a result of my addiction, I would become homeless and spend time in every major shelter in Cleveland. I also tried to stay with friends and other treatment programs, but I would always relapse and end up on the streets again.

My entrance into Y-Haven represented my 14th attempt at recovery from my addiction. This time, I was going to take my time and move at my own pace to ensure that I would stay sober. Y-Haven has been so helpful because it has so much to offer: treatment, safety, and life skills. With the help I’ve been getting at Y-Haven, I have several plans for the future. I’m writing a comic book series to help other people recover and I also want to create a shelter for women and their children with all the resources they need once I finish my treatment. I know that there is a long way to go, but Y-Haven has given me the hope I was missing for so long.

Richard's Story 

I grew up here on the East side of Cleveland. Ever since I was young, I was around drugs and alcohol. Everyone in my neighborhood used some sort of substance. It was normal. My mother used drugs and my father was an alcoholic. When I was 11 or 12 years old, I started smoking weed. Since then everything escalated. I got into some trouble when I was 17 years old and I went to Jail. I was there for 27 years of my life. During my time there, I was able to complete high school but was unable to continue on to college. Since then I have been in and out of treatment 15 times. I was never homeless though. I always had a friend or family member who would help me.

Since being at Y-Haven, I have been able to achieve 6 months of sobriety for the first time in my life. There is always someone to help you here or to talk to if you need it. While I have had to be more honest with myself and with others. As well as working on all the guilt, you obtain from being an addict. I am glad that I am here. I am going to stay the course and commit myself to it. I want to complete the program fully so in the spring I can apply for my own housing. I want to be able to do things with my son that I missed when he was younger. I have stability here and with that, the goal is to stay sober and clean.