In the summer of 1990, the Cuyahoga County Community Mental Health Board (CCCMHB), in its mission statement and strategic plan, identified persons who are severely mentally disabled and indigent as its top priority for services and housing over the next five years. It was determined that of the many and varied services and resources needed by mental health consumers, housing continued to be among the most pressing.
It had been proposed in the CCCMHB’s original Housing Plan that a Housing Resource Center be established. In 1990, the CCCMHB undertook an effort to revise the original 1987 Housing Plan, and again the recommendation to establish a central housing agency was made: this time expanding the role to include housing development and management as well as information services.
On December 12 1990, Emerald Development and Economic Network, Inc. (EDEN, Inc.) filed its Articles of Incorporation with the Ohio Secretary of State. On February 26, 1991 EDEN became fully functional after its first official Board meeting.
The CCCMHB (now the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services (ADAMHS) Board of Cuyahoga County) re-affirms its commitment to housing the disabled population of Cuyahoga County by its annual allocation to EDEN.
What began as one residence, has grown exponentially over the past 27 years. EDEN now owns and manages over 200 units of scattered-site housing for individuals and families that have a member with a mental illness, owns and manages 667 units of Permanent Supportive Housing for chronically homeless individuals-with an additional 71 units in development. These projects have excellent outcomes, in that EDEN maintains approximately 98% occupancy, and turns over units within an average of 14-30 days. The agency also owns Norma Herr Women’s Center, which is the primary shelter in Cuyahoga County for single adult women.
EDEN also administers rental assistance for over 2800 households per month, focusing mainly on persons with disabilities and those that are homeless. This includes single individuals, families, and citizens re-entering our community from institutions. Additionally, EDEN is the primary provider of the Rapid Re-Housing Program (time limited rental assistance) in Cuyahoga County.
Today, EDEN is a nationally recognized housing provider through our scattered site properties, Permanent Supportive Housing buildings and rental voucher programs. While EDEN focuses on such housing activities as development, location, housing stability, landlord relations, inspection, maintenance, and management, the agency also partners very closely with dozens of community-based agencies to ensure that tenants obtain the support services they need to improve their health and well-being, and sustain permanent housing. Housing is our foundation, and the linkage of housing and services is the key to the success of the clients we serve.
EDEN’s original site at West James