our history + Mission
A reversal in thinking.
The Metanoia Project is a 501 (c) whose origin dates back to 2007 after the Cleveland Police Department's 2nd District called together a number of community activists and homeless advocates to discuss an ever-growing concern: why were there so many individuals living outside during the life-threatening winter months despite the availability of shelters in the area?
This subset of the homeless population was then identified as those who did not fit into the traditional shelter system. This was due to a number of circumstances that could include trauma, mental illness, substance use, not wanting to be separated from their partners or belongings, and general distrust of traditional services/service providers. From this realization that shelters are not one size fits all, The Metanoia Project (Greek translation "change of mind", a "reversal in thinking") was born as a solution.
By removing barriers and responding with compassion and innovation, The Metanoia Project is able to provide overnight respite and care to these men and women who would otherwise be staying in tents, doorways, alleyways, abandoned buildings, and other precarious environments during Cleveland's treacherous winter months.
Since 2011, The Metanoia Project has operated a 100-plus bed shelter, open from mid-November through mid-April, that operates out of St Malachi Parish.
The overnight hospitality center opens its doors Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. the following morning. During weeknights of extreme cold, when the doors would normally be closed, the organization uses funds secured through donations all year to open its doors to its guests.
In addition to overnight shelter, The Metanoia Project provides its guests with meals, showers, clothing, and access to on-site physical and mental health care.
The Metanoia Project aims to develop mutually-beneficial, authentic relationships with its guests. The trust that grows in this process allows for our guests to be supported and accommodated by staff on an individual level. These relationships also act as a conduit, linking those who are severely underserved in the homeless community to a myriad of services including rehabilitation programs, physical/mental health care, housing resources, and employment opportunities.
While many in the community look at the organization's guests with scorn, The Metanoia Project sees them as the individuals they truly are: humans who are deserving of understanding and the chance to transform despite their vulnerability.