New Promise Neighborhood Engagement & Resident Leadership Staff

Joseph Black is our new Promise Neighborhood Engagement Manager. Joe brings a rich to the work in in the Central community, with experience in mentoring, educating and planning. His leadership has been noted in all walks of life.

Previously known for his work as the Youth Program Director at Friendly Inn Settlement House, he brought opportunities to work together with other youth organizations throughout the area. He was innovative and willing to try new approaches to chronic issues. The neighborhood’s first “Unity Walk,” which brought together youth groups from other neighborhoods, crossing boundaries and territories, was one positive result of his efforts.

As a graduate of Shaw University with a BA in Psychology and Sociology, he also has a background in mental health case management. He is working on his Master’s of Social Work at Cleveland State University. Joe is invested in lives of youth and families in the neighborhood. Always looking for opportunities to provide people with new experiences, he opened doors supported by the resources to help people grow beyond the challenges that life has brought to them. Simply put his work is grounded in the belief that “Better Days are Created by Better Ways.” Welcome Joe. You can reach him at jblack@socfcleveland.org and at 216.346.5639.

We are also pleased that Dawn Glasco is our new Promise neighborhood engagement coordinator.

Dawn is a proud resident of Central and graduate from East Technical High School. A former educator for Cleveland Metropolitan schools, she received a Bachelor’s degree in business administration from Chancellor University (formerly Dyke College).

Dawn has been a Central Promise Neighborhood Ambassador since the program’s inception in 2011. A former champion volleyball coach, health educator, college recruiter and a Women In Communications Matrix Scholarship winner, Dawn enjoys connecting people together and teaching. Her hobbies include photography, writing, and cooking. You can reach Dawn at 216.346.5648 or at dglasco@socfcleveland.org.

Earned Income Tax Credit Boosts Promise Neighborhood

The Central Promise Neighborhood is $5.7 million more prosperous thanks to the federal Earned Income Tax Credit, which helped an estimated 1,900 low-wage working families and individuals in the community make ends meet, according to a new report from Policy Matters Ohio.

But many families in the neighborhood will see no benefit from Ohio’s Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) because of its significant shortcomings. Ohio lawmakers can help Central Promise’s effort to create a community where every child can have college and career success by making improvements to the state EITC, which supplements the federal credit.

“The federal EITC supports the mission of the Promise Initiative,” said Hannah Halbert, report author and researcher with Policy Matters Ohio. “Kids in EITC families that receive larger EITC credits tend to have higher test scores, higher graduations rates, and higher college attendance rates.”

Policy Matters’ report looks at the impact of the federal and state EITCs on the Promise neighborhood. Tax filers who claimed the federal EITC in the neighborhood got an average credit of $3,001, which will help them afford necessities like childcare and transportation.

The Ohio EITC will have a much more limited benefit for the neighborhood. One of the main reasons is that unlike the federal credit, Ohio’s isn’t “refundable,” which allows those qualifying for the EITC to claim a modest refund if the credit exceeds what they owe in taxes. The median gross income of the Promise neighborhood is barely above the threshold for qualifying for Ohio’s low-income tax credit, which eliminates tax liability for taxpayers with taxable income less than $10,000. Because the Ohio EITC isn’t refundable, many of these families will see no benefit from it.

In addition, Ohio’s EITC is capped for those with taxable income over $20,000 and set at only 5 percent of the federal credit. Making it one of the weakest credits in the nation.

“The state credit should be better targeted to reach low-income working families,” said Halbert. “Making the credit refundable, increasing the amount, and dropping the cap would help keep more kids out of poverty.”

This report was made possible by the generous support of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland.

Read the report.