LMM News

Jones Day Cleveland Joins LMM’s Legal Team as Pro Bono Co-Counsel in Youth-Drop in Center Zoning Dispute

June 30, 2023

Media Contact:
Jessica Starr, Director of Communications

Jones Day Cleveland Joins LMM’s Legal Team as Pro Bono Co-Counsel in Youth Drop-In Center Zoning Dispute

Receipt of pro bono legal services allows LMM and partners to continue the fight to provide our most vulnerable youth with necessary support and services

The proposed future location of the Youth Drop-In Center (YDIC) at 4100 Franklin Blvd. is still opposed by a small group of neighbors based on unfounded fears of how young people experiencing housing instability allegedly will conduct themselves. Despite overwhelming support for the YDIC from the Ohio City community, a few neighbors filed a lawsuit earlier this year with intent to tie up building owner and YDIC operator, Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry (LMM), in an expensive legal battle and prevent the agency from providing fundamental services to the youth in our community who need it the most. The YDIC is an initiative of A Place 4 Me, operated by LMM, and in partnership with Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland and the REACH Youth Action Board. Jones Day Cleveland is stepping up to support LMM’s mission… for free.

As a nonprofit with limited resources but great faith in the YDIC project, LMM is pleased to announce the addition of Jones Day Cleveland to its legal team fighting to open the YDIC at the location the young adult project leaders chose. Jones Day will represent LMM for free so that their team can focus its limited resources on its charitable mission.

As co-counsel, Jones Day will contribute its world-renowned litigation experience to the expertise of zoning attorney Ben Ockner of Berns, Ockner & Greenberger, who will continue to fight for LMM and the YDIC in these ongoing matters.

Maria Foschia, President & CEO of LMM, and the partners in the YDIC project, are grateful for the resources this expanded legal team brings to this case. “As a 54-year-old social justice agency, we are responsible stewards of the dollars we spend to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve and will serve in the future. By Jones Day offering their expertise pro bono, the burden of our legal costs on this litigation is significantly reduced, and LMM can continue to advocate in court for the ideal location for the first youth drop-in center in northeast Ohio.”

YDIC collaborative partners: A Place 4 Me Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland REACH Youth Action Board Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry

About Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry:

Lutheran Metropolitan Ministry (LMM) is a 54-year-old nonprofit social services and advocacy organization. Over the last five decades, LMM has demonstrated an unwavering commitment to addressing chronic needs, enabling people in our community facing adversity to become self-sufficient, and advocating for systems change. Our programming focuses on innovative and effective services in the areas of Guardianship, Housing & Shelter, Workforce Development, and Youth Resiliency.

Related to housing and shelter, LMM operates the largest homeless shelter in the state of Ohio, the Men’s Shelter at 2100 Lakeside, as well as Haven Home (Cuyahoga County’s family overflow shelter), and a youth homeless shelter. LMM is the owner and operator of the growing number of Breaking New Ground homes in the St. Clair-Superior neighborhood of Cleveland.

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