STORIES OF HOPE

  • Joint Mission Between Refugee and Volunteer Leads to Citizenship
    “May God bless them.”  Racheal Reech’s words, punctuated by her megawatt smile, reflect her gratitude to the volunteers at BHITC’s The Hope Center (The Center) and its staff who helped her become an American citizen earlier this year.
  • God’s Plan (and Footprint!) for Common Threads is Growing
    A little more than five short years ago, the staff and board of BHITC dreamed of what else God could do through its ministries for the people and the city of Cleveland.  In March of 2016, BHITC signed a lease for 22049 Lorain Road in Fairview Park with a dream of supporting the organization through businesses that do good – social enterprises – the first of which would be a thrift store located in this space. 
  • Meet Josh Miller, Church Planter
    Bringing people from all walks of life into a family, a home and a church. Meet church planter, Josh Miller, and his family who lead Cove City Church in University Circle. Q:        Tell us about you. Were you born and raised in Northeast Ohio? If not, where? A:         I was born and raised in Northeast Ohio. Shortly after marriage, my wife and moved to North Carolina. While we lived there, God began to place in our heart a desire to move back to Northeast Ohio to plant a church.
  • Home Sweet Home Away From Home
    Watch for even more great things happening at The Hope Center (The Center) now that Building Hope in the City (BHITC) purchased the building!  That’s right, as of February of 2018, the building at 15135 Triskett Road in Cleveland, which the organization began renting two days a week just three short years ago, now officially belongs to BHITC!
  • God Blesses Property and Personal Restoration Efforts
    God is in the restoration business – in more ways than you might expect!  By His grace, He restores and refreshes the hearts and souls of all who cry out to Him, but recently at Building Hope in the City (BHITC), He’s also been at work on the near west side of Cleveland renovating not only hearts, but also homes!
  • Hope Center Facilities Manager
    The Hope Center (Center) seeks to hire a Facilities Manager, who will serve as the overall coordinator for Center facility and property operations in support of ministry program and activities. Duties include the operation and maintenance of equipment systems, interior and exterior property maintenance, and oversight of service contracts associated with the operation and maintenance of Center properties.
  • The Anticipation of the Advent Season Reflected in Church Planting
    Church planting is much like the advent season. There's great anticipation, praying, waiting and longing for what is to come. It's a time when what God has stirred in the hearts of many promises to give new life and hope to those who are watching with great expectation - all because of Jesus.
  • Hope Weaved Throughout Seven-Year Education Journey
    God has an amazing way of weaving people’s stories together, doesn’t He?! Take the stories of Ran Maya Basnet and Stephanie Labovitz. The two originally met in 2010 when Labovitz was a brand-new volunteer tutor with Building Hope in the City (BHITC) and Basnet’s family was newly resettled to Cleveland from Nepal. At that time, BHITC ran a tutoring program at St. Colman Catholic Church on W. 65th St., where week after week, the two began getting to know each other.
  • Relocation Leads to Planting Renew Church Cleveland
    Dynamic, Jesus-loving leaders, such as Pete Pinkowski, a church planter shown here with his family, are the men BHITC supports through this effort. He spent a few minutes sharing with us about how God is at work in his life and the vision he has for leading people closer to Jesus.
  • One Year to the No. 1 Spot in Town
    Great deals on top of greater deals was the theme all weekend long to celebrate the one year anniversary of Common Threads! Throughout the weekend of June 23-25, shoppers enjoyed stacking coupons on top of daily deals on top of already low prices at BHITC’s first-ever thrift store and social enterprise, scoring the store’s biggest deal opportunities ever.
  • Generous Donors Leave Legacies for Hope
    On an unsuspecting day in December 2015, Executive Director Brian Upton received a phone call that Parma resident and lifelong Lutheran, Jean Gschwend, had left a generous estate gift to BHITC. No one in the organization had heard of Jean, let alone known her. BHITC was shocked and overwhelmed by the tremendous blessing
  • Redeeming Work, Inspiring Excellence at Common Threads
    “Everyday, I walk into this store and I feel like God made this job just for me,” says Jeff Stredney, BHITC’s Director of Social Enterprise, describing the experience of launching Common Threads. The store, located in Fairview Park, opened in June of 2016 as the first business venture of HopeWorks.
  • THE HOPE CENTER: A Gateway to Employment and Much More
    Employment is always one of the biggest needs we hear from refugees of all ages. Whether it’s a father, highly educated and successful in his home country, seeking entry-level employment in America because his degree and experience are not recognized here or young adults who are too old for high school, but really do not have a solid education, employment is challenging, but essential to the stability and long-term success of refugee families.
  • Life is Sweet for Refugee Family Thanks to Open Table
    Refugees amaze their American friends, neighbors, co-workers and “Table” members every day with their drive to succeed and joyous outlook on life, regardless of what they’ve experienced. Many refugees have lived through the unimaginable – things most of the world will only ever catch glimpses of on the news or read about in a headline while browsing the internet.
  • Meet Matt Buehrle, Church Planter
    Matt and Naomi Buehrle and their family moved to Cleveland in 2008 to be part of a church planting effort. Things didn’t go quite as expected, but the journey taught Matt plenty about the Kingdom and God’s providence in all situations.
  • Nothing Common About It! Common Threads Thrift Now Open
    Rethinking thrift. That’s what Building Hope in the City (BHITC), its partners, volunteers and the Cleveland area are doing now, thanks to the opening of Common Threads in Fairview Park in late June.
  • God Brings Local Refugees Together Through Common Language for Spiritual Growth
    What do you do when you’re a new Christian in a new country where no one speaks your language, but you want to grow in your walk with God? Thankfully for Mohammed, God intervened and brought exactly the right person into his life.
  • Congratulations, BHITC Staff on Becoming American Citizens!
    Proud to be Americans! This couldn’t be more true for the refugees and immigrants BHITC supports each year on their journeys to become American citizens. This year is a bit different, however, in that two BHITC staff members have now also completed their journeys to citizenship, and everyone involved is so proud!
  • Cleveland Native Returns Home for Church Planting
    Meet Nate Friedrichsen, church planter. My wife, Aimee, and I – our two young boys came along the way – spent seven years in Chicago before moving to Cleveland in the summer of 2015. Northeast Ohio was always home for me, but I gained a vision for the potential of local churches in and for dense and diverse urban neighborhoods through our time in Chicago.
  • BIG Year – Literally – for CitySERVE 2016!
    When BHITC began planning this year’s CitySERVE day – the tenth consecutive year for the service event in partnership with Lutheran West High School – the organization encouraged everyone to “Think Big!” Wow, did they deliver!