Community Partner : Delores Gray

Delores is a resident of the Central neighborhood and serves as an advocate in her neighborhood as the Community Engagement Coordinator at Care Alliance Health Center. She volunteered her time as a member of the Street Team, hosting conversations to discover what residents think about arts and culture in the community.

Why did you get involved in CAC’s organizational planning process?

Arts and culture bring a lot to the greater Cleveland community, and I wanted my neighbors in CMHA housing to have a say on what they wanted to see in the community. We had about 40 people show up to have their voices heard and to listen.

What did you learn from your listening session?

People want to see more safety and security – more police presence. They also want better stores and restaurants. They also want their children to have a good education. They were focused on quality of life.

What surprised you most about what you heard?

What surprised me is they wanted to be involved in the next session. Usually, they will come out to listen and then don’t come back out. They want to be involved and stay involved.

What is your hope for the future of CAC as the organization continues to work to strengthen the community by investing in arts/culture?

It’s important to our residents that organizations invest and keep coming back. We want to keep these faces coming in and being committed to do what they say they will do for the community. They don’t want an organization to give grant money and leave; they want them to come back and see what it’s doing for the community.