By Mark Silverberg

University Settlement unveiled a billboard in Slavic Village on Aug. 15 which celebrates fathers who participate in their Fatherhood Initiative and Rise-Reentry Programs. The billboard is on Harvard Avenue, just west of E. 71st St., facing west. As of Aug. 25, over 50,000 people have viewed the billboard!

These programs at University Settlement support and assist fathers in the Slavic Village Community and the Cleveland Metropolitan area.  Both programs work closely with the Department of Children and Family Services. They are:

  • The Fatherhood Initiative program engages with fathers by offering them ways to become better fathers and role models to their children. The range of services includes parent enrichment classes, building healthy relationships inside and outside the community, and assisting them with support and housing needs.
  • The (RISE) re-entry program allows fathers who have court involvement and are on parole probation to obtain assistance and support. Those services include employment, mental health, vocational training, legal aid, and more.

Both of these programs seek to capture each father’s potential and wrap services around them to break down any barriers they face, and to assist them to become resilient and thrive throughout their lives. Both the fathers, families, and community benefit from this investment in the importance of fathers and fatherhood.

If you are interested in participating, or for more information please contact, Markis Jordan at or call 216-456-0909.

Markis Jordan (l), Program Manager talks about the importance of the programs at University Settlement.


Andre Bruce, one of the program participants, talks about the importance of the fatherhood support programs at the billboard unveiling.