Baller Moves: LeBron James to bring transitional housing to I Promise School families in need
James said, "We want this place to be their home where they feel safe, supported and loved."
It looks like the heart of gold that belongs to LeBron James is expanding even further.
In July 2018, the Los Angeles Laker star opened the I Promise School in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. This week, James unveils that his foundation will also provide transitional housing for students and their families who are currently facing housing challenges as they arise, reported Yahoo.
James said the I Promise Village — a renovated apartment complex that will house students and their families in transition — has a projected opening date of July 2020. The goal is to provide shelter, safety and support for families facing homelessness, domestic violence and other immediate needs so students have one less thing to worry about.
“Initially, our work was focused on helping these kids earn an education,” James said in a statement.
“But we’ve found that it is impossible to help them learn if they are struggling to survive — if they are hungry, if they have no heat in the freezing winter, if they live in fear for their safety. We want this place to be their home where they feel safe, supported and loved, knowing we are right there with them every step of the way as they get back on their feet.”
The LeBron James Family Foundation partnering with Graduate Hotels to renovate Akron’s historic Westmont apartment building for this project. The housing is located about five blocks from the school, according to Cleveland.com.
Michele Campbell, executive director of LeBron’s foundation, said the transitional housing is congruent with the need she saw from day one.
“What happens at home impacts what happens at school, and it can be difficult for students to concentrate on the work or do their homework to succeed,” Campbell told USA Today.
“It also results in students acting out at school and being punished with, for example, in-school suspension rather than anyone getting to the root of the real issue.”
Campbell added: “Because they’re frustrated and scared about what’s happening at home, what we are seeing, especially from young children who don’t understand how to connect all of those dots, when they put a book in front of them, that’s when we’re seeing behaviors act out. They don’t know how to necessarily verbalize they’re frustrated or scared.”
Thanks to James, the foundation will help families stabilize and get back on track by helping them formulate “a long-term plan for their future success.”