Architecture & Real Estate | December 8, 2019 6:49 am

LeBron James’s Foundation Embraces Transitional Housing

The I Promise Village is set to open next year

I Promise Village
The future location of I Promise Village.
LeBron James Family Foundation

When you think of LeBron James’s charitable work, the basketball superstar’s work in the education sphere is probably the first thing that comes to mind. That’s not surprising: he has done a lot of it, and its profile has been very high. But there’s another side of the work being done by James and his foundation, and it’s a subject near to James’s heart: housing.

At Curbed, Patrick Sisson explored what the LeBron James Family Foundation is doing to create transitional housing for people in need. As Sisson writes, this connects directly with James’s experience when he was fourth grader attending school in Akron, Ohio. James and his mother moved frequently due to their financial situation, and it adversely affected other aspects of their lives as well.

“The uncertainty of where he would be sleeping during any particular night, and the sometimes significant distance to school, made it challenging for him to make it to class,” Sisson writes. “During a year when LeBron and Gloria moved a half-dozen times, he missed 83 days of school.”

It’s an unfortunate situation: a student without a stable place to live may not be in the best place to learn. James’s foray into education will soon have a component that will provide stability for any students whose home lives are disrupted in some way. 

That’s via the I Promise Village, which is the latest project from the LeBron James Family Foundation. It’s located in close proximity to the I Promise School, and is designed to, as the announcement puts it, provide “individual living units for students and their families who need a safe, comforting place to stay as they work through challenges they may be facing including homelessness, domestic violence, and other unforeseen circumstances.”

According to Curbed’s article, I Promise Village is set to open in July 2020. As Sisson writes, “the organization is embracing a more holistic vision of community building and betting transitional housing support can make a difference.” The project is designed to serve as a model for similar work across the country, and to promote a sense of community alongside an environment of learning.

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