Former Seven Hills councilor donates his childhood home in Collinwood for a new community center

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio — Retired Seven Hills councilman Mike Barth, who now lives in Independence, didn’t know what to do with his parents’ home in Collinwood after the death of his mother, Louise, in 2017.

“My mom and dad (Christy) built this house in 1945,” said Mike Barth, who graduated from St. Joseph’s High School in 1967. “I was born a few years later. It was a very special house.

“I remember practicing in the basement, kicking the ball against the brick wall in the back yard, and playing street football with all my friends, who I still talk to today. today.”

After his mother’s death, Barth donated much of the furnishings to his parents’ parish, Holy Redeemer Catholic Church. The rest of their belongings were given to neighbors who had taken care of her mother later in life.

When it came time to decide the future of his childhood home, located at 931 Nye Road, Barth didn’t have to look too far to find the answer.

“I wanted to make it something productive rather than just selling it,” Barth said. “There was a clinic right next door. I remember playing ball in the clinic parking lot. I even cut my hand once and my father took me to this clinic.

Established in 1967, Northeast Ohio (NEON) Neighborhood Health Services is one of the oldest networks of federally licensed health centers in the nation, providing a wide range of health care services primaries in Greater Cleveland.

Barth contacted NEON chief operating officer Karen Butler, whom he had known since running Cleveland Burke Lakefront Airport in the 1990s.

The Barth House for Wellness and Self-Sufficiency is located at 931 Nye Road in Cleveland. (Photo courtesy of Mike Barth)

“I thought they might tear it down and use it as a parking lot because it was adjacent to their parking lot,” Barth said. “We had a long conversation and a few meetings. Maison Barth for well-being and self-sufficiency is what came out of it.

“It’s very special and I had tears in my eyes after Karen said she would name the house after my parents. This will be their legacy in Collinwood.

NEON plans to use the new location to provide valuable information and administer programs that support the well-being and independence of its patients and community residents.

Information services will include life skills, employment readiness, nutrition, financial planning and support for seniors.

“NEON is very grateful to the Barth family for donating this beautiful property,” said Willie Austin, NEON President and CEO, in a press release.

“This donation is greatly appreciated and will allow NEON to continue to provide much needed services to benefit the community.”

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Jill E. Washington