Common Wealth Inc.

Common Wealth Inc. is a nonprofit community development corporation dedicated to building a just and democratic economy. We work with underserved people and disinvested neighborhoods to foster community-based and democratically owned and managed initiatives.

Common Wealth Inc. grew out of efforts, initiated by the Ecumenical Coalition of Religious Leaders, to bring worker-ownership to steel mills in the Mahoning Valley.

Although this endeavor was unsuccessful, the Coalition succeeded in other ways. The group persuaded religious and civic leaders to suspend theological disputes and work together for moral leadership. Inspired, volunteers established agencies such as the Food Assistance Warehouse (now Second Harvest Food Bank), as well Common Wealth, Inc., and Common Wealth Revolving Loan Fund as economic development agencies to assist with cooperative economic development efforts.

CWI has acted as sponsor, consultant and developer on numerous projects, investing more than $50 million and establishing over 500 affordable housing units since 1986.

How You Can Help

Community members can have a positive effect on Common Wealth Inc. by making a donation or volunteering their time.

Every donation to the tax-exempt organization is greatly appreciated and “very well spent” says its executive director, Pat Rosenthal. Donations help fund housing projects and other community-development efforts in the Wick Park neighborhood

“We’re always chasing funds,” Rosenthal says. “We’ve never had a pipeline of money and it has been a challenge.”

To make a donation, contact Melissa Miller, resource manager at Common Wealth, at or by calling 330 360 0648.

Opportunities to volunteer are also available, “particularly as we move into sustainable development as a focus,” Rosenthal says. As Common Wealth rolls out recycling and composting programs, there will be need for volunteers.

Other opportunities include gardening, water catchment and help with biodiversity in the community, she says, as well as Grow Elm Street events.

Common Wealth Plants Sustainability on Elm Street

By Jeremy Lydic YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -- Shannon Blackshire had all but given up hope on making her passion into a business until a conversation with a neighbor changed everything. Six years ago, Blackshire and her family moved from Lake County to the Wick Park neighborhood on the north side of...