The Well CDC, a place-based community development corporation devoted to the Middlebury neighborhood, has launched Akron’s first Community Tool Library, which offers more than 500 tools available for a nominal fee – particularly for Middlebury residents, but also available to the Greater Akron area.
In a long-forgotten neighborhood with little to no focus on residential areas, Middlebury is largely populated by vacant and dilapidated homes. Typically, healthy neighborhoods have 60 to 70 percent homeownership, but in Middlebury it is the exact opposite.
The Tool Library is part of the Restoring Housing initiative, which also includes a Home Maintenance Class program. The effort is designed to support current and future homeowners by providing literacy to inspire investment, avoid foreclosure and end blight in the community. Both programs encourage confidence in homeownership by teaching the fundamentals of home maintenance and providing individuals with the physical tools needed to undertake projects.
To open the Community Tool Library, The Well raised more than $12,000 in grants and charitable donations, along with working with the AmeriCorps VISTA program to help get the program off the ground.
The Well CDC provides individuals and families with quality, affordable rentals with “pathways to homeownership” that decrease vacancy/blight, crime and predatory slum landlord culture. The Well has set a goal to restore 60 homes in 60 months. The Community Tool Library is currently open by appointment only. Inventory and hours may be found at https://thewellcdc.myturn.com/library/.