About NWFN

About NWFN

The Near West Family Network (NWFN) is a volunteer-inspired and volunteer-led organization of people who live in the near west and downtown neighborhoods of Cleveland and want to help our community continue to thrive.

As a purely volunteer and community needs-focused organization, we look to our members to help identify the types of events we host and which issues we champion. We also rely on our members to assist in implementing these events and activities successfully. NWFN provides a structure for parents, families, and residents who believe in our downtown and near west neighborhoods are great places to live, to come together and help make them even better places to live. Broadly stated, our goals are to:

  • make the neighborhoods where we live cleaner, safer, and generally more family-friendly.
  • create a network of adults, parents, and children that provides a foundation for advocacy, opportunities to have fun, learn, and grow together, and information and support for people currently living in the community or who are considering it.
  • work with like-minded individuals and organizations to make the near west side of Cleveland a desired place to live.

Our History

The Near West Family Network (NWFN) officially launched at the beginning of 2013 following several months of discussions among the five founding board members as to how to best create an organization that could address a variety of needs and interests shared by a diverse range of families and residents who live in Cleveland’s near west neighborhoods. Those discussions culminated in the realization that none of the individual near west neighborhoods exists in isolation and people would benefit most from an organization that spans, and develops connections across, multiple neighborhoods. Similarly, the diversity represented in our community means individuals’ personal interests, such as safety, schools, transportation, recreational and cultural activities, while varied, are implicitly or explicitly related to one another.  Therefore, the founding group decided NWFN will be most effective by adopting a broad but cohesive focus.

As a result of these discussions, our official mission statement is:

NWFN is a volunteer-driven organization that serves to connect and engage families, to promote urban living and support the long term success of our neighborhoods. As an independent unincorporated nonprofit association, NWFN partners with local community development corporations, businesses, schools and nonprofit organizations to organize and promote programs for parents, children, and the entire family. Together, NWFN works to enhance public safety, preserve and improve public green spaces, expand recreational and cultural opportunities and support the advocacy of quality schools in our neighborhoods. NWFN aims to foster a supportive community of families in Cleveland’s near west side neighborhoods by providing a home for these activities; serving as a conduit to an array of community resources; and cultivating meaningful connections among one another.

To read our complete Bylaws, please click here.

In the first quarter of 2013, the founders worked quickly to establish the organization by defining the structure for the organization that would support its mission and goals, meeting with community and neighborhood-based leaders, elected a board of directors, adopted by-laws, forming working committees, and filing to establish 501(c)(3), tax-deductible status.

At the same time, the power of a good network was proven as sponsors enthusiastically collaborated with the NWFN, membership began to grow, and volunteers pitched in to help make NWFN’s inaugural events, The Near West School Fair and the Fairview Park Easter Egg Hunt successful.

As a young organization, we are still writing our early history. Please be a part of this story and become a member today! We will thrive as our membership and volunteer base grow. We need your help to hone our mission, develop our activities and programming, and strengthen our community – one family at a time!

To learn more about the history of NWFN, we encourage you to reach out any of the board members: