Just over two years ago, LeBron James attended the grand opening of his I Promise School in Akron, Ohio, the culmination of years of giving back to the community where he grew up. As the school continues to grow and serve a once underserved community, the LeBron James Family Foundation has been able to hear more of the issues facing that community and recognize further opportunities to help.
On Tuesday, James announced in Time Magazine as part of his being named 2020 Athlete of the Year that his foundation was breaking ground on a new community hub in Akron that will be called House 330, and will provide everything from job training to financial literacy assistance to youth sports access for Akron families.
The work is never done. This is our next chapter… a thread
I PROMISE School ~ 2018 I PROMISE Village ~ 2020 Thirty Five Rhodes ~ 2021 I PROMISE Housing ~ 2022 House Three Thirty ~ 2022
— LeBron James Family Foundation (@LJFamFoundation) December 15, 2020
“House 330 is going to be a sanctuary for our families,” says James. “It’s going to be a place where all our families can grow and learn. This will be a hub for everything possible our families will need.”
The name is in reference to Akron’s area code and looks to address issues they’ve heard families tell them about after talking with the folks that moved into the I Promise Village, the school’s new housing transition complex. The LJFF is working with a number of partners to provide services for the families, with JPMorgan Chase creating a space where bankers will work with families to assist with financial literacy advice and services, and Dick’s Sporting Good’s taking the top level of the parking garage in the complex they bought and building a recreational sports facility with basketball courts and soccer fields.
They will also provide a place for parents and kids to get job training, whether it’s working at the Old El Paso restaurant that will be in the complex or getting training in “plumbing, heating and cooling, food service, merchandising, accounting and event planning” at the facility. The goal for James is to create a safe space for families, but also one where they can acquire the skills and knowledge that goes beyond what is taught in schools to provide them with training that can help them get better jobs and have a better understanding of finances so they can budget and save and build a financial well-being.
The 60,000 square foot facility is planned to open and be fully operational in 2022.