HAN members Cleveland Clinic and University Hospital, in partnership with the Cleveland Foundation, Case Western Reserve University, and the city of Cleveland launched Evergreen Cooperatives in 2007 as a place-based community wealth building strategy with the help of the Democracy Collaborative. Shelterforce’s article found that since then Evergreen Cooperative has added new co-ops, workers, and strategies. The Coop has grown from two to five companies and from 18 workers in 2010 to around 320.
Part of this success was a result of the expansion of Evergreen Cooperative Laundry through a contract with Cleveland Clinic and procurement contracts with the health system and University Hospital with Evergreen Cooperative’s Green City Growers, an industrial urban greenhouse.
From the article:
McMicken [CEO of Evergreen Cooperatives] cites the continued commitment and collaboration from major stakeholders such as the City of Cleveland, the Cleveland Foundation, the mayor’s office, the economic development department, and anchor partners, as a major reason Evergreen was able to make it through those initial challenges. “Those individuals committed to this early on and remained committed,” he says. “This is not a feel-good story that you put in the paper one day and then walk away from it a year later. It’s an ongoing thing.”