EDWINS is truly fortunate to have an entire network of caring and committed churches that rally around our students and our mission.

One we want to highlight is St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights. After hosting EDWINS for a Town Hall series on re-entry in 2016, members of St. Paul’s were moved to form the EDWINS Outreach Committee to learn how they could best support EDWINS and its participants.

After productive – and enjoyable! – discussions between St. Paul’s committee members and EDWINS staff, students and alumni, the committee had its plan.

In addition to supplying emergency funds for EDWINS to provide to students as needed for expenses such as medication, car repair, etc., St. Paul’s also decided to provide “Launch” gifts to our graduates to include an engraved Wusthof chef’s knife, paring knife, knife roll and wine key.

Our many thanks to Cleveland Cuts for customizing the chef’s knife with each graduate’s name on one side and a special logo St. Paul’s created to represent the EDWINS and St. Paul’s relationship on the other.

On Saturday, July 22, members of the St. Paul’s committee and clergy provided a celebratory lunch to our most recent graduates where they presented the gifts – and the reactions were incredible.

(L-R) Graduates Matthew Elliot, Matthew Hall, Lonnie Fears, Ebony Foster, Ryan Austin, Karl Blackwell, Domonique Bell, Antwone Nowden


Ebony Foster shows off her personalized knife.


The Reverend Jeanne Leinbach of St. Paul’s congratulates the graduates and shares about how St. Paul’s formed the EDWINS Outreach Committee.


Cookies featuring the special logo the St. Paul’s committee created to represent their relationship to EDWINS – thanks J. Pistone Market and Gathering Place for a great job on these!

From here, the St. Paul’s committee will provide each graduating class with Launch gifts and recognition, followed by group Work Days to help EDWINS with a number of projects.
The EDWINS family has truly enjoyed getting to know and work with the St. Paul’s family. It’s amazing to realize that this all started simply because St. Paul’s allowed EDWINS to share the perspectives of our students in a Town Hall series.
If you’re interested in hosting EDWINS or a discussion event, please reach Community Outreach Coordinator, Derrick Speights, at derrick@edwinsrestaurant.org.