Step Forward is here to help you and your family find hope, believe in their future and take steps to make it a reality. As the state designated community action agency for Cuyahoga County, Step Forward is tasked and trusted to lead the fight on the ground against poverty in our community.

Poverty is a complex problem. The circumstances, situations and needs are unique for each person and family. Step Forward understands this complexity and utilizes strong community partnerships and a wide range of programs to help people navigate available resources and find the next step that’s right for them.

With 14 locations throughout Greater Cleveland and two additional sites opening later this year, Step Forward is here for you and committed to building a stronger community one person, one family one, step at a time through:

  • Emergency Assistance
    • Step Forward’s emergency assistance programs help residents meet immediate needs like clothing, transportation and food needs and more.
  • Early Education
    • Step Forward provides high-quality Early Head Start and Head Start to help create a strong educational foundation for children and prepare them for kindergarten. All 10 of Step Forward’s Head Start centers are rated high-quality by the State of Ohio’s Step up to Quality initiative. Head Start and Early Head Start is now enrolling for the 2022-2023 school year.
  • Energy Assistance
    • Step Forward assists residents through six utility assistance programs to help manage utility bills. Step Forward also provides long-term assistance to help households maintain utilities throughout the year.
  • Individual and Family Programs
    • Step Forward’s Personal and Professional Development programs help residents stabilize and strengthen their situations and enhance their skills through family development programs, individual counseling, training classes, employment services and more.

Step Forward’s programs and services are free of charge for eligible Cuyahoga County residents.

As we continue working to transform the lives of people in Cuyahoga County, we recognize that the community helps make our work possible. If you are looking for ways to help us provide the best services to residents, please consider donating, spreading the word about our programs, or joining our team. Step Forward is currently hiring across departments with positions ranging in experience levels.


To stay up to date on Step Forward events, services and stories, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media at @StepFwrdtoday on all platforms.