Legacy III was founded in 1995 and became a State of Ohio nonprofit corporation in 1996. The agency was created to fill the gap in sober housing for homeless women in Summit County who were recovering from chronic substance abuse and alcoholism. While Summit County has, historically, provided a wide array of social services to our community, the gap in sufficient housing options existed for these women; and, many would fall through the gap and continue in their addictions and homelessness.

In September 1998, Legacy III opened its doors for service and began administering its Emerging Women transitional housing program. Initially, the location was 244 West Center Street in Akron, OH, and had four beds. As the program began to prove to be highly effective in assisting women to maintain sobriety and re-create their lives, the Women’s Empowerment Program was created in 2002 in an effort to meet the increasing demand for services for homeless women in the Summit County community. This addition provided Legacy III with the ability to further fill the gap in services by providing six additional beds.

As Legacy III’s transitional housing programs flourished, the administration noted a serious barrier to the continued success of program participants. Because of the lifestyle and consequences of alcohol and drug addiction, many of these women had incurred felonies that disqualified them from accessing affordable subsidized housing. As a result, the program graduates would move into areas that were drug-infested and had a high crime rate. This posed a potential threat to their sobriety. Because Legacy III’s philosophy is ensuring all women are afforded every opportunity for successful rehabilitation including housing, the Brubaker Program was created in 2003 as a permanent housing program.

In the Brubaker Program, homeless women are provided the opportunity to truly live as
independently as possible in the community. Having built their foundation of self-sufficiency through transitional housing services, their chances of long-term success are increased. Through this program, participants are provided housing placement, supportive services, and a monthly rental subsidy. And, they have the freedom to choose where they will live in Summit County.

In 2012, Legacy III created its Humble Beginnings program which is specifically designed to provide permanent housing and supportive services to homeless women who are 55 years old and older and who have chronic mental health or physical disabilities.  Through this program, participants are also able to live in their own apartment and receive intensive case management services that assist them in maintaining independence.

In 2014, Legacy III initiated its capital campaign project to purchase and completely renovate a transitional housing facility which allows for the expansion of beds from 10 to 15. With the assistance of many people, funders, and supporters, the 6,667 sq. ft. facility opened in February 2015. It is a beautiful facility that provides a very safe “homelike” living environment for our ladies. Legacy III thanks the City of Akron, ODMHAS, Summit County ADM Board, GAR Foundation, OHFA, and ODSA for their generous support. A special “thank you” to our sisters – United Way Women’s Council for assisting in making the facility.

Legacy III, throughout the years, has become one of the premier housing organizations in Summit County.  The programs have proven to be highly successful in assisting homeless women to overcome their addictions and homelessness.  Many of our participants experience long-term sobriety and are committed to helping other women achieve sobriety.