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ABOUT COMMUNITY SUDS

WHO WE ARE

Community Suds is a 501(c)3 non-profit with a mission to help promote a healthier community by providing free hygiene resources to the homeless residents in Cleveland, Ohio. With the greater vision of restoring  dignity to the homeless, and helping them obtain  the status and ability to fully participate in society.

WHAT WE DO

We provide hygiene resources for the homeless residents in Cleveland, Ohio on a weekly basis. The products that we offer will consist of  frequently requested items from the homeless community  which will include but are not limited to; soaps, shampoos, conditioners, toothbrushes, toothpaste, first aid kits, sunscreen, feminine care products, wipes, etc.

WHO WE SERVE

Of the estimated 23,000+ Cleveland residents that  experienced homelessness in 2018, 71% are African American, 24% White, 4% Latino, and 1 % Other. These are the people that we are inspired to serve. Creating a healthier community starts with helping those that society usually chooses to ignore. We believe that people facing homelessness need to have their basic needs met to have the opportunity to be a successful participant in society.

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Community Suds was created by Riya Foster and Briana Swanson. While discussing their individual goals and dreams in early 2019, the two discovered that they were both passionate serving and uplifting people in their community. They both envisioned working with the homeless community and started to design a plan on how they could create the biggest impact. After a few brainstorming sessions, the concept for Community Suds was developed. They envisioned creating a safe space where people could clean their clothing, have access to resources and be treated with the dignity they deserve. 

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RIYA FOSTER

 

Riya, a native of Cleveland, spent substantial time growing up between Cleveland, OH and Jonesboro, GA later returning to Cleveland in the summer of 2007. Riya, spent much time under the guidance and wisdom of her grandfather and great Uncles, all of whom are veterans. They showered her with knowledge of the world and an understanding that every man and women is born with the same entitlement to freedom, human decency and respect as anyone else. She learned the importance of respecting other people unrelated to disagreements and lending a helping hand to those in need. This level of influence  set the ground work for Riya to have compassion to the displacement of others in society. 

The effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 forced many families to start over and relocate all across the U.S , many even soon called Atlanta home. American families  and individuals displaced with no home to return too and no job in sight.  During her youth Riya indulged in the performing arts, sports,  and involvement  with Future Business Leaders of America youth program. These activists allowed Riya to meet children from all over the state and neighboring districts. But during 2005, just two years before leaving the south , Hurricane Katrina , damaging much of the territory , changed the lives of Americans and their children forever. 

 

During the 2005, 2006 migration to Atlanta many students who transferred to her school were homeless and the emotional effects were evident. Riya took this opportunity to bridge the gap and put together care kits for the young ladies in her class who were bullied and teased. 

 

Nurturing her ability to give back she soon return to Cleveland were she volunteers her time with an inner city youth football league. 

BRIANA SWANSON

 

Briana was born and raised in San Diego, Ca. She grew up in a family where her parents made service a priority. Quickly, she realized that service was something that sparked joy inside of her.  She started her service journey by volunteering for the community programs within her church. Interacting with and serving the homeless was something that Briana did passionately. As a youth she participated in the church outreach program where she would help create daily lunches to pass out to the homeless residents that would live in the church during the winter months. While in college, Briana had the opportunity to volunteer at Father Joe’s Village, there she would help prepare and serve meals in the kitchen. These were the opportunities that help set the foundation and the vehement for what would become Community Suds.    

In 2015, Briana relocated to Cleveland, Ohio with her fiancé and fell in love with the city immediately. From the people she met, the history of the city, its magic, strength, and resilience all encouraged the desire for Briana to serve the people of Cleveland. Although her time in Cleveland only lasted 3 years, she was forever changed by the impression the city left on her.

 

Briana has had the unique opportunity to interact with a multitude of people across many backgrounds. Her experience in customer service, team leadership, and human resource inform her passionate but operative approach to her work. She has a determination for learning how to bridge gaps that divide people, and for rallying collaboration amongst her peers, which has led to success in the positions she has held. During her time at Target, she helped vastly improve the productivity of her department by developing a new format for completing the work and with strong leadership she motivated her team to become the highest ranking team in the district. Briana is currently working on completing her social work degree which she plans on utilizing within the organization, by providing free counseling and resources to the people in the community.

 “Community Suds is my love offering to a city that inspired and impacted my life in powerful and profound way”

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