Another Chance of Ohio (ACOO) is a faith-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving men, women and children throughout Cuyahoga County and the Greater Cleveland area. ACOO began as a "Free Store" where local residents could select a warm coat or donated item offered by generous volunteers. Now, the organization is established as a way to get needed clothing, furniture, appliances (when given to us), housewares and toys into the hands of individuals at no cost to them. Many households have these items to share. Those donating often need help with pick-up and delivery, Donors are pleased that their donations will be given to those in need at no cost. Under the leadership of Pastor Walter J. Clark Sr. and community advocate and leader Barbara Anderson, the movement began to make these resources available to those most in need living in our communities.Through the years, ACOO has grown through the leadership of Barbara Anderson. In addition to the Free Shop, ACOO has expanded to provide numerous programs and services to those in need. The organization annually serves more than 1,500 individuals providing them with clothing, furniture, appliances, houseware, and toys. ACOO serves people who fall through the safety net network by removing the normal bureaucratic red tape in determining eligibility. Eligibility is determined through personal statements and a review of facts presented. The organization also works hard to revitalize abandoned homes and offer mentoring opportunities to youth and older adults.
Many traditional social services strategies have left individuals and communities without the coping mechanisms necessary to overcome the difficulties of the century. Many families have become too dependent upon receiving assistance with no expectation of giving back as part of the exchange. The goal of ACOO is to assist local residents to empower themselves through providing services which allow them to move to the next level. Activities which move them toward skill sets that help them to providing a stable, safe, nurturing and productive home life for family, supporting community, and building skills toward work opportunities. Each participant is asked to complete a volunteer information card that outlines their unique skills, talents and interests that help them to provide service in the community.