The M.C. Chatman Center for Humanitarian Services is a 501(c) 3 Non Profit charitable organization located in the heart of the Garden Valley housing projects, located in the inner city of Cleveland. The name came in honor of the late Rev. M.C. Chatman of Original Harvest Missionary Baptist Church and founded by his wife, Anna Lee.
The center has 11 programs including diverse cultural celebrations, a daycare center, employment assistance program, food pantry, monthly food and clothing assistance, tutoring programs, computer classes, the annual “March Against Violence”, a gang hotline, diabetes awareness education and testing, Alcoholic Anonymous meeting site, parent counseling, scholarship programs, annual school supplies program, the “Inner-City Youth Community Choir” and HIV/Aids Awareness programs. Each year the Center serves over 5,000 individuals in the Valley Garden Community and beyond.
The M.C. Chatman Center for Humanitarian Services for the last 10 years has presented the Annual Multi Music Fest. This night of music is the biggest fund raising event for the Center. These funds are used for the programs and other expenses at the M. C. Chatman Center. Anna was a committed individual and everybody knew if she was going to do something, she would do it. Her official duties included being executive director of the 21st District Caucus (which later became the 11th District Caucus) for 15 years, a 19-year member of the Cleveland Board of Zoning Appeals, and operator and founder of the Harvest Day Care Center. Chatman, who in 1969 received a grant for the day-care center from then-Mayor Carl Stokes, wanted to start the operation for mothers on welfare that needed a place to leave their children so they could work.
Forty seven years later the day-care center is still in operation, and still helping many in the community. Not too long after starting the day-care center, U.S. Rep. Louis Stokes asked Chatman, who had no political experience, to be executive director of his district caucus. She didn't know politics, but she knew people. Chatman held meetings every Monday night and helped lead the caucus to be one of the most powerful
political organizations in the country, Louis Stokes had once said. Known as Mother Chatman, she organized an annual Labor Day picnic, which attracted up
to 50,000 people.
The M. C. Chatman has presented the Annual Multi Music Fest every year since 2006. Founded by Danny McElroy the grandson of the late founder of The M. C. Chatman Center Anna and Rev. M. Chatman. The music fest is a multicultural event designed to celebrate diversity, and bring people of every race and creed together in an evening of music and good wholesome entertainment. It is our effort to promote togetherness in the city of Cleveland. This great need arose, because even though times have changed, there are still times when we see segregation, especially when it comes to music. The Multi MusicFest celebrates the indigenous music, so the music encompasses every style associated with the the times: blues, R&B, gospel, Latin, rap, Jazz, and everything in between. The Multicultural Music Fest is a family oriented event which is held each year in the Cleveland, Ohio area. The Multi MusicFest wanted an event that everyone could enjoy as a community and not have to worry about the cost of a ticket. The MusicFest continues to grow in attendance every year. For 10 years the festivals were big hits and held in the Playhouse District in downtown Cleveland. In the early years the Annual Music Fest was held at The Cleveland Metro Parks Zoo, and even one year had the Fest at John Hay High School in 2007.
Purpose and History
The center’s mission is to develop and facilitate educational programs geared towards uplifting the human conditions physically, mentally, and morally as well as to offer programs that benefit children, teens and adults, regardless of race, creed or color. The center was founded by the late Anna Chatman and dedicated to the work and memory of her husband, Rev. M.C. Chatman, founder and pastor of Original Harvest Missionary Baptist Church. Their legacy continues through the work of her daughters who are the executive and assistant directors of the center, Marcella Caffie, retired teacher from the Cleveland Metropolitan Schools, and Ruby Alexander, retired social worker.
We have as a continuous goal, to provide support, share experiences and supply information to parents, affected children and their siblings. We choose to focus on the individual child and the challenges they may face. We emphasize their abilities, not their disabilities. For years we have helped families of regional services and resources that are available, but we do not endorse any specific institution or medical treatment. One of our priorities is to reach parents of the Garden Valley area who desire our help. New parents can be given hope and encouragement through our extended network of parents.
If you are a parent, professional or interested person and want to learn more about Helping Hands Foundation, Inc.
Please feel free to contact us with any questions, concerns or comments about our group and its mission.