Investing in Local Roots

Amy Lower standing next to a Fairfax sign

Andrea Webb Shellenberger thought finding an affordable home with a short commute to her job as director of support services at the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine would be difficult.

That was until she learned about the Greater Circle Living (GCL) program—a series of employer- sponsored financial incentives to rent, purchase or repair homes in the Greater University Circle area. As an anchor institution in the region, Case Western Reserve is one of several key members in the Greater University Circle Initiative, a partnership assembled in 2005 to foster economic and community revitalization through programs like GCL.

Since the program began, the university has invested millions of dollars into neighborhoods like Hough, which Webb and her five children now call home.

“The Greater Circle Living program allowed us to find a home that accommodates all of our needs on a nice street that we love,” she said, noting her kids enjoy living near the attractions in Wade Oval and a short drive from downtown.

Amy Lower, a lecturer in the Frances Payne Bolton School of Nursing, had a similar experience.

After years of commuting from Ashtabula County, Lower and her husband used the GCL program when moving to Fairfax, an area she calls “the best of both worlds.”

“Living here offers easy access to opportunities for community service while cutting the costs of my old commute,” said Lower. “Cleveland is such a vibrant city, and the GCL program really helps give access to all our city has to offer.”