January 7, 2022
A message from Susanna Krey, president, and Angela D'Orazio, senior program officer, Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland:
We were deeply saddened to learn that Amber Donovan, a close partner in the work to end youth homelessness, passed away earlier this week.
We began our work with Amber in 2014 as A Place 4 Me convened partners to develop a community-wide plan to prevent and end homelessness among youth and young adults. Amber showed up to countless planning meetings with a palpable energy, joy and true love for young people. She continued to show us that what’s often missing from our social safety net is love, and that it makes all the difference.
Amber keenly understood and taught us the value and importance of relationship, especially for young people. Her life's work was creating family and support systems for young people who had none; she knew the power of these relationships to help a young person set and achieve their dreams and goals.
Amber built relationships with local churches and religious organizations, government agencies, funders, nonprofit service providers, businesses and more and inspired them to join the cause. And they did. As a result of her work, Community of Hope
, the nonprofit she started in 2018, has attracted more than 600 committed volunteers to serve as mentors – family – to young people.
Amber was not only a fierce advocate for young people, but for how we work with young people: centering them as experts in their own lives, elevating them as leaders in the movement and in the creation of solutions to youth homelessness, and building relationships and collaborations that set aside organizational interests and egos in pursuit of a common goal. We have learned from her and will continue to approach the work in a way that would make Amber proud.
Amber was truly a spirit on fire. Her joy and ceaseless dedication were infectious and inspiring, and it is with this spirit of hope and courage that we are committed to continuing the movement to center and celebrate young people. Strengthened by the values and trailblazing spirit of the Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine, we are proud to honor her legacy with our ongoing support of Community of Hope.
She ended a recent email with this sentiment, and we will carry this forward:
"I'm just living every day with joy and strength. God's got me."
Read Amber Donovan’s obituary here.
Read the Cleveland.com story on Amber’s passing here.
Read the statement from Community of Hope board president Mike Smith.
Learn more about Community of Hope here.