Los Angeles Lakers star LeBron James has been dedicated to improving the lives of youth and their families in his hometown of Akron, Ohio. Months after the one-year anniversary of the creation of his I Promise School for at-risk children, James has now announced that he will be adding transitional housing for the families of students that are facing financial hardships, CNN reported.
The LeBron James Family Foundation is teaming up with Graduate Hotels for the initiative. The company—which is known for the development of hand-crafted boutique hotels near colleges and universities throughout the country—will restore a residential building in the Highland Square community. The building—which is located minutes away from the I Promise School—is slated for completion by July 2020.
James, who has utilized his platform to speak out on several social and political issues and has been a fierce advocate for the improvement of education, believes that the success of the students is dependent on having a solid foundation at home. “Initially, our work was focused on helping these kids earn an education. But we’ve found that it is impossible to help them learn if they are struggling to survive — if they are hungry, if they have no heat in the freezing winter, if they live in fear for their safety,” he told the news outlet. “We want this place to be their home where they feel safe, supported, and loved, knowing we are right there with them every step of the way as they get back on their feet.”
Graduate Hotel CEO Ben Weprin is excited to team up with James and his foundation for this impactful project. “It’s humbling to see the change they are affecting on a daily basis and we’re honored to be a part of the journey,” he said.
James has also been focused on fighting food insecurity. He joined forces with Walmart for a campaign to spread awareness about hunger in America and opened a pantry for underprivileged families at his I Promise School.