Beyond the leadership that he displays on the court, NBA star LeBron James is known for being a community leader within his hometown. His latest effort is centered on using financial literacy as a vessel to empower individuals from underserved communities. According to TIME, James is opening a community hub in Akron, Ohio.
The new center—dubbed House Three Thirty—is a project James is leading through his LeBron James Family Foundation. The concept for the facility was derived from conversations surrounding the needs of the families residing in I Promise Village; a transitional housing complex founded by LJFF. House Three Thirty—which has a moniker inspired by Akron’s area code—will encompass a space that provides financial literacy resources and hands-on job training where people can learn about the different facets of industries that include HVAC, accounting, merchandising and food service. JP Morgan Chase has come on board to give families guidance related to money management. The center will also house a youth sports complex which will be co-created by Dick’s Sporting Goods.
Centers like House Three Thirty are needed. Studies show the poverty rate in Akron is 24.1 percent. James says he wanted to cultivate a space that offers the support and resources needed for families to build a solid foundation and thrive. “House 330 is going to be a sanctuary for our families,” he said in a statement, according to the news outlet. “It’s going to be a place where all our families can grow and learn. This will be a hub for everything possible our families will need.” Michele Campbell, who serves as executive director of LJFF, says the center will be instrumental in the economic mobility of families facing poverty. “We started listening to some of the struggles with employment and job training and really digging deeper with our families,” she said. “We learned pretty quickly that the next part of the movement, if you’re to going to change the trajectory of a whole community, was we need that job-training piece.” House Three Thirty is slated to open its doors in 2022.
News about the facility comes after James was named TIME’s 2020 Athlete of the Year and Sports Illustrated’s Sportsperson of the Year.