FOR SALE! 598 Stetler Ave

BEFORE (Google Street View from July 2011)


See the realtor’s listing here:

Want to live in a house rehabbed by TRY? Now is your chance, 598 Stetler Ave went on the market end of last week!

This property was donated to us in 2018 and has been an active training site since January. Its too far from our office to be used as participant housing, so we are selling!

Guided by staff and skilled training partners, men from our program learned valuable construction skills in the 1,040 hrs of training this project provided.  Everything is new: roof, siding, windows, doors, HVAC, flooring, kitchen, bathroom.


Beardsley & Burgers!

You’re Invited!
Thursday, August 15, 3-6 pm

Join our staff and participants for a summertime TRY tour, at two locations – and be sure to save a few minutes for some BBQ fare! We are celebrating the completion of our newest transitional home at 880 Beardsley St. (#8!). Renovated by men in our program, for men in our program.

880 Beardsley

We are also looking forward to sharing our progress on our Employment Training Hub and Warehouse. This new space will provide operational efficiency and improvement of the neighborhood by putting an empty building back to work.

180 E South St

Start your TRY open house exploration at one site or the other – or just pick one! TRY representatives will be on hand to greet you at both locations.

Contributions from partners and generous TRY donors made both of these rehab projects possible.




House Blessing at 880 Beardsley Street at 3pm

BBQ social and tours at 180 E. South Street, 3-6pm

RSVP or Questions:

To see photos of renovation progress at 180 E South St click here
To see the finished product at 880 Beardsley, come take a tour on August 15th!

All new siding, doors, windows, and roof

The interior of 880 Beardsley was completely gutted


A New Season, a New Board Chair

As we celebrate our 20th Anniversary, we look forward to a new season of growth and change. Last month, Chuck Rankin stepped down from his position as Board Chair after ten years of dedicated service. Jerry Fiume, Vice Chair since 2015, has taken on the role and responsibility of leading TRY’s Board of Directors.

Jerry is the Managing Director of SVN Summit Commercial Real Estate Group, LLC and an active member of the Akron community. You may recognize his name from the blue and orange signs all over the county. We asked him a few questions to share with you his passion for TRY’s mission.

Tell me how you first got involved with Truly Reaching You

“Perry and I met through Leadership Akron.  We spent a lot of time discussing our past and the commonality of being involved in construction and real estate.  It’s pretty moving when you have an opportunity to sit down with Perry, “one on one” and listen to his passion.”

How do you use your experience in real estate development to further TRY’s mission?

“I have been given a gift to be exposed to many opportunities that can benefit TRY and the men that go through the program.  My real estate experience ranges from building out offices and demoing space to building hotels and apartments.  It’s vast.  The construction process has many opportunities to learn from the construction trades and to generating revenue that supports our mission.  When I am on a job that TRY is on you can see it in the men.  They see and embrace the second chance that they are getting.  I truly believe that God brought Perry and I together for a purpose.”

How has being involved with TRY impacted your view of recovery and reentry?

“Big time.  I love the idea of a man getting a second chance.  The men who stick with the program are great guys.  Putting your arm around a guy and telling him he is good and he is in a good place is a big deal.”

What do you see in the future for TRY?

“Maturity.  TRY is growing up as an organization.  Our systems are improving, the benefits provided to the men keep getting better, the Board is adding more value.  It’s all good and I am proud to be associated with TRY.”

What are you excited to accomplish during your time as Chair?

“Playing a role in planting the seeds for the future of TRY.  A great organization is a living and breathing organism that moves forward on its own, accomplishing its mission without the drive of just one man.  It’s time for us to plan that future.”

What do you wish other people knew about TRY?

“I hate it when people have preconceived notions of someone who was on, “the inside”.  These guys are great guys who just need a second chance.  Who need someone to care about them.  Who need to tell them they are good.  That’s Christianity at its best.”

Raise the Roof: Phase 1 Update

Our Raise the Roof project is the renovation of a 12,800-square-foot commercial warehouse located at 180 E. South St. in Akron. To learn more about this project and its importance, click here.

Exciting progress is being made on the warehouse!

Along with our booming lawn care service, we continue to make progress on the warehouse.Read More

Larry: from Train Wreck to Blessed

Randy and Larry in late 2010

“Living in my truck. Failed at everything I tried to do in life. Failed as a father, brother, son, employee, and friend. An alcoholic searching for a better life but didn’t know what direction to go. The TRY program got me in the best shape ever mentally, physically, and spiritually. Looking back, any rough times in the program were because I made it rough not the program. I volunteer as much as I can, other things prevent full time employment. I own half a house and rent out rooms to others in recovery (Using some of the rules from the program). Relationships with family and friends are better now than ever before.”

Before TRY, I was a Train wreck
In TRY, I was Transforming
Now, I am Blessed

Larry once lived the “rock-n-roll” lifestyle, playing music in bars, getting drunk, and causing trouble. He is one of those guys with stories from the 80’s and 90’s that makes you wonder how he is still alive. The common denominator in the stories: alcohol. What seemed like an exciting way to live made Larry homeless, alone, and crippled by addiction.

His time at TRY was rocky. Larry couldn’t quite ‘get it’. But staff never gave up on him, even after Larry left the program. Randy or Steve would pick him up for church and speak the truths of hope and renewal. Not only did Larry finally have his ‘aha!’ moment and gain a new understanding of what TRY did for him, he also has turned his own home into a recovery house for others! His musical talent, which was instrumental in his destructive lifestyle, is now used for good as he plays with the worship band at his church.

Finding Hope with Help

When you feel powerless, hopeless, helpless, and alone . . .
TRY is here to help you find solutions with God.

This phrase is printed on the back of t-shirts all participants and training staff are given to wear while working. But it’s not just a phrase, the stories shared by former participants perfectly illustrate how there is always hope, even when all seems lost.

When you feel powerless, hopeless, helpless, and alone . . .

Larry: “Failed as a father, brother, son, employee, and friend. An alcoholic searching for a better life but didn’t know what direction to go.”

Rick: “Before going into treatment I was lost. I was so deep into my addiction that I had no hope.”

Jim: “I found myself behind bars. That being said, my future was bleak at best.”

Randy: “I had destroyed any relationships that had any meaning. I was trapped in a vicious cycle of drug & alcohol addiction, spiraling out of control.”

TRY is here to help you find solutions with God.

Larry: “Relationships with family and friends are better now than ever before.” He is now a homeowner who rents rooms to others in recovery and plays guitar in the worship band at church.

Rick: “From the first day I entered TRY I had a sense of hope that I hadn’t had before.” He has made helping other men find hope his career as TRY’s Recovery Manager.

Jim: “Through TRY I met business contacts which brought me to the job I still have, which is a department lead working with government I.T. equ.” He is also on the leadership team at his church.

Randy: “Many of the relationships that had been destroyed due to my confusion have been restored, or are being restored.” He now helps other men break the cycle of addiction as a manager of TRY’s Employment Skills Training program.

Stories like these keep us going, because they show that TRY works!

Questions? Something you want to know more about? Let us know!

Our new clothing closet!

Most men who come to TRY have only the clothes on their back or just one bag of personal possessions. As a part of providing all their basic needs, we make sure the men have the shoes and clothing for work, classes, church, and job interviews. (To learn more about why TRY supplying basic needs is important, check out this previous post)

While we dreamed of a fully stocked and organized clothing closet, our current office doesn’t have the space. So, a shopping trip to Walmart consumed a couple hours of staff time with each intake. Our new warehouse and an influx of donated clothing meant it was time to make the dream of a clothing closet ‘store’ a reality. Only one thing stood in the way . . . sorting and organizing the ever growing mound of donations.

Thanks to United Way of Summit County’s Day of Action and the incredible volunteers from Summit County Probate Court the job is DONE!

Read More

Happy Father’s Day!

Today we celebrate and support our “new” dads!

For 20 years (this year!) Truly Reaching You has been successfully reuniting men with their families. This is an essential element of our mission and ministry, made possible by YOU.

Your support has allowed TRY to build a highly effective program that helps men reenter community in a healthy way, after years spent in prison cells or in the chaos of addiction — or both. TRY provides the tools they need to maintain sobriety, to prepare for (and gain) employment, and importantly, to rebuild relationships — especially with their children!

Pictured below: Our founder, Perry Clark, poses with his children during a visit in 1994 while he was serving 10 years “on the inside”. Now, 25 years later, he enjoys spending time with family and playing an active role in the lives of his grandchildren.

This Father’s Day we celebrate men in the TRY community who are enjoying healthier relationships as a result of our reentry program, as well as those currently working to restore them.

Three of Our Church Partners

Perry stops by the work site to check on progress and give instruction

Truly Reaching You has been blessed by the active participation of area churches since our founding in 1999. We consider it a partnership when a church is involved with TRY in one or more of these three ways: regular donating (financially or in-kind), hiring our services, and working alongside us. All three are vital to our mission and highly valued.Read More

Rick: from Lost to Excited

“I came to TRY after putting myself in residential treatment. Before going into treatment I was lost. I was so deep into my addiction that I had no hope. While in treatment I would also do programming here at TRY, preparing myself to come here. From the first day I entered TRY I had a sense of hope that I hadn’t had before. I started and continue to learn that anything is possible when I trust in God’s plan.

While in TRY I earned my degree at Stark State. I’m a State certified Peer Recovery Supporter and am well on my way to becoming a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor. My job as Recovery Manager gives me feelings of humbleness. I’ve been trusted and given the responsibility of men in 7 different houses. I currently live in a home owned by TRY. My relationship with my two teenage sons has been renewed! I am now able to be the father they deserve. Through my time at TRY, my family’s trust in me has grown beyond my wildest dream.”Read More