Eliza Bryant: A pioneer advocate for the African American elderly in Cleveland (video)

CLEVELAND, Ohio — Eliza Bryant was a humanitarian and a pioneer for elder care in the late 1800s, a time when thousands of African Americans were moving to the North from the South. 

In 1893, all elderly care facilities and homeless shelters were “white’s only” establishments. There was nowhere for elderly African Americans to go, and programs like Social Security were non-existent. 

Bryant became a tireless champion of the elderly, spending three years fundraising and creating awareness of the issue. She recruited volunteers who went door to door to raise money, food and clothing. Because of her effort and dedication, John D. Rockefeller made a financial contribution, which helped to enable the purchase of the first home.

The home was called The Cleveland Home of Aged Colored…

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