CLEVELAND (WJW) – The FOX 8 I-Team finds strangers stepping up to fix up a home and help get a man, who has been jailed on housing violations, freed.

WeatherSeal Home Services, local contractors and a store are all willing to give time and supplies to fix up a home on East Boulevard so the homeowner can be released from Cuyahoga County Jail.

“Our team at WeatherSeal have never seen anything like this,” said Bill McClellan. “Someone jailed for trying to fix up their home but couldn’t, so we wanted to try and help.”

McClellan was at the property Monday to measure the windows that need to be replaced.

Jeff Ivey, 60, said he just hasn’t had the money to fix up the property that has been in his family for years. Ivey works at a local store and as a freelance photographer.

“He has been trying,” said Vanessa Jones, Ivey’s friend.

Ivey, who has been locked up since January, called from jail to thank McClellan for being willing to help him.

WJW photo

“There are so many people that have come to the surface to help,” said Gina Washington, Ivey’s friend. “We want to get these repairs done.”

Atty. Marcus Sidoti, and several attorneys from his firm, including Atty. Alex Ugolini, are representing Ivey for free because they don’t believe he deserves to be in jail for housing code violations.

Cleveland Housing Court Judge Mona Scott sentenced Ivey to 90 days in jail in January.

Scott has declined to discuss the case. She ruled that Ivey must submit a detailed list of how and when he will make the needed repairs before she decides if he will be released early.

Sidoti filed a motion Monday detailing the repairs that need to be done and the steps Ivey has taken to make sure everything gets fixed. He has also asked for a hearing to be set so the motion can be discussed. Cleveland prosecutors are not opposed to Ivey being released early from jail.

“I don’t think Mr. Ivey in jail is doing anything for anyone and he wants to make these repairs,” Sidoti said. “We plan to assist him even when he is released just to continue on and just get this thing put to bed.”

Driving around Cleveland it is easy to find other properties needing repair. Last year, the housing court only put a few people in jail.

Cleveland’s Department of Building and Housing has a list of nearly 600 properties approved for demolition and 1,000 more condemned. City councilmembers and several activists have questioned why no slum landlords or corporate property owners are locked up but Ivey sits in jail.

“It doesn’t seem fair,” Jones said.

Ivey’s friends have also started a GoFundMe account to help him raise money to make the repairs so he can get out of jail.