Ben Weprin, the company’s chief executive, then went to work with his staff to recruit suppliers and contractors to donate materials and labor to complete a total renovation and furnish the apartments.

The parent company of Graduate Hotels, AJ Capital Partners, donated the finished project to the foundation. After it opened, the foundation, which has nearly $5 million in assets, spent $52,500 to buy a house across the street. It is being renovated for use by Shannon Shippe, the foundation staff member who manages the housing and services program.

“The impact LeBron is having in Akron — it’s amazing,” Mr. Weprin said. “He’s doing this while he’s winning championships.”

Recognizing that his approach might have merit in other cities, Mr. James and the foundation staff convened a three-day “huddle” in Akron in October to describe the I Promise model to attendees. About 200 educators, philanthropists, activists, city leaders and development professionals showed up.

“This work requires a long-term investment, a lot of heart and a lot of hard work,” Mr. James said. “There are people across the country who are willing and want to be a part of that in their own community.”

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