For Immediate Release: July 25, 2012
From: Greater Cincinnati Homeless Coalition
Contact: Josh Spring LSW, Executive Director; 513-716-7455. Call anytime.
Over 225 people gathered at Lytle Park for a Christmas in July celebration calling on Western & Southern not sue the Anna Louise Inn again. Every year Western & Southern sponsors a Nativity scene at Eden Park yet they sued Cincinnati Union Bethel in an attempt to force the Anna Louise Inn out of the neighborhood so that they can build high priced condos in its place. There were members of the faith community, Unions, Fair Housing organizations including four national organizations, Center for Community Change, Network-a national Catholic Social Justice Lobby, National Fair Housing Alliance, National Coalition for the Homeless and also State House Representative Denise Driehaus. The event also included a street theater presentation of Mother Mary seeking room at the Inn and an actor portraying W&S CEO John Barrett telling there was no room for Inn. Eventually “Barrett” was swayed by the vocal Anna Louise Inn supporters.
Here are quotes from some of the speakers:
“The Anna Louise Inn provides valuable and much needed services to women in need of affordable safe housing. The National Fair Housing Alliance is watching with concern the efforts of the Inn to stay in its downtown Cincinnati, Ohio location in the face of a neighbor opposition. The National fair Housing Alliance is a consortium of private, non-profit fair housing organizations, state and local civil rights agencies, and individuals from throughout the United States dedicated to ending housing discrimination.” Shanna L. Smith, President and CEO, National fair Housing Alliance
“When I first heard about the Anna Louise Inn I was impressed about the kind of city that would have this in the middle of their city. I’ve been impressed about how this city cares about others. And when I heard that Western & Southern-who doesn’t own the Inn- is trying to force the Inn out I knew that Cincinnati would not stand for it. It’s a city of faith; it’s a city of commitment, it’s a city that cares. I knew that they would not stand for it. And today we saw how many folks are coming together and saying no we are not going to stand for this, we are going to fight it.”-Susan Quinn Bryan, Pastor, Mt. Auburn Presbyterian
“We do believe that this is an important issue to provide safe housing for people with low income. It is the role of business to create profit but it is the role of community to preserve and plan wisely for its future. Business has the moral responsibility to be part of this community. Of vital importance to this city as a whole is to provide a broad choice of affordable housing for all of its citizens. The Anna Louise Inn is a testimony to Cincinnati’s strong tradition of being sensitive and supportive to people of diverse needs.” -Julie Sellers, President of the Cincinnati Federation of Teachers
“This is an institution that has been in our community for decades and served hundreds of thousands of women throughout their career. And it has remained here through economic development and new development. This shows the compassion of our city.” State House Representative Denise Driehaus