This November, engage with us as we highlight the resilience of the Over-the-Rhine People’s Movement, the work of the Homeless Coalition and our member organizations, and the power of people experiencing homelessness.
Please grab your tickets and put these events on your calendar so that you can be a part of the movement to eradicate homelessness. Hear the voices of people experiencing homelessness, walk historical pathways in tours, and earn your certificate by completing the Ambassador program – you can do it all in November for Hunger and Homelessness Awareness Month.
Virtual Speaker’s Bureau
Willa Jones, 11/17 7pm
Samuel Jackson, 11/18 7pm
Melissa Mosby, 11/20 7pm
Homelessness 101, 11/3 10am
Affordable Housing 201, 11/10 10am
Housing Protections 301, 11/17 10am
Housing Production 401, 11/24 10am
In-Person Walking Tours Tours (Masked, Small Group, Limited Tickets)
Over-the-Rhine People’s Movement Walking Tour, 11/6 & 11/27 10am-12 noon*
The People’s Movement TODAY Walking Tour, 11/14 1-3pm
At midnight on Saturday, the federal eviction moratorium ended, threatening the lives of millions of Americans, including many here in Cincinnati. Homelessness will be accelerated as families will be forced from their homes, worsening the housing crisis. The eviction moratorium was issued to help protect people who had lost income due to COVID19 only, so evictions continued through the pandemic, even accelerating in some areas in Ohio. While the inaction of the federal government to extend the moratorium will have disastrous effects for families in Cincinnati, especially Black families, it also signals the end of COVID19 federal housing protections; however, aid is still available at https://513relief.org/.
In addition to ensuring families who lost income due to COVID19 could stay in their homes, the moratorium encouraged landlords and tenants to work together to seek out federal aid for housing costs. Unfortunately, with the expiration of the moratorium, federal aid earmarked for Cincinnati may go unspent. This is a great loss of value, wealth, and potential for Cincinnati.
Essentially, with the moratorium expired, the loss of income from COVID19 will no longer be a valid defence in eviction court. While claims of a worker shortage seem to contradict the experience of people looking for work, without a livable wage, minimum wage earners, mostly in their 30’s with children, are unable to afford a 2-bedroom apartment while working full time. Evictions are more likely to be filed on Black residents due to racism and systemic housing barriers presented to Black Cincinnatians – the same barriers that privileged white Cincinnatians for generations. Most importantly, since the pandemic hit Black families the hardest, economically and otherwise, allowing the moratorium to expire will cause immeasurable pain and suffering in Black communities by accelerating displacement and increasing homelessness. Whether a family is forced to double-up, couch surf, seek shelter, or live in dangerous places, homelessness has dire consequences for children in school, health and safety, and community stability. Eviction creates additional barriers, as records follow people throughout their lifetime, making housing even more difficult to obtain. Eviction pushes people further into poverty, and without strong tenant protections, our community is at risk.
We urge all of our elected officials to strengthen tenant protections by extending the eviction moratorium, and by creating Pay-to-Stay protections, sealing eviction records, and ensuring just-cause eviction policies, among other tenant protections. Housing protections, in addition to livable wages and affordable housing, are how we can eradicate homelessness in Cincinnati.
Housing is a human right. Even before the pandemic hit, we were in the midst of a housing crisis, where half of all of the Black families in Hamilton County were housing cost burdened, spending more than 30% of their income on housing. COVID19 has accelerated the disparity between Black and white Cincinnatians, and the eviction moratorium expiration will have long-lasting effects on our community. For far too long, our member organizations have been providing life-saving services, but now it is time for our elected officials to fully support the affordable housing trust fund and require property-owners to respect the rights of all of our neighbors.
If you’d like to learn more about the housing crisis and homelessness, please engage in our public education program with a Speaker, Tour, or Training, subscribe to our email lists on our webpage, and pick up a Streetvibesnewspaper from a community distributor. Join the Homeless Coalition as an individual or organization today.
Affordable Housing Movement Will Continue March Until We Reach Success For Immediate Release: May 4, 2021 From: Cincinnati Action for Housing Now
Today, we have taken big steps forward on our journey to housing justice. While we lost at the polls, we know we will eventually win. Our effort is not a marketing plan, run by a hired public relations firm. We are a movement of people who know every person in this city needs access to a home they can afford. Unlike a glossy marketing plan, a movement doesn’t end until we get where we need to be.
Cincinnati Action for Housing Now is proud our campaign for Issue 3 put our need for affordable housing at the top of community conversation. Every candidate in the mayoral primary has said they believe we need to fund affordable housing development. Those who opposed us, said repeatedly they support affordable housing and will join us in our work to get it funded. City council candidates will have to choose if they stand with our movement to invest significant public city funds into affordable housing development every year.
This positive talk about building affordable housing is good and is hard fought progress. But we will stay focused on action. Today is not the end of any road. Our voices are growing louder and our determination stronger. We will gather with our many people, our member organizations and our powerful endorsers. We will reach out to labor unions and other concerned organizations and invite them to join the affordable housing movement. We will evaluate our strategy, form next steps and continue pushing forward. We remain convinced that it is within the People of this city where the strength lies to finally make affordable housing development a significantly funded priority.
We will not slow down. There simply is not enough time and people are too important to slow down.
We cannot slow down because thousands of Cincinnati kids need a safe place to call home, seniors need to be able to stay in their neighborhoods, families need to not have to worry about paying the rent. Thousands of Cincinnatians agree. They passionately volunteered during a pandemic to make affordable housing a priority. We collected 9,541 signatures, in a time with no large community gatherings. We passed out flyers, knocked on doors, made phone calls, did interviews, wrote editorials, designed social media, text messaged our friends, organized spreadsheets, delivered yard signs and voted!
To all who tirelessly volunteered with Cincinnati Action for Housing Now to get Issue 3 on the ballot, we thank you and ask that you stay in the family. To our powerful endorsers, we thank you for being in solidarity. To those who voted yes on Issue 3, we thank you, and hope you will choose to be involved in the next steps. You can stay connected through www.actionforhousingnow.com as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and especially on our street corners, in our parks, on our stoops and in all of our neighborhoods. We are a movement of people.
The time will come soon, when as a City, we will decide to invest significantly in affordable housing. It’s not today, but it is just around the corner.
Today, the Hamilton County Board of Elections confirmed we collected enough valid petition signatures so that on May 4, Cincinnatians will have the opportunity to vote to invest $50 million of our money every year into stable housing tens of thousands of us need and can afford. In a time of uncertainty, distancing and struggle, it speaks volumes that more than 200 volunteers collected signatures from over 9,500 people, many of whom, with no public gatherings, had to make a way to sign. Cincinnati Action for Housing Now is grateful to the thousands of Cincinnatians that have pushed the issue of affordable housing this far. Our campaign has been, and will continue to be, grassroots and community driven.
Passage of this charter amendment will ensure $50 million city dollars is invested in the construction and preservation of affordable housing every year in Cincinnati. Thousands of essential workers who have kept us all going through this pandemic; home health aides, food delivery drivers, grocery store employees, teaching assistants, pharmacy technicians and nursing assistants, to name a few, cannot afford the median cost of even a one-bedroom apartment in Cincinnati. Even before the pandemic, thousands of Cincinnati families have been struggling for a long time to keep their home by paying for housing they cannot afford, because nothing they can afford is available to them. Because having nowhere you can afford to live is not sustainable, so many adults and children have totally lost their housing.
If passed by Cincinnati voters, each year these funds would build or preserve 500 or more homes affordable to Cincinnati households whose annual income is at or below 60% of the area median income; currently $34,327. Today, the 41% of Cincinnati households with incomes at or below this level are competing for a regularly decreasing number of homes they can afford. Once homes are developed with these funds, they will stay affordable.
This initiative is different from what we are used to. If passed in May, these dollars will prioritize thousands of hard-working Cincinnati families who typically can’t catch a break. It would also establish a Community Oversight Board, which will ensure the money is spent as it is supposed to be spent. The Oversight Board will be a group of regular people, nominated by regular people. Cincinnatians will easily be able to know how the funds are being invested and be a part of making those decisions. This board will include people who work in social services, fair housing, neighborhood and housing development, funding, housing and homelessness advocacy and law. The board will specifically include people who rent; have experienced homelessness; and own their homes. As an all-volunteer board, they will ensure fiscal responsibility over the Public’s money, and invest it according to the Public’s interest.
How often have you voted for something and actually saw the positive effects of it? When have you voted for something new and then looked around your neighborhood and seen real results? If enough Cincinnatians vote for this on May 4, you will see the results. You will see it through the renovated buildings, the families who no longer have to bounce from couch to couch, the shortening lines in front of eviction court, the seniors who can afford to stay in their neighborhood, the new living-wage construction and property management jobs, the children who grow up without the trauma of regularly losing their home, neighbors and school connection.
Through the Public’s continued support, we can start down the path to a Cincinnati where everyone has a safe, stable place to call home. Cincinnati Action for Housing Now is ready to continue channeling this energy and driving forward a vote for affordable housing on May 4, 2021.
Everyday at the Homeless Coalition, we demand access to affordable housing, livable wages, and housing protections to everyone in our community. We recognize that the weight and burden of anti-Black racism cannot only be carried by those who are bravely facing displacement each day, but by our entire community who accepts the “false-peace” as our Black communities are erased by white generational wealth.
Known as gentrification, displacement is heralded and privileged by governmental policies that have claimed a “renaissance” in Over-the-Rhine while aggressively ignoring the impact on Black residents – the majority of whom have been forcibly removed from the neighborhood over the past decade. As the wealthy, white, elite set their eyes on the West End and countless other neighborhoods, it’s time to get focused on the fundamentals.
This Black History Month, we will offer our public education program to you, including essential Speakers, innovative Trainings, and informative Tours – all virtual and open to all – please help us build an informed community!
Tickets are Pay-What-You-Can, but your financial support helps us compensate the Speakers and Trainers and keeps our program free to others. BUT Please do not let the cost be a barrier – free tickets are available now!
Register and remember to put the Zoom link on your calendar! Thank you!
The Homeless Coalition is hiring one AmeriCorps VISTA service member to organize tenants in eligible Project-Based Section 8 properties. This is a one-year contract starting in March 2021. Throughout the service year, the AmeriCorps member will organize with tenants of Project-Based Section 8 housing and will build residents’ capacity through outreach, education, and leadership development. They will support tenants to form tenant associations at properties that lack tenant representation. Deliverables include research, outreach materials, and tenant engagement plans. The deadline to apply is Sunday, January 31, 2021.
After your New Member account is created, apply for our VISTA opportunity. This will require you to write a two, short reflective essays, and to submit contact information for two references.
We plan to conduct at least two rounds of interviews. The final step in the interview process is a background check through the AmeriCorps funding partner. Individuals with misdemeanors or felonies on their records are considered on a case-by-case basis. The AmeriCorps funding partners are still figuring out how the background checks will be conducted without LiveScan fingerprinting.
At the Homeless Coalition, we embrace and encourage differences in age, color, disability, ethnicity, family or marital status, gender identity or expression, language, national origin, physical and mental ability, race, religion, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, veteran status, and other characteristics that make our team unique.
The Benefits of AmeriCorps
AmeriCorps is a network of service opportunities, and VISTA is one of the three AmeriCorps programs. VISTA, which stands for Volunteers in Service to America, specialize in alleviating the causes of poverty through building capacity in their communities. AmeriCorps members are not volunteers, interns, or entry-level at their host site. They are community members who are actively seeking opportunities to enrich themselves through civic engagement and community building.
At the Homeless Coalition, the Community Organizer VISTA members will receive a living stipend, full health care coverage, childcare if needed, transportation assistance either through a bus card or mileage reimbursement, and an educational award upon completion of the service year. The living stipend is approximately $1026 each month. A living stipend is “reimbursement for living expenses,” not income. It will not affect any government benefits members receive, such as housing vouchers, SNAP, or anything else.
The City of Cincinnati is experiencing a critical shortage of affordable and accessible housing, and the economic collapse from COVID 19 has made this situation worse. Over 40,000 households pay more than they can afford for a safe and stable home. This has forced thousands of families with children; working adults; and our elders into the trauma of homelessness. Everyone deserves access to the security of a home. The problem is real. Now let’s talk about a solution.
Cincinnati Action for Housing Now advocates that all people have a safe, accessible, and affordable place to call home. We are organizing a grassroots, community-driven ballot initiative to secure permanent funding for the city’s Housing Trust Fund, and are currently collecting signatures to support a vote in May 2021. Campaign organizers from Cincinnati Action for Housing Now include members of the Greater Cincinnati Area Coalition for the Homeless, from the Metropolitan Area Religious Coalition of Cincinnati, and from Affordable Housing Advocates.
We are seeking three part-time Community Canvassers to join our Organizing and Advocacy team for a limited term to start on Saturday, October 16 and to conduct voter outreach and petition gathering through the November 3, 2020, election. The final end date for this position is Friday, November 13, 2020. This position will engage members of the public through door-to-door canvassing efforts and at scheduled community events, implementing our campaign’s organizing tactics and strategies.
Learning from Cincinnati Action for Housing Now campaign staff and volunteers, the Community Canvassers will have the following primary responsibilities:
Prepare and submit walk sheets for use in field canvass efforts
Participate in team planning of organizing strategies
Meet numeric targets for door-to-door canvassing
Engage community members in dialogue, provide information, and drop campaign literature
The ideal candidate will have basic computer literacy, experience in canvassing or community organizing, commitment to principles of racial and social justice, excellent communication skills, and the ability to work scheduled but flexible hours including evenings and weekends.
Physical Demands/Work Environment
The physical demands described here are representative of those for this function. The work will be performed primarily in an outdoor environment with exposure to climate and weather
conditions that may include wind, rain, bright sunlight, fluctuating temperatures, or snow. Additionally, canvassers might be working inside high-rise buildings with stairs; walking for several hours on sidewalks or uneven pavement; and standing during an entire shift. All canvassers are expected to wear a mask and maintain social distance to protect themselves and the community from unnecessary exposure to COVID-19.
While performing the duties of this position, the canvassers are expected to:
Talk, hear, and see in the normal range, with or without correction
Use hands or fingers, handle or feel objects, tools, or controls
Reach with hands or arms
Occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds
Occasionally climb stairs
Regularly move and stand for extended hours in weather that may be windy, cold, snowy, rainy, or hot
Listen, hear, speak, and write in English
The pay rate for these positions are $15 per hour for 20 hours per week. The start date is Saturday, October 17. A flexible schedule is required.
To apply, email a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org by 9am on Tuesday, October 13. Interviews will take place over the phone on Wednesday and Thursday. We will contact the selected candidates on Friday, October 16, and the positions will begin on Saturday, October 17.
Cincinnati Action for Housing Now and its member organizations envision a society grounded in the principles of intersectional social, racial, and economic justice. As such, we prioritize an inclusive workplaces that honors the unique talents and lived experiences of each individual. Our vision and values are reflected in all our employment-related decisions, including hiring practices. Accordingly, Cincinnati Action for Housing Now seeks individuals who bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives to join us in our work.