What does home mean to you?
Housing is a human right
Passing this initiative will mean 500 more homes for families who are currently spending more than they can afford for their housing. It will mean less gentrification. Less displacement. More stability for individuals, essential workers, and families who currently struggle against the inhumane and unethical policies that allow real estate developers and property managers to issue 30-Notices to Vacate.
This initiative is a housing opportunity for someone staying in their car, or living temporarily in a motel room. When the minimum wage does not raise to match the increasing cost of living, when the standard expectation is for some people to work multiple jobs to pay for housing, it is time for the community to initiate change. This Affordable Housing Trust Fund ballot initiative is the type of change that Cincinnati needs. As you will learn from listening to people who have experienced housing insecurity in Cincinnati, everyone needs a place to call home.
Our stories of struggle
Rudy is a 49 year old living in Over the Rhine. As a child, his family frequently moved. In his adult life Rudy struggled with addiction. He connected with Over-the-Rhine Community Housing for support, and he is now on his recovery journey. He is very thankful to the Over-the-Rhine community for providing him with these things and the ability to live within his means while he stays focused on his recovery. Rudy intends to give back to his community one day to help others who might be in need. This is the promo length video of his story. The full length video is here.
Rosalyn is a 28 year old single mother living in Norwood with her young son. After her son was born, she needed a safe place to live to raise him. She quickly learned how difficult it is to find a space in a family shelter in Cincinnati. Her pediatrician referred her to Lydia's House, who placed Rosalyn into a space quickly. Although she had often felt like she was at a dead end, Lydia’s House gave her a support system and she finally felt like she had arrived home. This is the promo length recording of her story. The full length is here.
Donny is 62 years old and moved with his mother from Florida as a child. He has lived in Cincinnati since then. In 2012, his housing near Liberty and Walnut Street was bought by a developer, and although he was paying his rent each month, he was forced to leave through unjust eviction policies. Donny then began to live outside, and for several years, slept outdoors. His journey finally brought him to the drop in center, and from there, into transitional housing. Donny says now that he wants to feel safe, and he doesn’t want any others to go through the same experience that he had. Watch the full video here.
Kimetta is a 65 year old woman living in Walnut Hills. She was facing a foreclosure in her long-time residence at The Alms. She and her neighbors organized and confronted management to fight the gentrification attempt that would force them out of the property. After a two year battle, the residents association at The Alms won, and it continues to be an affordable property. Kimetta understands the need to secure affordable, and to stay organized against the continued attempts to gentrify Walnut Hills and other Cincinnati neighborhoods. Watch the full video here.
Marie is a 39 year old single mother and a resident of Over the Rhine Community Housing. After struggles against depression and addiction, she now feels like she has a safe place she calls home to focus on her recovery. Through this housing stability, Marie feels like she can finally reclaim her freedom. She is grateful to them for allowing her to have time to work on her mental health on her journey to recovery. When asked how she felt about the lack of affordable housing in Cincinnati, Marie said that it truly was sad because as a community we have the resources to end homelessness. Watch her full video.
Destiny’s journey has been far from easy. As a young child, she and her family moved often. She never had a stable place to call home. Destiny gives us an insight into the struggles she faced during her journey toward finding home. After an experience with eviction, Destiny had a difficult time finding a landlord who would rent to her. For awhile, she lived in her car while also caring for her children and working full time. Feeling very alone, Destiny spoke to her case manager and found a suitable shelter for her and her children at Lydia's House. She soon discovered this to be a welcoming and helpful environment. Destiny now believes that by ending the stigma around what homelessness looks like, we can work together to create a solution for those in need.
Aliah is 46 and currently lives in the Mt. Auburn area. In late 2019, land developers bought the apartment complex that was home to Aliah and her boyfriend Willie, and also about 12 other families. The developers chose to displace the residents, and no one was offered a lease renewal. It took them about 4 months to find someplace that they could afford to live, and their new place is above their budget and below their safety standards. Aliah isn’t even able to do her laundry alone out of fear. When they were pushed out, they hadn't been able to secure transportation, and the developers threw away many of their belongings. Aliah's story is a very recent illustration of the affordable housing crisis, and what happens when developers are not accountable to the people they choose to displace. Watch her full story here.