Rebuilding the City – The Story of Nehemiah

Taking on a massive challenge in the community is not a single sector issue…we can not merely point to the public or private sector, the for-profits or not-for-profits, the faith-based or the secular.  Issues facing our community are interwoven across business, education, and justice and we all have a role to play.

We are extremely fortunate to have a company like Nehemiah Manufacturing, led by Dan Meyer and Richard Palmer, who are doing great as a business by doing good.  CityLink and our workforce partner, Cincinnati Works, are excited to have businesses who are willing to open their doors to clients who need a second chance.  Read about Nehemiah’s experience in this recent op-ed  by Dan.

In the last 4-weeks CityLink held a presentation for 12 employers interested in learning more about a second chance and Nehemiah launched the Beacon of Hope to inspire more businesses to get engaged.  This is a great start.

It is time for our community to step forward and realize that if we give returning citizens no opportunity to engage in the workforce, our recidivism rates will only continue.  Great employment partners like CincinnatiWorks are ready to prepare and train individuals to re-enter the workforce but there needs to be a job on the other side of that training.

Nehemiah has proven that second-chance employment works.  We need more employers like Nehemiah, to learn more about these opportunities you can contact us at info@citylinkcenter.org.

Take A Bite Out of Poverty!

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It’s finally here! What your tastebuds have been waiting for….drum roll please…Get Ready to

 Take A Bite Out of Poverty!

Between Memorial Day and July 4th you can dine out at 18 local restaurants that are committed to taking a bite out of poverty. The inaugural Take a Bite Out of Poverty campaign will raise funds and awareness in support of CityLink Center and it’s six resident partner agencies including ChangingGears, Cincinnati Works, SmartMoney Community Services, Catholic Charities, Cincinnati Public Schools, and Per Scholas.

Each restaurant has chosen a day, weekend and some even the entire month of June to donate a portion of sales to the Take a Bite Campaign. How about eating at Eli’s BBQ at Findlay Market on Mondays in June, taking in a breathtaking view at Primavista on Tuesdays in June, or enjoying a slab of ribs from The Montgomery Inn Boathouse the week of June 22nd? Delight in delicious fare at Boca, Sotto and Nada the weekend of June 19-20th. Even Vegans can take their appetites to Park + Vine the week of June 8th and enjoy the CityLink “Burger” of the Week.  From Mariemont to Covington, restaurants have stepped up to support local families and individuals who are working their way of out poverty.

This week’s features:
June 1-30: Silver Ladle is donating to Take A Bite for every order of their famous Chicken Chili all month long!
June 1-30: Giminetti Baking Company is donating for every slice of their hand-tossed pizza all month long!
June 1-7: The Echo in Hyde Park is donating 10% of entire week’s revenue!
June 1: Eli’s BBQ at Findlay Market
June 2: Primavista will donate a portion of your meal to Take A Bite every Tuesday in June!
June 3: Sprout Mt. Adams will feature a new dinner item every Wednesday to benefit Take A Bite!

Check out all your tasty options at www.citylinkcenter.org/takeabite to Take Your Bite Out of Poverty!

Begin & End with Commencement

Last week our CityLink family began and ended with commencement.

One of our board members, Kirk Perry, delivered UC’s commencement speech.  CityLink is blessed to have Kirk’s guidance throughout our journey and he shared some words of wisdom with the thousands of graduates.

President of brand solutions at Google UC alumnus Kirk Perry gestures as he delivered his commencement address to students Saturday May 2, 2015 at Fifth Third Arena. UC/Joseph Fuqua II

President of brand solutions at Google UC alumnus Kirk Perry gestures as he delivered his commencement address to students Saturday May 2, 2015 at Fifth Third Arena. UC/Joseph Fuqua II

 Run with the Pack – the self-made man may make great headlines, but we were created for community.  In times of abundance and times of  challenge, we can walk with strength and purpose when we share that journey with others.  Leaning into others is a discipline which will bear fruit in our own life and the lives of those around us.

Take Bold Steps – stepping out in faith for new challenges and adventures will create opportunities for growth.  We seldom regret trying new things, it is better to learn from action than to atrophy in retrospect of what could have been.

At CityLink we are fortunate to be part of a city-wide movement that leans on expertise of our partners and leverages support of hundreds of volunteers and we get to witness our clients taking bold steps every day.

Melvin On Friday, PerScholas celebrated graduation of its first class at  CityLink.  Eighteen individuals completed the 8-week IT readiness  training program and were surrounded with friends, family, volunteers,  and staff to mark the moment.  Melvin Godfrey was the class  valedictorian and shares some inspiring words with the audience.  Melvin  reminded everyone that our worth established as children of God and that  our potential can be brought to light with dedication, determination and  support of those around us.

It was a great week of celebration and new beginnings for our community.

CityLink Seeking Full-Time AmeriCorp Support!

DON’T DELAY….APPLY NOW! Applications Due This Friday May 1st!

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CityLink Center is seeking 5 AmeriCorps*VISTA members beginning  June 23, 2015 to make a year-long full time commitment. These roles are 40 hour a week paid positions with benefits. Build your resume and gain valuable experience while truly making an impact on Cincinnati.

CityLink Center is a city-wide initiative leveraging the strengths of various social service agencies in Cincinnati.  This is your chance to be part of an incredible team made up of some of the city’s best social service agencies,  staff, volunteers, and AmeriCorps*VISTAs supporting local programs and people working their way out of poverty. Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) build capacity working with CityLink staff and partners to assist in eradicating poverty in our local community.

Use your knowledge and skills while gaining professional development experience + money towards college!

We are currently hiring for five positions. You can learn more and apply by clicking the links below:

 

email Paige Klein directly with questions: paige.klein@citylinkcenter.org

Join the Movement!  Applications due by May 1, 2015.

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Remember CityLink when you go Kroger’ing!

RE-ENROLL OR ENROLL YOUR KROGER PLUS CARD TO BENEFIT CITYLINK!

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What an easy way to support of CityLink Center! The Kroger Community Rewards Program is raising millions for local non-profits and you help CityLink and our clients thrive just by shopping like you do everyday.

Many don’t know that you MUST RE-ENROLL EVERY YEAR after April 1st to ensure your Kroger purchases continue to benefit CityLink between May 2015 and April 2016. If you are already a participant in this program, please follow the directions below to re-enroll for the program.

If you haven’t signed up yet, there is no better time than the present! By shopping at Kroger and linking your Kroger Plus card to the Community Rewards Program, you can help us bring hope through a holistic path to economic self-sufficiency for more of Cincinnati’s working poor, unemployed and under-educated.

Sign up, and each time you swipe your Kroger Plus Card at checkout, CityLink Center will automatically earn money – up to $50,000 each quarter!! What a blessing that would be! Simply follow the instructions below.

REMEMBER, purchases will not count until you register or re-enroll your card! If you have any questions or run into trouble,  Call Kroger at 877-576-7587.

Thanks for supporting CityLink Center with your Kroger purchases!

To Re-enroll/Register for the Kroger Community Rewards Program:

    1. Go to https://www.kroger.com/communityrewards
    2. Click on “sign-in” or “Create an Account” if you have never signed in previously
    3. Enter your email address and password, then click “sign in” -OR- Follow the Directions to create an account
      *To create a new account you will need your Kroger Plus card # and you will be asked to confirm your email before accessing your Kroger account.
    4. Once you’ve successfully signed in or registered your account be sure you are back on the www.kroger.com/communityrewards page and Click “Enroll” or “View Your Rewards Details”
    5. Under  “Find Your Organization” type in “CityLink” and click the “search” button (our unique ID number is #82979)
  1. Under “Select Your Organization” click the button for “CityLink Center”
  2. Click  “Enroll” to save your changes
  3. That’s it! Remember you must re-enroll each year after April 1st and before May 1st for your purchases to support CityLink from year-to-year!

Gratitude Gatherings Honor our Supporters

In 2014, CityLink was fueled by 505 volunteers, 202 donors and 21 churches!

Last week we hosted a series of Gratitude Gatherings to share our appreciation with the hundreds of volunteers, donors, churches who make the work of CityLink and our dedicated Partners possible for our clients. This group of special folks were invited to be the first to hear highlights of our 2014 Annual Report, Hope Takes Root and hear from courageous clients like Katrina, Angelika, Beverly, Aaron, Jerry and more.

We are incredibly thankful to live in a community made up of caring, big-hearted individuals who love their city and their neighbors with passion, commitment and action.

Thank you Cincinnati, our Gratitude overflows.

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Now Accepting Applications!

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CityLink Center is seeking  AmeriCorps*VISTA members beginning  June 23, 2015 to make a year-long full time commitment to impact lives in Cincinnati.

CityLink Center is a city-wide initiative leveraging the strengths of various social service agencies in Cincinnati.  One place, one team made up of many of the city’s best services and have staff, volunteers, and AmeriCorps*VISTAs supporting local programs.  Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) build capacity working with CityLink staff and partners to assist in eradicating poverty in our local community.

Use your knowledge and skills while gaining professional development experience and money towards college.

We are currently hiring for five positions. You can learn more and apply by clicking the links below:

Join the Movement!  Applications due by May 1, 2015.

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Nehemiah Manufacturing Specializes in Second Chances

A newly published book recognizes what we at CityLink Center already know:

Nehemiah Manufacturing is a unique blessing to our city.

Nehemiah employees and their CEO Dan Meyer have been highlighted in a new book called ‘Make it Matter’, by author and speaker Scott Mautz. The author hosted his National Book Launch for Make it Matter at Nehemiah this week and commented that “These employees love coming to work every day, because their CEO has created a company firmly rooted in caring.”

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Nehemiah Manufacturing is a self-proclaimed “purpose driven company focused on building a profitable business that will bring employment, investment and hope to inner-city Cincinnati”. Now, that may sound like a non-profit mission statement but it’s Nehemiah’s business philosophy and it’s literally changing lives. Nehemiah provides second-chance employment for people who have employment barriers such as past criminal records or gaps in their work history.

While most employers (nationwide) are reluctant and even resistant to hiring applicants with criminal records, (Today, over 80% of employers do criminal background checks as a precursor to employment) Nehemiah leans in to support people who are ready, willing and capable of being outstanding team members, regardless of their records.

Employers like Nehemiah place value on developing people and relationships by teaming up with a number of local social service agencies including CityLink and our partner agency Cincinnati Works, St. Vincent DePaul, Jobs Plus and City Gospel Mission to identify and develop team members. In fact, Nehemiah has trained and hired over 20 people through Cincinnati Works since 2013, giving each of these folks an opportunity to earn a living and build a solid work history.

A lack of  reentry employment opportunities for people in our city is one of the major things that keeps us up at night, and it should. Nehemiah is an example of the strategic role businesses can play in changing the face of poverty in Cincinnati while still developing talent and a driving positive business results. Cincinnati needs a whole lot more “Nehemiah minded” employers, and that’s what we continue to pray for.  If your company is willing to work with CityLink to identify committed candidates that happen to be “hard to hire”, we are ready to roll up our sleeves and work with you.

And in case you were wondering ‘why the business is called Nehemiah’, here’s what they say:

Nehemiah was a prophet in the Old Testament who was called by God to bring safety, commerce and community back to the city of Jerusalem. Nehemiah was a great leader who cared for his people and rallied the inhabitants of Jerusalem to rebuild the walls to protect their city. Like Nehemiah, we feel called to rebuild the city by giving people jobs and a renewed hope for the future.

Thank you, Nehemiah.

Help CityLink clients smile (and see)

We are very excited to be moving forward with the Cincinnati Health Department to open the vision and dental center at CityLink thanks to the generous support of our community.  Luxoticca’s One Sight organization and P&G’s Professional Oral Care Group have helped us get the pieces in place for a fully functioning clinic on-site at the center and now it is time to hire the professional staff to bring smiles and sight to our clients.

The Health Department is hiring professional staff: Dentist, Dental Hygienist, Dental Assistant, Optometrist, Optician, and Opt Tech to help serve the clients at CityLink 2 days a week.  You can find the job descriptions here.

If you are interested in learning more about this exciting opportunity to serve clients in a holistic environment, please contact Angie.Hartman@citylinkcenter.org

Dental Vision

 

The Better Question

Welcome to 2015. How are those New Year’s resolutions coming?

Annually, you may establish some vague ideas or solidified action points of how you can do this year differently. However, the gyms are thinning out, some folks have already checked the “accomplished” box, or there some who never jumped on the resolution bandwagon. But along the way you review internally if you should be chasing after an improved or better version of “me”.

Even if done annually though, you find that there’s still something lacking. So that begs the better question – if it’s not all about “me“, how I can focus on a better version of “we”?

When you look around your neighborhood, family, economy, community… what ONE thing captures or breaks your heart? Perhaps, our hearts are broken by human need – At CityLink Center we move towards mending those and growing stronger when coming together as ONE team addressing the issue of poverty in our city ONE individual at a time.

You might have an excuse –

  • Nothing is going to change
  • I’m too old or too young
  • I don’t have any skills to be useful
  • God should send someone to take care of that!

This is where “we” gets buried or forgotten. BUT you are a part of the solution! Think about the people that inspire or that you admire – they didn’t set out to take on the whole problem by themselves. They instead came alongside others; their “me” was included in a “we” and they took it one step at a time.

Here’s the rebuttal to those excuses:

  • Change is already happening
  • As long as you’re 18 years or older, join the movement
  • We have over 25 Volunteer Roles serving Monday-Friday
  • God should send someone to take care of that – He did… look in the mirror

Join us in the grand adventure; the movement of reducing poverty in our city; changing lives one Volunteer shift at a time.

 

15.02.11 Gwendolyn Franklin Bell Ringing

Bell-Ringing celebration for a Client who accepted a job offer!

 

Be a part of CityLink’s “we” by joining us at our New Volunteer Orientation February 17th  at 6-8pm.  Learn about what it looks like to go beyond “me”.

SIGN UP FOR THE ORIENTATION BY CLICKING HERE  (RSVP requested, pretty please)

Right now we are in special need  on these Volunteer Teams:

  • Hospitality
  • Employment Services
  • Service Coordinator Support
  • Education

Learn about these specific roles here

WE” would flourish with you joining us!  If you can’t make the February 17th date, sign up for the following orientation on April 1 at 10am-12pm (NO JOKE!).

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little.

  • Edmond Burke