MashUp 2017

 

Your eyes, ears and taste buds will be entertained through four separate live performances featuring unexpected combinations of music, art and dance. Plus, an interactive art project our guests (that’s you!) help create. All of this mashed up with amazing food and adult beverages from some of the city’s hottest venues!

Early Bird Tickets: $40 through September 15th only! 

Pre-Sale Tickets: $45 through October 5th

Door Tickets: $50 (if not sold out… and this event sells out!)

PURCHASE TICKETS HERE

 

Buck’s Journey Started With Faith

A few years ago, CityLink client, Buck, felt a strong calling from God that he and his family were being called to move from Columbus to Florida to start a church. They gave up their house, and Buck left a great job to make the move.  While in Florida, he found a car to drive with Uber, but just one week later, Uber was declared illegal in his city and he found himself unemployed and stuck with a car payment he couldn’t afford. “My family lost everything” he shared.

Buck wound up moving to Cincinnati for a job offer last year, but transportation was still a big concern for his family. When he came to CityLink in December of 2016, he began engaging with SmartMoney Community Services with the goal of going through the ChangingGears program in order to obtain reliable and affordable transportation. ChangingGears was established in 2014 with a mission to provide safe and affordable transportation for those working their way out of poverty.

ChangingGears helps individuals and their families obtain the transportation they need, allowing them to access better employment opportunities, manage family responsibilities, and complete daily errands efficiently. A client’s pathway to ChangingGears is through CityLink’s financial education partner SmartMoney Community Services. SmartMoney provides financial workshops and 1-on-1 financial counseling for CityLink clients to help them become more financially fit while working on long and short term, savings, debt and money management practices and goals.
The integration of services through SmartMoney and ChangingGears,  gives clients the tools they need to make more calculated and responsible decisions with their finances, setting each client up for success as vehicle owners.

In July of 2017, after working closely with both SmartMoney and ChangingGears (including investing “sweat equity” hours in the ChangingGears garage) Buck received the keys to his minivan! Today, he has reliable and affordable transportation with space for his whole family. Buck shared that his van even has enough room for them to go camping! Buck continues to be engaged with ChangingGears, and is optimistic about his future. He says that ChangingGears has been a blessing to his family, and he tells people about the program all the time.

We are proud of Buck for his steadfast determination, even in the face of adversity. Our collaborative partners work together everyday to support people like Buck with various aspects their lives to enable and encourage them towards their goals.

 

HomeSown.org Gives To CityLink!

 

Our friends at Homesown.org are devoting funding to CityLink and a number of other local non-profits through the income generated from real estate transactions! Upon completing transactions to buy or sell your home/property, CityLink will receive a significant donation of the commission transaction. This is an awesome opportunity for individuals looking to get trustworthy help closing the deal on selling or buying a home, while sowning a seed into our ministry here at CityLink!

So if you’re looking to buy a new home or sell your existing home, getting the right professional service and real estate agent is an important step in that process. Check out HomeSown.org, a faith driven innovative real estate business that provides high quality local real estate experts to assist you with buying or selling your home. All while making generous contributions to the community.

Learn more and sign up here!

The Extreme Point .1K is Back August 5th!

Join us on August 5th from 10am-2pm for our 2nd annual Extreme Point .1K! Our family friendly “race” covers 329 feet of grueling flat terrain! Kids of all ages will have a blast with children’s activities like a petting zoo, bounce house, and more! We’ll also have some food trucks & music for those parents and adults who don’t want to bounce around or get their face painted. So, gather up a team, pick a name, and even start your training now!

Last year we had Wookies, Hoverboards, and Moonwalkers (to name a few) cross the finish line! What’s your race style?! We can’t wait to see! Prizes for best team name, costume, and race style will be awarded.

Register Today! Tickets available here: https://citylink-families-on-mission.funraise.org/

CityLink Welcomes New Partners CEO and Visions

Today we gave a great big welcome to our newest partners Center For Employment Opportunities (CEO) and Children’s, Inc (Visions). Today’s we celebrated with breakfast cooked and served by CityLink staff. Visions also brought baked cookies for CityLink and fellow resident partner as welcoming gifts.

Both CEO and Visions will be providing crucial services and their respective expertise to help clients combat two sufficient barriers to self-sufficiency. Employment for citizens returning home prison (CEO) and early head-start childcare (Visions), building into our model of holistic services to better address the needs of our community.These services CityLink is excited about our these new partnerships and look forward to leveraging the resources of our team to combat poverty in Cincinnati. Read more about Children, Inc services at CityLink, and check out an earlier blog about CEO to learn more about both these unique partners, their mission, and how our clients will benefit from thees valuable services!

America’s Tech Jobs Are On The Rise

                                   Photos of a recent Per Scholas Graduation in early June

 

Since the late 1980’s, the use of technology has grown expeditiously here in the United States and all over the world. From the development of home desktop computers followed by the creation of the World Wide Web, to now in 2017 where the iPhone 8 is set to be released later this year. Technology is developing rapidly year after year, advancing the prospects of better ways to cure disease, solve crime, home appliances, and much more. One of the biggest impacts of technology is the number of jobs created within the tech industry. According to an article by USA Today titled “Tech Jobs are Thriving Nationwide – up to 7.3M”, across the US the tech market is booming with a growth rate of 2% of jobs bringing the total number of 7.3 million since last year. Earning potential for tech workers average $108,900, twice the average income for most U.S occupations.

A primary concern of many employers according to the article, is the gap between college graduates and the skill set needed to succeed. Per Scholas, whose mission is to provide a comprehensive approach to tech education by creating opportunities for more people to enter the tech industry, close the skills gap by provide a 8 week hands on IT training program, and foster a more diverse workforce in the tech industry by including more women and people of color. Our clients here at CityLink receive premium tech education by renowned experts and practitioners with years of experience in IT. They also receive the same holistic services that all CityLink clients enjoy, such as taking SmartMoney classes where they learn to budget and manage their finances and obtain interview appropriate attire through Clothing Connection. CityLink’s location in the West End is also an awesome advantage, conveniently located near the heart of Cincinnati’s hub of fortune 500 employers seeking tech talent.

Organizations such as Kroger, Thrive, TechSolve, and U.S Bank are merely minutes away and recruit regularly from Per Scholas. Over 80% of graduates land jobs in the local Cincinnati region. Taking on a full time IT training program can seem daunting. But our clients have the full support of their fellow classmates, instructors, and the intentional community we form here. With the mass majority of students leaving college thousands of dollars in debt, you can become trained, certified, and land a tech job with no student loan debt.  The work is hard but the benefits will last a lifetime.

Congrats to Per Scholas most recent graduating class!

A Wild Time at CityLink’s Zoo Day!

Building community both inside and outside the walls of our 800 Bank St location is part of our DNA here at CityLink.  Last Saturday, on a bright Saturday afternoon, volunteers, clients and staff took a field trip to for our first Zoo Day! CityLink is comprised of many moving parts. Different clients and volunteers don’t always have the opportunity to engage with one other because of the differences in classes or areas they serve in.  Fun and interactive social opportunities like this give our clients, volunteers, staff and their kids a chance to connect! Thanks to our valued church partner,  Landmark Church and nearly 100 community members rode down to the Cincinnati Zoo from CityLink in style for a fun day of animal sight-seeing and adventure.

The group was split into 10 smaller groups, where they participated in a friendly but competitive scavenger hunt.

Did you know the Komodo Dragon can consume 80% of its body weight in one sitting? Team Elephant did!

They were the scavenger hunt champions, and thanks to event supporters like Graeter’s and Jimmy John’s they took home gift cards for a cool summer treats and eats.  Jimmy John’s also made a generous donation of plenty of sandwiches and chips for the road. Check out a few pics from our day below…sort of makes you wanna be a part of our crew, huh?

Check out these other fun ways to get your family involved with CityLink this summer! 

 

Partner Spotlight: Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank

For young families juggling priorities with limited budgets, diapers, while necessary, can be a cumbersome expense. The average family in the U.S. spends upward of $700 per child annually on diapers. CityLink partners with various organizations to provide holistic care and access to services that will support clients reaching their goals and eliminate barriers blocking the path to  self-sufficiency. And yes… for CityLink families with small children, this includes DIAPERS!

 

Thanks to our partnership with Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank, the only diaper bank serving the Greater Cincinnati area, clients are provided with size appropriate diapers in bundles at no cost to them.

Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank partners with social service agencies across the Tri-state to support low-income individuals with diaper needs while raising awareness of the basic health need for diapers. By assisting families during what can be one of the most challenging times in a parent’s life, Sweet Cheeks is working to build a strong community for the future. Over 150,000 diapers were donated to Sweet Cheeks in the past year and these diaper donations are what keeps them going (learn more about donating new diapers to Sweet Cheeks here).

Our clients often express gratitude for Sweet Cheeks Diapers, commenting on the bills they have been able to pay, food and non-food items they have been able to purchase, and money they save because of the diaper resources. Allocating diapers via Sweet Cheeks Diaper Bank fills a tremendous gap in means for our clients and their little ones.

In 2016, CityLink distributed 7,360 diapers serving over 80 individuals. Now that’s a “bottom line” to be proud of!

 

 

Meet Our AmeriCorps VISTAs!

Here at CityLink, AmeriCorps VISTAs help build into our mission and vision by bringing their diverse backgrounds, experiences, skills and personalities to strengthening our core foundation. Their support allows us to better serve our clients. As our current Class of VISTA’s year of service draws closer to it’s end and we’re in the midst of recruiting our 2017-2018 class, we asked them to share their journey to CityLink, what their experience has been like thus far, and what plans lay ahead for their bright futures:


Sarah Bublitz
Undergraduate: University of Cincinnati
Major: Fine Arts, B.A

 

What bought you to CityLink?
My mom was first a volunteer here before recommending I volunteer here as well. This place seemed really different from all the other places I’ve volunteered at before, I could actually see lives being changed. Coming out of college I didn’t really know what I wanted to do next, and serving as a VISTA I felt was the best way to help me figure that out.
How has serving at CityLink had an impact on you?
Serving here has really helped me define the true meaning of poverty. I now understand not only what poverty looks like, but feels like as well.
What’s next after VISTA life?
Sarah was accepted into Ohio State University’s Master of Social Working program and will be starting in the fall. Sarah hopes to focus her career on reentry service for citizens exiting prison.

 

MaryKate Wireman
Undergraduate: Morehead State University
Major: International Studies, B.A with minor in Sociology

 

What bought you to CityLink?
I wanted to explore a career in nonprofit. When I learned about CityLink, I was really drawn to their mission and work.
How has serving at CityLink had an impact on you?
CityLink has shown me how to put my passion to work, not only in caring about the issues in my community, but actually acting on them in an effective way.
What’s next after VISTA life?
MaryKate is currently enrolled in Morehead’s Master in Public Administration program. She will be teaching a undergraduate class as an Graduate Assistant at Morehead this coming Spring.

 

Allie Wallace
Undergarduate: University of Cincinnati
Major : Fine Arts, B.A with concentrations in drawing and Semiotics

 

What bought you to CityLink?
Coming out of school I wanted to go somewhere I could build into God’s kingdom while doing meaningful work.
How has serving at CityLink had an impact on you? 
Having not grown up in poverty myself, my year of service has opened my eyes to the difficulties of poverty and the power I have to address it in my community
What’s next after VISTA  life?
Allie will pursue barista training to work in a coffee shop. She also wants to volunteer for Crossroads.

 

Alex Contra
Undergraduate: University of Cincinnati
Major: Marketing and International Business

 

What bought you to CityLink?
I traveled with Back2Back Ministries on a mission trip to Mexico. While there I gained a deeper passion for fighting poverty. I had also started volunteering at CityLink two years prior to my service.
How has serving at CityLink had an impact on you?
I’ve become more aware of the different barriers contributing to poverty.
What’s next after VISTA life?
I plan to continue serving as a volunteer at CityLink after my years of service.

 

Alex Horan
Undergraduate: Xavier
Major: Liberal Arts, B.A with concentrations in Political Science, Business, and Peace Studies

 

What bought you to CityLink?
I was serving in AmeriCorps at another site doing similar work in GED tutoring and employment training when I found out about CityLink. I was impressed with the model of service in bring all supporting services under one roof.
How has serving at CityLink had an impact on you?
I’ve met some really awesome people here who love what they do here, and that’s what I love about this place.
What next after VISTA life?
Alex is currently enrolled at Northern Kentucky University’s Master in Public Administration program. He wants to pursue a job in local government.

 

Ashley Jacobs
Undergraduate: Miami (OH) University
Major: Early Childhood Education

 

What bought you to CityLink?
I wanted to gain experience working in a nonprofit, somewhere really making an impact on the City of Cincinnati.
How has serving at CityLink had an impact on you?
Serving here has solidified my belief in the vision that with community and relationships, we as individuals can be successful and collectively succeed when we all come together.
What next after VISTA life?
Ashley will be starting her career as a pre-school teacher in a Montessori classroom. She will also be starting in a teaching education program in June to obtain her Montessori certificate.

 

Latia Leonard
Undergraduate: Michigan State University
Major: Communication

 

What bought you to CityLink?
Before coming to CityLink, I had allot of experience volunteering, but I wanted to get a more hands on opportunity to make an impact in a way that being a volunteer on the frontline wouldn’t allow. CityLink allows me to have hands on experience working on organizational impacting projects.
How has serving at CityLink had an impact on you?
Since the start of my service, I’ve had an amazing opportunity to see how people who come here under all sorts of terrible circumstances, leave with hope that they can concur whatever’s next, support their family, and grow in faith.
What’s next after VISTA life?
Latia is currently pursuing employment and is planning to go to graduate school.

Join the AmeriCorps VISTA Team at CityLink!

Join CityLink AmeriCorps

Discover your passions and skills through a year of service as a CityLink Center AmeriCorps VISTA.

CityLink Center is a city-wide initiative bringing together various social services in Cincinnati all under one roof. Through integrated and holistic services, our team of expert staff, partners and volunteers are helping people break free from the cycle of poverty and reach of place of self-sustainability and hope. Volunteers In Service To America (VISTA) build CityLink Center’s capacity to better serve the community and create a platform for life change.

Through a year of service you will gain professional skills and experience, build a network of career professionals, and earn an education grant to kickstart your career in the field of your interest.

We are currently hiring for 7 positions starting in June 2017 in communications, development, hospitality and programming, partner development and volunteer systems. Applications are due by May 5, 2017.

For more information, please visit our VISTA engagement page for additional information on how to apply!