With Thanksgiving, the holiday season, and cold weather quickly approaching for the winter months, it is certain our clients will need their Saturdays to spend time with their loved ones. In the upcoming months, CityLink will temporarily suspend Saturday services until Spring 2017. This change in the hours of operations will go into effect starting November 1st.
This year’s MashUp was wildly successful and sold out before we opened our doors to the public last Friday night! CityLink is appreciative of all of our volunteers, sponsors, and guest who made this event possible.
This year’s artistic performances inspired and wowed our crowd of nearly 600! Not to mention perfect weather for our Beer Garden, fire pits and a ton of incredible food and libations from our city’s top destinations. However the real stars of the night shined bright in our client testimonial video that was featured in our finale performance, Breaking Through. If you missed the event or just want to see the impact our partners and people like you and me are having in the lives of our clients, check it out:
A full review and photos of each of our performances (Out of the Dark, Come to Together, Identity and Breaking Through) are coming soon along with a time lapse video of our Interactive Art Project where our guests literally “broke through” a physical representation of some of the lies that hold us back from reaching our full potential and the incredible plans God has for each of our lives.
MashUp was once again nothing short of amazing and we remain grateful and humbled by the continued support of our community to rally around our clients and the life changes that are happening within our walls. Thank you to each of our guest, volunteers, sponsors and performers for the role you’re playing in our mission to take back our city, one life at a time.
We recently held our first Client Celebration event. While we often celebrate achievements like a clients landing jobs with a ‘Bell Ringing’ at Cincinnati Works or a title hand-off for a client paying off their ChangingGears car loan for example, we haven’t had a formal way of celebrating those brave milestones that are reached along the way to achieving the big goals.
We gathered nearly 200 people made up of clients and their families, volunteers, and staff to celebrate the important milestones clients have reached in their journeys and the perseverance demonstrated on an everyday basis. We celebrated 39 people for improving their education level, passing a portion of the GED or obtaining their GED. We honored 139 people who secured steady, full time employment and reached 3 months, 6 months and 1+ years on the job. And we commended 19 folks who put themselves on a Smart Path towards a brighter economic future through securing their finances with the help of SmartMoney (paying off debt, buying houses, cars and more). And lastly, we celebrated two special volunteers that have been journeying with CityLink from the very beginning.
We are incredibly proud of our clients and volunteers everyday but this was an especially beautiful moment to witness a room filled with the pride and hope of so many that comes from a belief in oneself.
“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.” Ursula K. Le Guin
CityLink piloted Saturday hours this summer due to client demand and saw a positive response. So much so that CityLink will continue bi-monthly Saturday Programming through October and will resume again in Spring 2017. CityLink and our partners are fully committed to finding a solution that will resolve the challenges our clients face, including the challenges of our employed clients. Many work long hours to support their families and face time constraints, transportation barriers and other obstacles that interfere with meeting their day to day needs.
Current and incoming clients have embraced the opportunity to attend services at the Center on Saturdays and we found that we engaged more clients over the weekend than during weekday evenings. Therefore, as of September 1st, CityLink Center will discontinue Tuesdays and Thursday evening programming, with Wednesday evening Information Sessions and a robust offering of services remaining for those who find it convenient to engage at CityLink during a week night.
Our New Operating Hours are as follows:
Monday: 8:00-5:00 p.m.
Tuesday 8:00-5:00 p.m.
Wednesday 8:00-8:30 p.m.
Thursday 8:00-5:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00-5:00 p.m.
*Saturday 9:00-2:00 p.m. *Offered the 2nd/4th Saturdays of the month April-October
This past week has been heartbreaking as we have seen the continued senseless loss of life play-out across national airwaves.
In times of tragedy we can respond with anger or apathy, we can feel overwhelmed or emboldened, we can move towards a common understanding or retrench towards ideological positions.
On Friday morning, a meeting with leaders of two neighborhood social service agencies turned to the topic of the shootings which had touched each of our hearts.
As a father of two sons, I was utterly saddened to hear from my respected peer how she has had to address each of her sons and identify the ways that they may be misinterpreted in an encounter with law enforcement. Her concerns of them not coming home at night aren’t from a traffic accident but from a traffic stop, simply because her sons are a different color than mine. It is a reality in her and other families’ lives across our country, it is a reality that I can never fully appreciate as a white man, but it is an opportunity.
As people of faith, we can all recognize the inherent worth of every life created by God. As people of faith, we can all recognize that there are incredible men and women who enlist to serve and protect us as public officers. As people of faith, we can all recognize that a continued pattern of lost black men’s lives in encounters with law enforcement does not reflect the standard of justice and equality we aspire to. As people of faith, we can all recognize that responding to injustice with violence will only further division and lead to more senseless waste of life.
So what can we do?
I was once told that we can dig a well while we pray for rain. We can take on personal accountability, while advocating for larger change and importantly asking God to intercede on behalf of our nation.
At CityLink, we have a beautiful cross-section of our community coming together across socio-economic and racial divides. These relationships can start to bridge chasms of misunderstanding and lack of awareness about the situations of neighbors who live only minutes from us but whose life experiences are miles apart. Through relationship we can learn how to act as a community, love our neighbors, and act from love.
The first commandment is to love God. The second is to love your neighbor as yourself.
Join us in praying for our nation, our city, and our neighbors.
CityLink & Partners are offering another way to do good and feel great in the process…..all throughout the month of July, you can help our city Take A Bite Out of Poverty. Dive into some of the city’s best eats and a portion of the proceeds will support the collaboration at CityLink Center. Learn about where and when to dive in by clicking here.
A lot of really good people trying to figure out how to solve some really challenging problems in our community, like that of economic mobility. How do we provide the tools and approaches for individuals to obtain living wage jobs and have a trajectory of hope for their families?
At CityLink, we are proud to have a national training program, PerScholas, providing IT Training to clients who emerge with a valuable certificate that can begin a meaningful career in technology. PerScholas was featured in this article by the NewYork Times. Read more. Be Encouraged. Join the Movement.
Lisa Edwards commutes from Barclays Bank to Per Scholas, a nonprofit offering low-income workers training in I.T.CreditAlex Wroblewski/The New York Times
Today (June 11, 2016) Cincinnati Works, in partnership with CityLink, kicked off Saturday programming. I was overwhelmed with excitement as I watched 17 WORKING individuals invest in themselves as participants of the newly enhanced Advance You program. I found myself filled with joy and pride as we enter our 20th year and continue to pursue innovative ways to assist individuals in their goals for greater stability and professional excellence. The launch also included structured job search coordinated by Amanda with volunteer support.
CityLink will be open on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month all summer long. Stop in for an Info Session (at 10 a.m.) or if you’re an existing client, reach out to your Service Coordinator to get scheduled for Saturday Services. Read more about our Saturday offerings here.
Wages are finally rising. Unemployment is the lowest it’s been since 2007.
But 31% of American adults, or 76 million people, say they are struggling to get by or just barely making it, according to the Federal Reserve Bank’s latest survey on Americans’ economic well-being, which looked at 2015.
46% of Americans would have to borrow or sell something to afford a $400 emergency expense, which can subject people to expensive loans, risk of defaulting on payments, damaging credit, and a whole host of potential negative ramifications.
At CityLink, SmartMoney Community Services provides financial education to help individuals build a budget, balance a budget, establish savings, and build assets…..if you want to learn more, call us at 513-357-2000 or learn more here.