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Over-the-Rhine Community Housing

UC electronic media student Clifton Sneed created a short video about Over-the-Rhine Community Housing and how UC students are involved.

The Center for Community Engagement has partnered with Over-the-Rhine Community Housing to provide a link into one of the region's most dynamic, exciting, yet underserved neighborhoods.  

Over-the-Rhine Community Housing is a non-profit organization that works to build and sustain a diverse neighborhood that values and benefits low-income residents. They focus on developing and managing resident-centered, affordable housing in an effort to promote inclusive community.

Through various volunteer opportunities, the UC community can connect with the OTRCH community to create positive change and transformative relationships. Check out facebook.com/otrch to view photos and read descriptions of past volunteer projects!

Please note that as of January 2014, OTRCH has reached its capacity to accomodate volunteers for the popular Saturday morning volunteer program through spring of 2014. If you're interested in volunteering or advocating in support of housing issues during this period, please contact community.engagement@uc.edu to connect with other local organizations that address the housing needs of Cincinnatians.

Saturday Morning Volunteer Program

OTRCH's Saturday morning program takes place 9:00a - 12:00p year round. Each week pre-scheduled groups of volunteers meet at our office, learn about OTRCH's work in the community, then disperse into the neighborhood to work on community service projects under the supervision of the Volunteer Coordinator or a Crew Leader.

The community service projects are typically hands on work, consisting of community clean up, clean up of common areas in buildings our non-profit owns and manages, and sometimes volunteers assist people who rent apartments from us with special projects in their homes (for example, in the winter volunteers often help put up plastic on windows in residents' apartments).

Jimmy Heath House

The Jimmy Heath House opened two years ago as Cincinnati's first "Housing First" community, a unique type of housing that is specifically intended to provide housing and services to people who have been homeless for years, or "chronically homeless." The Jimmy Heath House is home to 25 people who each have their own apartments, but share common areas in the building and back yard. There are also counselors, medical professionals, etc who work full time at or regularly visit Jimmy Heath House to connect the residents to services.

One of the goals of Jimmy Heath House is to build community among residents. As such, volunteer groups are welcomed to spend an evening preparing and sharing community meals (such as dinners, breakfasts, brunches, or cook-outs). Volunteer groups are also welcomed to host game nights (chess and checkers are popular) or movie nights.

Children's Creative Corner

Children's Creative Corner is an evening art program that takes place Tuesday and Thursday nights from 6:30 to 8:00p. Children's Creative Corner is a place where OTR children ages 4-14 can come and create art and play games in a positive environment.

Children's Creative Corner welcomes volunteers to help out by assisting children with their art projects, playing board games, and helping clean up. Since CCC is held in a relatively small space, it's is a good opportunity for individuals or small groups.

Transportation: Off-street parking is available, but it's a short and easy bus ride to OTRCH. Click here for public transit directions.

Do you have a car? Students also are needed to volunteer as site leaders for these Saturday projects. On Saturday morning, the site leader transports paperwork to the Over-the-Rhine Community Housing office and ensures that all volunteers are able to get to the service site. Site leaders then work alongside other volunteers under the direction of Over-the-Rhine Community Housing staff or skilled volunteers, so no construction experience is needed--just a car and willingness to lead.

Contact community.engagement@uc.edu or 513-556-1559 with questions.