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by 11.13.2009
Posted In: Community, Neighborhoods, Not-for-profit at 03:47 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Welcome Center Opens for Immigrants

Santa Maria Community Services recently opened an International Welcome Center in Price Hill to assist international residents with various needs and help them acclimate to Cincinnati.

The center, located within the Roberts Academy in the 1700 block of Grand Avenue, can link families with local service agencies and provides space for programs including English language courses, financial education and social activities.

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by 12.03.2010
Posted In: Community, Not-for-profit, Human Rights at 12:08 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Help Lay Baldy to Rest

An account has been created at a local bank to accept donations to help pay for the funeral expenses of a homeless man who died last weekend.

William "Baldy" Floyd, 45, died late Sunday night after a fire spread through a camp near Mehring Way and Sixth Street downtown. Baldy was featured in a CityBeat cover story about homeless camps in September.

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by 12.04.2009
Posted In: Not-for-profit, Social Justice, Community at 03:55 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

IJPC Holds Holiday Fundraiser

A local nonprofit group dedicated to efforts at promoting peace and social justice will hold its annual holiday sale on Saturday.

The Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center (IJPC) will stage its seventh annual St. Nick Day Sale from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Peaslee Neighborhood Center, 215 E. 14th St., in Over-the-Rhine.

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by 12.22.2010

Freestore Feeds More Than 18,000

As part of its annual Christmas Day preparations for the needy, the Freestore Foodbank distributed nearly 300,000 pounds of food, its largest amount ever for the holiday.

During the past three days, the emergency food provider distributed 297,050 pounds of food to 6,677 households. That's enough to feed 18,516 people, according to a spokeswoman.

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by Kevin Osborne 02.03.2012

Komen Restores PP Funding

Despite its founder’s insistence Thursday that reaction had been mostly favorable, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure charity abruptly reversed course today and is restoring funding for Planned Parenthood.

The Los Angeles Times reports Nancy G. Brinker, Komen's founder and CEO, said that the breast cancer foundation's decision to halt funding to providers who were under investigation was not done for political reasons and was not meant to penalize Planned Parenthood specifically.

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by Hannah McCartney 10.03.2013
Posted In: News, Not-for-profit, Health care, Health at 01:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Ohio House Votes to Authorize Syringe-Exchange Programs

House overwhelmingly approves loosening restrictions on establishing SEPs

The Ohio House yesterday offered overwhelming support for a bill that would authorize local health boards across the state to establish syringe-exchange programs with fewer roadblocks, which could pave the way for Cincinnati to establish myriad programs across its neighborhoods most afflicted by intravenous drug use and bloodborne pathogens.  

House Bill 92, sponsored jointly by Rep. Nickie Antonio (D-Lakewood) and Rep. Barbara Sears (R-Sylvania), would remove a restriction that stipulates programs can only be implemented when a local health emergency has been declared and lays out mandates for programs to protect the rights and educate the intravenous drug users who take advantage of the programs. 

Syringe exchange programs have been the privy to significant controversy; opposers say that offering addicts the tools they need to fuel drug habits ultimately fuels destructive habits and sends the wrong message to drug abusers. 

What’s helped turn the issue non-partisan, however, is overwhelming data supporting claims that the program saves lives. In 2004, the World Health Organization published a study on the effectiveness of syringe programming in reducing HIV/AIDS that found a “compelling case that (needle-exchange programs) substantially and cost effectively reduce the spread of HIV among (injection drug users) and do so without evidence of exacerbating injecting drug use at either the individual or societal level.” 

Adam Reilly, who is an HIV project manager for a local healthcare provider, says that a syringe exchange program is already in the works for Springdale; the location is expected to open in about a month. He says that project has been seven years in the making because of how entangled efforts to establish the program become in bureaucracy. Establishing a program is particularly laborious, he explains, because it requires citywide cooperation — including law enforcement — which has proven to be a challenge for programs in other states, where police officers are prone to harass participants entering or leaving an exchange facility.

The current bill would essentially take the issue out of the political arena, Reilly says, and thrust the responsibility onto health departments. The city of Cincinnati in 2012 already declared a public health emergency following significant proof of a citywide HIV/Hepatitis C epidemic sourced primarily from heroin abuse.

Cincinnati's now-defunct nonprofit agency STOP AIDS found through focus groups that the majority of intravenous drug users are Caucasian middle-aged males; 145 of 147 study subjects reported using ineffective methods to clean used equipment. Their data estimates that 4,000-6,000 people locally are currently living with HIV/AIDS.

STOP AIDS also estimated that spending $385,000 per year on a syringe exchange program has the potential to save nearly $50 million annually in health costs generated from contracting HIV or HCV infections.

To make the program as effective as possible, Reilly says other exchange programs offer participants assurance in writing that their identities will be protected; the House bill also says that future programs wold be required to encourage drug users to seek medical, mental health or social services, also offer counseling and other educational requirements.

The bill has been assigned to a Senate committee, where it will go through another vote and, if passed, will require Gov. John Kasich's signature to become law. 
by Hannah McCartney 02.28.2012
Posted In: Not-for-profit, News at 11:56 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Changes In Store at Media Bridges

New Central Parkway location will include new equipment and software

Inhabitants at the 1100 block of Race Street will lose a neighbor beginning March 1, when Media Bridges moves a few blocks away to a new location inside the Crosley Telecommunications Center in Over-the-Rhine at 1223 Central Pkwy. The move, although minor, means some improvements are in store for the non-profit.

Media Bridges provides diverse communities in Cincinnati with the opportunity to work with and produce forms of media. Although they've called their 1100 Race St. location home since 2002, the move means a larger production studio and purchase newer equipment and more up-to-date video editing software. The Crosley Telecommunications Center also houses CET and Cincinnati Public Radio. Because the facilities are shared, Media Bridges hopes to collaborate with the outlets and explore joint services, said CET Executive Vice President and Station Manager Jack Dominic in a news release

The decision to stay in OTR was an obvious choice, according to Tom Bishop, Media Bridges' Executive Director. "This is our neighborhood. We love this place," he says. The change comes thanks to a dent in funding; the City of Cincinnati cut Media Bridges' funding by one-third in 2007, and a downsize has been brewing in their plans since then.

Although the new facility will have a larger production facility, office space will be compressed to accommodate staff cuts. The new equipment and software will be purchased using reserved funds, but Bishop says it's worth the investment; "Some of our equipment was from 1989. You're driving dinosaurs if you're not updating your software and equipment every few years [in the media industry]."

The new equipment will make way for some promising advances in the future, according to Bishop. Plans to teach courses on Wordpress web design, computer classes for A + certification and a certification program for Adobe Production Premiere are in the works.

Media Bridges will begin its transition on March 1 while it continues to provide full services at its Race Street location. Its last day of operation will be on April 20, followed by an 11-day hiatus to complete the move to the new Central Parkway location, which is expected to open to the community on May 3.

by Kevin Osborne 11.21.2011
Posted In: Family, Financial Crisis, Not-for-profit, Poverty at 12:28 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Freestore Begins Holiday Distribution

The Freestore Foodbank today began its annual distribution of Thanksgiving meals to needy families. The delivery of meals will continue through Wednesday afternoon.

Workers at the Freestore will deliver boxes to about 23,000 families throughout the Tristate region.

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by Kevin Osborne 02.07.2012
Posted In: News, Women's Health, Not-for-profit, Internet at 04:59 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

Handel Resigns from Breast Cancer Charity

The anti-abortion politician who urged Susan G. Komen for the Cure to pull its funding from Planned Parenthood has resigned from the charity.

Karen Handel, who was Komen’s vice president of public policy, submitted her resignation letter today, the Associated Press reported. Handel said she stands by her goal of ending grants to Planned Parenthood and is disappointed that Komen leaders reversed the decision after public outcry.

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by 05.07.2010
Posted In: Media, Community, Not-for-profit at 02:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)

'SistaHood' Returns to WAIF

Ending a seven-month suspension from the air, The SistaHood Show is returning to its weekly berth at WAIF (88.3 FM) beginning today.

The program, co-hosted by Victoria Straughn and Crystal Allen, was a casualty of the ongoing strife at the community radio station between many longtime volunteer programmers and Board Chairman Donald Shabazz, about how he manages the station.

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