The hard road out of Cincinnati’s intertwined worlds of sex work, addiction and poverty
0 Comments · Wednesday, November 5, 2014
Understanding how people get coerced into selling sex
involves coming to terms with a dizzying array of mitigating economic,
social and personal factors. Local leaders are working to provide new
resources and outreach, but myriad
factors present barriers to those seeking recovery.
0 Comments · Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Northside Community Council voted July 21
to create a needle exchange program in the neighborhood. The effort,
run by the Cincinnati Exchange Program, will start sometime in August
and operate from a van one day a week for three hours at a time. Planned
Parenthood will also participate, providing testing services for
diseases like HIV and hepatitis.
1 Comment · Wednesday, November 13, 2013
He sat on that tiny chair across from me
and poured tea and talked to me in the blackest British accent that was
awesome and made me giggle. He turned up the pinky finger of his
drinking hand and kept my little cup filled. (I took lemon and sugar.)
1 Comment · Wednesday, October 16, 2013
A Ludlow, Ky., branch of a local entity
operating transitional housing facilities for recovering addicts across
the Greater Cincinnati area is facing criticism from the Ludlow Historic
by German Lopez
Pension language mostly upheld, Cranley rejects COAST, Ky. group criticizes housing facility
The Ohio Supreme Court upheld most of the controversial ballot language
for Issue 4 — the tea party-backed city charter amendment that would
semi-privatize Cincinnati’s pension system — but the court also
concluded that the Hamilton County Board of Elections must add language
about how much the city can contribute to the new retirement accounts.
The amendment would require future city employees to contribute to and
manage individual 401k-style retirement accounts, instead of placing
them under the current pension system in which the city pools pension
funds and manages the investments through an independent board. Voters
will make the final decision on the amendment on Nov. 5, although some
already voted early on ballots that included the full controversial
language. CityBeat analyzed the amendment — and how it could reduce benefits for city employees and raise costs for the city — in further detail here.
Mayoral candidate John Cranley says he would reject and doesn’t want
an endorsement from the Coalition Opposed to Additional Spending and
Taxes (COAST), a conservative group formed in 1999 with a history of
anti-LGBT causes. The response came just two days after COAST on Oct. 8
tweeted that it supported — but not endorsed — Cranley and council
candidates Amy Murray, Chris Smitherman and Charlie Winburn for a
“change of direction.” In response, Councilman Chris Seelbach,
Cincinnati’s first openly gay council member, called on all candidates
to reject COAST’s support because the conservative group’s most public
members previously opposed LGBT rights and backed efforts to make it
illegal for the city to deem gays and lesbians a protected class in
anti-discrimination statutes.A historic preservation society in Ludlow, Ky., is attempting to block
a transitional housing facility that provides low-cost housing for
recovering addicts as they get their lives back in order. Even though
the facility’s two buildings aren’t designated as “historic,” the Ludlow
Historic Society wrote in an email that it’s “concerned because we are
striving to maintain and improve our housing stock in Ludlow, and
especially make the city a desirable place for young people to own their
homes and raise their families.” There’s not much information on the
ripple effect transitional housing has on communities, but a 2010 study found residents of transitional housing were achieving significant improvement or total abstinence.Ohio officials are considering rules
that would allow oil and gas drillers to store fracking wastewater in
lagoons the size of football fields then recycle the wastewater for further use.
Fracking is a drilling technique in which millions of gallons of water,
chemicals and sand are pumped underground to unlock oil and gas
reserves, but the technique produces potentially toxic wastewater that
has to be deposited or recycled somewhere. CityBeat covered fracking and the environmental controversy surrounding it in further detail here.
A state senator proposed a bill
that attempts to keep the monthly per-member growth of Medicaid costs at
3 percent or lower, down from the current projections of 4.6 percent. But the bill doesn’t specify how it would reach the savings required and
instead calls on the legislature and state administration to find a
solution. The bill also doesn’t take up the federally funded Medicaid
expansion, which the Health Policy Institute of Ohio previously found
would generate $1.8 billion for the state and insure nearly half a
million Ohioans in the next decade.
A national reporting project will track the accessibility of Plan B, or the “morning-after pill,” now that emergency contraception is a court-upheld right for all women of childbearing age.
The death of Ariel Castro, the Cleveland man convicted of holding three women captive and raping them for a decade, may have been caused by autoerotic asphyxiation, not suicide.
Angelina Jolie’s announcement that she got a double mastectomy may have inspired more Cincinnati women to seek a cancer screening.
Scientists discovered an exoplanet whose mass is 26 percent water. In comparison, Earth is only 0.023 percent water, by mass, according to Popular Science.
Early voting for the 2013 City Council and mayoral elections is now underway. Find your voting location here. Normal voting hours will be 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., although some days will be extended.
by Hannah McCartney
Anywhere but here.
That's the common response when city residents are asked where group
homes for men and women experiencing homelessness and/or recovering from
drug or alcohol addiction should be operated.
While most citizens seem to agree that the group recovery facilities
like halfway homes and supportive housing are generally a good thing,
there's one point everyone seems to disagree on: where to put them.
Most recently, a 100-unit supportive housing development
that would house chronically homeless and disabled, low-income
individuals became the subject of much ire
when residents near the proposed site in Avondale complained the facility would
threaten the safety and revival efforts in an area already oversaturated
with low-income housing.
Now, a Ludlow, Ky., branch of a local entity operating
transitional housing facilities for recovering addicts across the
Greater Cincinnati area is facing scrutiny from the Ludlow Historic
Society, a small advocacy group that works to promote and preserve the
neighborhood's historic buildings.
In an email to society members obtained by CityBeat, Ludlow Historic Society President Ruth Bamberger wrote:While we believe that ex-addicts need housing, the
city has serious concerns with its ability under current law to control
or limit housing to this population. The Ludlow Historic Society is
likewise concerned because we are striving to maintain and improve our
housing stock in Ludlow, and especially make the city a desirable place
for young people to own their homes and raise their families.
Bamberger specifically cited concerns about the program’s
legitimacy, its proximity to schools and its affect on the Ludlow
New Foundations Transitional Living
(NFTL), a for-profit, private transitional housing operator founded in
2010, runs seven sober houses across the Greater Cincinnati area for men
and women who have successfully completed a detox or rehab program and
have been discharged from the court system.
NFTL also works with treatment centers and probation
officers to monitor residents entering the program. The program supports
itself completely from rental fees paid by patients in the program;
residents are charged $322 per month for housing, amenities and some
therapeutic and rehabilitation services.
Transitional living facilities for drug and alcohol
rehabilitation generally provide low-cost housing to people recovering
from addiction interested in getting their lives back on track, while
"halfway houses" usually cater to people recently released from
incarceration that need more rehabilitation to assimilate back into
Jason Lee Overbey, director for New Foundations
Transitional Living, thinks that Bamberger’s contempt is berthed from
misinformation and stereotyping. “New
Foundations is not low-income housing,” he says. “We are not a shelter.
We are an organization providing residents a safe place to reside —
with structure, observation and assignments — to begin and maintain
their journey in recovery."
Overbey says that all applicants go through an extensive
screening prior to being accepted. NFTL doesn't accept sex offenders,
arsonists or anyone with an open felony or misdemeanor warrant, and
prospective residents also have to commit to stay drug- or alcohol-free and maintain employment.
“The people that live in our facilities dress nice, they
smell nice, they’re educated,” he says. “A lot of our residents are
professionals themselves. They pay taxes, shop, go to church, give back
to the community in Ludlow. Who should we be more worried about, them or
someone anonymous in the neighborhood who could be violent or actively
The Ludlow, Ky., location, Elm Men's House, currently
houses 13 patients who have either willingly checked themselves into
the program and were accepted following a comprehensive application
process or ordered to live in one of the facilities by a court, although those mandated comprise less than half of NFTL's
The Historical Society held a private meeting on Tuesday,
Oct. 8 in Ludlow's City Council chambers with City Administrator Brian
Richmond. Overbey says the Historical Society has not responded to New Foundations' meeting requests. Neither of the two buildings encompassing the Ludlow facility are actually designated as "historic." There’s not much information on the
community ripple effects of transitional housing, although one 2010 study found residents were achieving
significant improvement or total abstinence, ultimately concluding:The
promising outcomes for SLH residents suggest that sober living houses
might play more substantive roles for persons: 1) completing residential
treatment, 2) attending outpatient treatment, 3) seeking non-treatment
alternatives for recovery, and 4) entering the community after criminal
The Ludlow Historic Society could not be reached for comment.
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 10, 2012
I first developed a problem with alcohol when I was 16
and received a DUI. It’s a problem that I’ve had to live with ever
since. I’ve had long, happy periods of sobriety and I’ve had long,
gut-wrenching stretches when I’ve been a textbook alcoholic.