GeneroCity 513 Offers ‘A Positive Alternative to Panhandling’ by Helping Cincinnati’s Homeless Population


Photograph courtesy of GeneroCity 513

GeneroCity 513 is a group effort from the Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC), Downtown Cincinnati Inc. (DCI), the City of Cincinnati, City Gospel Mission, Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services (GCBHS), and Strategies to End Homelessness. Their mission is to present “a positive alternative to panhandling” by helping homeless people in downtown Cincinnati connect with social services and earn a living wage.

Here’s how it works:

  • At the heart of GeneroCity 513’s mission is the Jobs Van. Donations fund this unique program, which picks up local panhandlers downtown and offers them community beautification work, paying $9 per hour plus lunch. Participants also receive information about shelters, jobs, and health services.
  • In its first year alone, the Jobs Van helped 34 people find permanent housing and 16 people secure full-time jobs.
  • The Jobs Van is a win-win for the community, as it contributes to city beautification while helping people in housing-insecure situations. In its first year, Jobs Van participants collected more than 6,000 bags of trash across nearly 720 miles of city streets.
  • GeneroCity 513 works because it thinks long term. The program employs three Outreach Workers who connect participants with much needed services, “regardless of their location, mental state, sobriety, or housing situation.” Donations support the work of this team.
  • Have you spotted one of GeneroCity 513’s Donation Stations? Look for five repurposed parking meters at Fountain Square, Washington Park, 12th and Vine, Sixth and Walnut, and The Banks that function as dedicated donation collection sites. Money raised goes to efforts like Jobs Van and outreach programming.

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