Nicole Smith Makes Connections with the Homeless Through Her Work With GeneroCity513

As the Lead Engagement Specialist for GeneroCity513, Nicole Smith collaborates with other nonprofit agencies to make our community a better place by serving the homeless. She shares how she got into this field of work and the value it provides the community for our February 2021 Cincinnati At Work issue.

Photograph by Devyn Glista; illustration by Brittany Dexter

Age

33

Title/Occupation

Lead Engagement Specialist, GeneroCity513

How long have you been in this job and field of work?

GeneroCity since August, homeless outreach since May 2019.

Why did you get into this field of work?

After taking time off to raise kids, I decided it was time to return to the social work field. I started in homeless outreach part time, and within a month I knew it was the work I was made for.

Best part of your job?

Hands down, it’s the connections I make with clients and knowing I’m helping them get the resources they need to succeed.

Worst part?

Learning the amount of trauma they’ve endured in their lives.

What value does this work provide to the community at large?

We help Cincinnati connect as a whole community. When homeless individuals are able to have the resources needed to help make good choices and change, they can begin giving back as well.

What value does it provide you?

I’m happiest when helping others.

How has the pandemic impacted your work?

Due to social distancing guidelines, our team has to be more strategic about getting clients to appointments and finding them shelter. It’s been a struggle, but the GeneroCity team is resilient. Outreach hasn’t stopped during this time; we’ve simply adjusted our practices to keep meeting the needs of the individuals we serve.

What’s a fun fact about your job that the public wouldn’t know?

One of my favorite perks of the job is all of the interesting collaborations I do with other nonprofits, the police, and city services.

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