News & Event
One of Lori C.’s earliest memories is seeing her parents get high.
When they would send her outside to play, she would stack cement blocks outside their kitchen window.
“I would get scared being outside by myself,” she said. “I would think, ‘I’m going to stand here and if someone grabs me, I’m going to bang on the window.’ I peeked in one day and I see them shooting dope in the kitchen. No sooner than they did that, they called me back in and they were different people. And I could tell they felt good and I said, ‘I can’t wait until I’m old enough to do that. I want to feel good too.’ I couldn’t wait to get high. I couldn’t wait to feel better.”
Two and a half years ago, Lori found herself out of jail, homeless and addicted to drugs. For 20 years she had been in and out of jails and rehabilitation programs.
“On my way to and from the dope house, I’d see WRAP House on the corner and I knew there was hope,” she said.
Women’s Residential Addiction Program (WRAP) House is a chemical dependency program run by Transitions, Inc. The Northern Kentucky agency provides substance abuse treatment and related services to those who cannot afford to go elsewhere. Its services include detoxification, residential substance abuse treatment, outpatient substance abuse treatment, and supportive housing.
“There was no level of freedom whatsoever in being completely irresponsible for my life,” Lori shared. “You would think not having responsibilities would denote some level of freedom and it didn’t. My whole life was being dictated to me by drug dealers and drug addicts and the disease of addiction that is in my mind. I was completely out of control and just could not stop. I knew I had to get help. I knew number one I had to have a safe place to go and that’s where Transitions came in.”
Today, Lori is sober, has a job, attends school and lives in a Transitions, Inc. permanent housing facility with her daughter.
“Based on my experiences with myself previously, I was a little worried about renting an apartment just anywhere, not knowing who my neighbors were going to be, what kind of environment I would be putting myself into, so I felt a lot safer getting into their housing,” she said. “Because I live in income-based housing it’s given me the opportunity to pursue some educational goals.”
Transitions, Inc. Executive Director Mac McArthur said that the “middle ground” of recovery – the time after treatment and before long-term recovery – five years – can be the most challenging.
“The purpose of our housing program is that people don’t have a place to go when they graduate,” he said. “If someone comes in here, they’ve probably lost everything to start with; they’ve lost their job, their family, their car, their bank account, their house, probably their spouse and maybe their kids. So we have to help them rebuild their network after they get clean and sober.”
Help includes safe, affordable housing away from drug and alcohol use. Because low-income housing is often difficult for someone with a reputation as an addict to find, Transitions, Inc. is committed to this vital step of recovery.
“Lori is the perfect example of how this is making a difference in her life and allowing her to further her education, maintain sobriety, be a good mom,” said Jennifer Shofner, a staff member of Transitions, Inc.
And she has something else.
“I have hope,” Lori said. “I never had hope before.”
Printed in the 2011 Annual Report
It takes a special group of people to know when it’s time to go out of business.
For 64 years, The Fresh Air and Convalescent Aid Society operated a Fresh Air Farm which brought mothers and their children out of the crowded tenement areas during the hottest months of the summer for two weeks of good food, comfortable living, and planned recreation in the country.
As times changed, the need for the Fresh Air Farm in Indian Hill became obsolete.
The Society’s board was a very special group of women, and their timely decision to use their resources in another way proved to be just what the fledgling The Greater Cincinnati Foundation needed to get started.
In 1963, just after the Foundation was established, The Society gave its endowment to GCF with the provision that Stepping Stones Center could operate its camp on the property for as long as the Center remained in existence.
The Greater Cincinnati Foundation is grateful to the Fresh Air Society board for its forward-thinking generosity in making this serendipitous gift.
The initial gift of $600,000 is an endowment worth about $2 million today and income has been used for grantmaking for almost 50 years.
Following their fine example, this selfless act of generosity has been repeated many times by many donors throughout the Foundation’s history.
Read about a GCF donor who spent time as a child at the Fresh Air Farm
As we wrap up 2019, we look back at our very impactful year of moving forward on many fronts! As your community foundation, Greater Cincinnati Foundation (GCF) is grateful for the support of and partnerships with our donors, nonprofit partners and community stakeholders to bring about a more equitable future for everyone in our region.