Thursday, April 11, 2013

Serving Together in Cincinnati’s Northside

Churches Active In Northside (CAIN) is a one-stop-shop for individuals looking to receive assistance in Cincinnati’s Northside neighborhood.  Formally founded in 1991, CAIN is supported by thirteen church ministries who, as explained to me, joined together to maximize their impact and minimize the need for clients to visit pantries as often.  CAIN offers everything from food and household products to help with birthday gifts for children and all the while remains an active OBB site, helping to connect pantry visitors with Food Assistance to supplement their food budget in the long term. 
Image: from CAIN website,
Here are three things CAIN is doing to ensure success:

They cater their hours of operation to their clients.  At CAIN, a parent can get off work at a normal time, go home and fix dinner, and still have time to visit the pantry before it closes at 8:30 pm.They use their OBB services to propel other aspects of their organization and vice-versa.  In fact, it seems like each time someone walks out of their door you can hear a staff member or volunteer encouraging clients to tell their friends and family that they can find help at CAIN.They nurture existing partnerships and relationships.  One of the times we visited CAIN this tax season we met a volunteer who had moved from Cincinnati to West Virginia. Every time she comes back to visit, she spends some time volunteering with her friends at CAIN!

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