The Line Behind You

October 2, 2017Jon Umstead
The Drew and Cole Deddens Foundation, through iStorm Group, participated in the Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Apartment Association’s “Night Out for Outreach” event September 16. This event provided us with 2 stark reminders: how lucky we are, and how much others need our help. Or as one of the event’s coordinators, Bruce Hellman of BRG Realty Group, said, “The line behind you is much longer than the line in front of you.” It is easy to get caught up in our every day issues, or feel like we are having a really bad day, when in reality, our individual problems are trivial compared to others'. Outreach aims to ease that burden for people who are truly in need. Outreach’s mission statement is, “To provide basic needs and emergency assistance to families and individuals in crisis,” and the vision statement is “To strengthen and elevate all communities by providing food, shelter and other basic needs.” Outreach supports several programs including:
  • Rent assistance
  • Backpack giveaways
  • Food distribution program
  • Scholarships
  • Senior events
The rent assistance program grants up to $500 in rent assistance, on a one-time basis, to “bridge over a rough spot in a resident’s life and to prevent losing a resident due to an emergency”. This program’s annual budget is $41,000. The backpack giveaway supports over 1100 school children, providing much needed supplies and a budget of over $17,000. As Outreach’s web site says, “Hunger knows no season, never takes a vacation nor is satisfied by good thoughts.” Outreach does its part by delivering cases of food to 2 dozen pantries in the GCNK area, at a budget of $15,000. Each year, Outreach sponsors scholarships totaling $10,000, while also providing meals and entertainment so residents of low-income senior housing. According to the web site CityLink Center, “30.9% of Cincinnatians live in poverty – that’s more than 86,000 individuals.” Think about that – 1 in 3 people in the GCNK area live in poverty. For them, they may very well feel the line in front of them is longer than the line behind them. Programs like Outreach aim to change that dynamic. Obviously, it is a drop in the bucket, but we are proud to have played some small role in filling it.