In 1978, as the nation faced high unemployment, spiraling interest rates, inflation and an energy crisis, Working In Neighborhoods (WIN) was born to help Cincinnati’s low and moderate-income residents.
WIN joined with local residents to create an organization that would help them gain a voice in issues affecting them. By working side-by-side with residents and training them to become leaders, WIN helped residents impact issues including utility reform, quality, affordable housing, and quality-of-life issues, such as decreasing crime.
Led by resident’s desire to live in decent homes and to physically improve their neighborhoods, WIN began developing homes in 1981. In order to educate residents about purchasing a home, WIN began offering home ownership classes and counseling. WIN also developed partnerships with local banks which have yielded over $300 million in investments for WIN’s neighborhoods.
In 1986, WIN collaborated with Cincinnati Gas & Electric to ensure that low and moderate-income residents could afford their utility bills. Through this partnership, WIN developed a program so that low-income residents pay no more that 30% of their income for utilities. By working with CG&E, WIN’s energy program has become an effective resource for helping people manage their energy usage in an efficient and cost-effective way. WIN currently serves low-income utility customers in an 11-county radius.
Over the years, WIN has offered leadership training to organizations in 16 low and moderate-income neighborhoods from West McMicken to Mt. Healthy. We have sold over 160 homes to low and moderate income working families and educated thousands of first-time home buyers about how to purchase a home.
In 1999, WIN began developing the WIN Economic Learning Campus in South Cumminsville. The 5-building property on the site of the former St. Pius Church, is home to a community computer lab, financial literacy seminars and counseling programs, as well as youth enrichment programs including the South Cumminsville Youth Summer Camp and after-school tutoring. In the fall of 2006, WIN developed 18 units of housing for senior citizens in the former St. Pius School.