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Tools that Create Hope

Lydia’s House, located in Cincinnati, OH, opened its doors in 2013 to provide a supportive and stable environment for women and children in transition and crisis. Families who enter the program are not only provided a safe place to live, but also receive counseling, job training, GED certification (when needed), as well as the encouragement, community and support they need to continue their road to wholeness. For the women living at Lydia’s House, the pursuit of goals is largely self-directed; however, the ultimate mission is to help these women attain the healing and training needed to find long-term meaningful employment and housing.

Compared to many big U.S. cities, housing in Cincinnati is fairly affordable, however, there is a critical shortage of accessible and affordable housing in the City of Cincinnati. In 2017, The City of Cincinnati Affordable Housing Trust Fund reported that 28,770 households in the city have an annual income below $23,000, but pay more than 30% of their income on housing. More than half of the homes in Cincinnati were built before 1960 and researchers estimate that we need at least 18,000 more affordable housing units to provide enough affordable units for those that need it.

In July of 2017, Lydia’s House purchased a run-down, 8-unit apartment building to help with this problem. The organization embarked on a vision of turning them into affordable apartments for families transitioning out of Lydia’s House. These fully remodeled apartments range from 2-3 bedrooms and will provide residents with a private kitchen, bathroom and laundry service as well as the freedom to begin living independently once again.

When asked about borrowing tools from the Cincinnati ToolBank, Ben Eilerman, Project Lead said, “The ToolBank has been such a blessing to us.” Since beginning this project, the ToolBank had helped Lydia’s House put blue tools in the hands of over 130 volunteers with a borrowed tool value of over $29,150. “Borrowing tools from the ToolBank has allowed our organization to take on larger volunteer groups like a semester-long partnership with a group of Xavier students. Without access to the ToolBank, this partnership may not have been possible,”said Eilerman.

Learn more about Lydia’s House by visiting

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