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Displaced Victoria Square residents connected to resources through charities, social services agencies

Victoria Square apartment residents forced to move from their homes are being connected to a broad array of financial, housing and other community resources through an unprecedented effort coordinated by social services agencies, local government charities and others.

Residents of the apartment community are being relocated due to new ownership of Victoria Square. Residents required to move by Oct. 31 were connected Wednesday with available resources during a Connections to Community Resources event held at the Marguerite Robinson Community Center in Newport, which is operated by Newport’s Neighborhood Foundations. A similar event is scheduled at the same location from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept 21.

(Photo form Victoria Square Apartments)

“It is very impressive that all agencies, with the resources they offer, are working together on a comprehensive plan to help the residents,” said Neighborhood Foundations Director Tom Guidugli Sr. “We are so appreciative and pleased that so many agencies are involved with helping the residents of Victoria Square.”

Resources available include financial assistance, application assistance, housing search, housing program eligibility, credit building and connections to additional supportive services.

In addition to Neighborhood Foundations – which develops and provides housing – others involved in the efforts include:

• The City of Newport.
• Newport Independent Schools.
• Brighton Center.
• Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission.
• United Way of Greater Cincinnati.
• Northern Kentucky Area Development District.
• Safety Net Alliance of Northern Kentucky.
• Welcome House, Inc.
• Legal Aid of the Bluegrass.
• Meals on Wheels of Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky.
• The CARE Closet.
• Cincinnati Veterans Administration.

“This is a great example of what can happen when so many facets of a community – government, education, social service agents, charities and others – join together with a common goal of helping those who are in need of assistance,” said Newport Mayor Tom Guidugli Jr.

Catrena Bowman, executive director of the Northern Kentucky Community Action Commission, said affordable housing is critical to make any community a vibrant place to live.

“The loss of affordable housing in our region is causing many long-term residents to be displaced,” Bowman said. “However, we are committed to working with any city/county or other municipality to bring more affordable housing to this area. We know it will not help with the crisis we are facing at Victoria Square, but we are committed to preventing this type of upheaval in the future.”

The Community Resource Connection events provide an opportunity for affected households to connect to resources that will support their next steps, said Brighton Center Vice President Talia Frye.

“Our community has an urgent need for housing that is available at rents that families with low to moderate incomes can afford,” Frye said “And when already scarce housing is removed from the market, like those recently at Victoria Square, it impacts families in the most devasting way. They lose their home and have few options they can afford. We appreciate the collaborative response that community organizations and government entities have come together to provide.”

The residents also have needs beyond housing that organizations such as The CARE Closet are working to fill.

“The CARE Closet is a ‘no barriers’ non-profit, all volunteers organization assisting children and their families in low-income neighborhoods across Northern Kentucky,” said Carol Weinel of The CARE Closet “We provide clothing, personal hygiene products, coats, shoes and other basic necessities, lifting self-respect and a sense of value to those who walk a more difficult path.”

The Northern KY Area Development District (NKADD) is available to assist older adults and individuals with disabilities search for housing options and provide information on other supportive services in the community.

“As the area agency on aging, we strive to provide resources to bridge the gap in aging and disability services in Northern Kentucky,” said NKADD Associate Director-Aging and Disability Services Anne Wildman.

Meals on Wheels of Southwest Ohio and Northern Kentucky will provide meals to the Victoria Square residents, said CEO Jennifer Steele.

“Moving is stressful and expensive, even in the best of circumstances,” Steele said. “It’s an honor to provide healthy meals and some relief to the older residents of Victoria Square during their transition and to be among so many partners committed to supporting this community.”

United Way of Greater Cincinnati is urging residents to call its 2-1-1 hotline that connects individuals and families to critical resources and services 24 hours a day. Certified call specialists provide confidential and caring support, helping families explore options, connecting them to resources and making referrals to care coordinators for individual support and follow-up when additional assistance is needed.

City of Newport

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