Cranley challenges Cincinnatians to volunteer in State of the City address

Posted at 12:00 AM, Oct 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-04 03:34:51-04

CINCINNATI -- John Cranley tackled dozens of topics, from opioids to gun violence, in his Tuesday night State of the City address, but he ended it by asking for a favor: That everyone in Cincinnati volunteer an hour of their time to help those in need.

"There's always the idea of trying to devote time or devote money to great causes," he said. "The reality is, you've got to do both."

To that end, United Way of Cincinnati and nine other nonprofits will partner with the city to help Cincinnatians in need find the help they require -- and other Cincinnatians find ways to provide it.

"We've always been a giving city," United Way of Cincinnati president Rob Reifsnyder said. "We've always been a volunteering city, but I think there's a new momentum throughout the region."

That momentum helped carry former roofer Paul Jones, who said he received a monthly pension of just $431 after a bad fall left him unable to work, to Shelterhouse

"If they weren't doing what they do, a lot of us would probably be starving to death out here," Jones said.

Shelterhouse helps Cincinnati's homeless population find food, jobs and places to stay. Jones said Tuesday night its volunteer staff had helped him secure an apartment that would be ready for move-in by the end of October.

"They're going to pay for my deposit and my first month's rent, and then I'm on my own," he said. "I can handle it from there."