NewsLocal NewsHamilton CountyCincinnatiOver-the-Rhine


City Gospel Mission expands residential housing for women

New multi-unit housing to open in OTR in 2023
City Gospel Mission in OTR plans to expand women's recovery program
Posted at 12:36 PM, Feb 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-23 13:55:01-05

CINCINNATI — It has been three decades since Lucretia Bowman was in the same stage of her life as the women she works with.

She suffered abuse as a child, drug addiction and spent 17 and a half years in prison.

"I've been on this journey now for myself of discovering who I am for 30 years," Bowman said.

It led her to start the faith-based residential treatment program "Having the Courage to Change." The program, now operated through City Gospel Mission, has grown from being based in Bowman's home, to housing and helping women in three homes in Over-the-Rhine, to building a brand new $6 million multi-unit residential home.

Groundbreaking for the residential home took place on Wednesday. It will have 15,000 square feet of space that will ultimately allow the program to house up to 68 women. Currently, the maximum number of women they can serve is 36. In addition, the women will now have the ability to reunite with their families.

"I wanted to create an environment, a safe environment for women to come and not think about how long they stay, but how long it takes them to develop," Bowman said.

Rendering of the planned City Gospel Expansion

She said the faith element of the program is what makes it unique and successful. In 30 years, she said the program has worked with 4,000 women. She estimated more than 70 percent of those women finished the program successfully. She said some who went through the program have been very successful as professors, lawyers and business professionals.

"What are some of those areas of your life that you get to go back and recreate the person that you wanted to be?" Bowman said. "Even though things happened to you in your life that took you off the path," Bowman said. "My objective here and our team's objective is to live whole, to see lives transformed, to make disciples."

Bowman said all of the money raised for the residential home was raised from private donors. She is working to raise additional funds to build more housing for transitional and affordable apartment housing.

She hopes to grow the program as a model for communities outside of Cincinnati. The new multi-unit building should be completed by 2023.