The mission of Lydia’s House is to provide a supportive and stable environment for women and children in crisis. Each guest and her children will be helped to move into long term housing at the end of her stay. It is a place of hope and healing as well as a springboard from which guests can seek training, new skills, and work that will provide for their needs. Women live in community, share life and meals with one another, and are encouraged in their personal spiritual journeys.
Our vision is to be a demonstration plot of God’s beloved community, a home where people from all walks of life can help one another grow toward wholeness.
Take a tour of our home:
The Challenge We Face:
The childhood poverty rate in Hamilton County is 47% according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. Two thirds of these children in poverty live in female headed households. The Greater Cincinnati region is 40,000 units short of affordable housing for extremely poor families and ranks number 10 in the country for evictions.
Out of a sense of wanting to address the profound need for safe transitional housing options for families experiencing poverty, in 2013 the founders of Lydia’s House established a small residence for homeless women and their children. At capacity, Lydia’s House houses four women and up to six of their children. It also has up to two live-in volunteers and a generous pool of off-site volunteers. It includes not just a staffed house but also shared meals, provision of basic necessities like clothing and toiletries, assistance with transportation, accompaniment to appointments, court dates or hearings, facilitated referrals to outside service providers, and an overall sense of respect and encouragement to the residents who are working to establish themselves as agents capable of successful self-management.
Lydia’s House provides space for four women (guests) and up to six of their children.
- Women must be either pregnant or have a child under the age 5.
- Guests are typically referred to Lydia’s House by a partner agency, which includes but is not limited to Lighthouse Youth Services, Cradle Cincinnati, Every Child Succeeds, Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health, and Women Helping Women.
- Each woman, with her children, is provided a private bedroom and a shared bathroom.
- No treatment for substance abuse is provided. Women who have abused substances in the past six months or who define themselves as in need of rehabilitation from substances are not invited to live at Lydia’s House.
- Guests seek gainful employment when possible. Half of all wages earned by guests are allocated to a household contribution (in lieu of rent).
- Guests may also start with a short training program that leads to employment. Lydia’s House is a place where someone might complete a GED, complete a training program such as home health aid, and then work and save towards independent living.
- Lydia’s House is not a formal or highly structured program. Guests are asked to live in community and share life with people of all ages, including children. Their pursuit of goals must be largely self-directed. As such, if someone is struggling with severe mental or physical illness or is not capable of securing employment or training toward employment within 60 days, she would not be a good fit for life at Lydia’s House.
- Guests are asked to contribute to chores and cooking and to help in the purchase of groceries if they receive food stamps.
- Lydia’s house is not a safe house. While we are able to accommodate or support women who have had trauma in their background, we cannot serve women who are immediately out of domestic violence situations.