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GeneroCity 513


Following a recent perceived increase in aggressive panhandling, a task force was formed to develop solutions to help individuals driven to panhandling, including those facing unfortunate circumstances like homelessness, addiction and mental illness. Find out more at

  • Over the last 18 months, the initiative has evolved into GeneroCity 513 – a multi-faceted approach designed to offer a positive alternative to panhandling, help connect panhandlers to social service agencies, and provide strategic case-level management to the most visible homeless persons in downtown. The initiative’s programs include the Jobs Van, Outreach Workers and Donation Stations.
  • GeneroCity 513 is a partnership between the Cincinnati Center City Development Corp.,  Downtown Cincinnati Inc., the City of Cincinnati, City Gospel Mission, Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services, and Strategies to End Homelessness.

Jobs Van Program
The Jobs Van Program is overseen by City Gospel Mission and operates with a goal of offering a positive alternative to panhandling while connecting panhandlers to social service agencies that provide opportunities for shelter, employment, and mental health and substance abuse services.

  • Operates 4 days a week (Tues-Fri)
  • Pick-up begins at 8:30 AM and the day concludes at 3:30 PM
  • Visits random, unspecified locations and picks up a maximum of 10 individuals per day to take them to a job site to provide a day of paid work (generally community beautification projects)
  • Participants are provided a free lunch and are paid in cash at the end of the day ($9/hr)
  • Participants are offered services in the areas of housing, permanent employment, mental health and addiction

Increased Case Management Services
The Outreach Workers in downtown employed by Greater Cincinnati Behavioral Health Services and Downtown Cincinnati Inc: 

  • Can provide assistance to any individual regardless of location, mental state, sobriety, or housing situation
  • Can provide ongoing case management services; currently, case management often ends when a PATH team member connects an individual with a case worker. GeneroCity 513 Outreach Workers will have greater flexibility in staying involved in ongoing case management
  • Help to connect the City’s most vulnerable individuals with the services they desperately need
Social Services Outreach Coordinators connect people who are genuinely in need with services. Call the Ambassador hotline at (513) 623-3429 to speak to them if you see someone in need.  

Contact the Cincinnati Police if you see aggressive panhandling or feel threatened at (513) 765-1212 or 911.

Here is what you can do to help:

generocity513_stationGive money to one of the Donation Stations. There are currently five Donation Stations (re-purposed parking meters) in various locations throughout downtown Cincinnati and OTR, including Fountain Square, Washington Park, the 12th & Vine parking lot, on 6th Street near the Contemporary Arts Center, and at The Banks

  • Donations can be made directly at the meter in the form of coin or card
  • Donations can also be made online at
  • Funds collected go directly to the GeneroCity 513 program, supporting the Jobs Van and Increased Case Management Services

Distribute the Services and Programs Pocket Guide to those in need. This guide lists over 40 resources available to help panhandlers including food pantries, crisis hotlines, shelters, and health services. Downtown Ambassadors each have a supply of Pocket Guides.  They are also available at the Visitor Center on Fountain Square.

When approached for money, politely say "no" or "sorry". Call the Downtown Ambassador Hotline at (513) 623-3429 and request assistance for someone in need. 

Give to organizations that help people in need. 
Listed below is a sampling of agencies and organizations re
ady to help. 

Esther Marie Hatton Center for Women
(513) 562-1980
Provides basic human services for women of the Greater Cincinnati area who are experiencing homelessness

Center for Chemical Addictions Treatment
(513) 381-6672
Medically monitored detox center

City Gospel Mission
(513) 241-5525
Provides programs and services in four areas: food and shelter, recovery, at-risk youth and job readiness and placement

David and Rebecca Barron Center for Men 
(513) 721-0643
Provides basic human services for men of the Greater Cincinnati area who are experiencing homelessness

Freestore Foodbank
513) 482-3663
Provides food and services to people in crisis

Interact for Change
(513) 458-6680
A full-service philanthropic organization that applies a fresh, bold approach to charitable giving, including for heroin addiction

Strategies to End Homelessness
513) 263- 2785
Provides a centralized emergency shelter hotline, homelessness prevention, street outreach and housing services

United Way of Greater Cincinnati
513) 721-7900 or 2-1-1
Leads and mobilizes individuals and organizations to help people measurably improve their lives.


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