Who We Are

creating wholistic change

  • Mission

    Cincinnati Urban Promise, Inc. seeks to create holistic change in the lives of youth and their families by meeting their physical, emotional, academic and spiritual needs through a Christ-centered approach to education, empowerment, and loving relationships.

    • We envision empowered young people who take control and responsibility for their own development.

    • We seek to facilitate racial and economic reconciliation.

    • We exist to equip youth and their families to succeed in every area of life: spiritual, emotional, physical, and academic.

    • We work to nurture loving and supportive long-term mentoring relationships that result in a stronger community.

  • History

    CUP began in 2007 as an urban church plant in the neighborhood of Northside in Cincinnati, Ohio sponsored by the Church of the Nazarene. The goal of this church was to reach those living in generational poverty and help them escape that cycle. Through the first year it became clear that the neighborhood was in need of much more than a simple church plant. In 2009, Cincinnati Urban Promise, Inc. was officially organized as a community development non-profit with the intention of helping families break the cycle of poverty through empowerment, education, and loving mentoring relationships. CUP began a series of programs focused on youth development such as mentoring, after school tutoring, life skills courses, and a summer academic enrichment program. These programs laid the ground work for CUP’s vision to impact youth across their lifespan helping families to break the cycle of poverty in one generation and achieve a Lifetime of Resilience. In 2016, CUP moved to a new facility in the neighborhood of Westwood and continues to expand its programming.

    CUP serves the neighborhoods of Westwood, East Westwood and North Fairmount. These communities are diverse urban neighborhoods in Cincinnati, Ohio where as many as 65% of children are living in poverty. Many of these families are living below the poverty line and/or experiencing Generational Poverty.

    Generational Poverty is different than Situational Poverty. Situational Poverty is when income and support is decreased due to a specific change such as job loss, divorce, death, etc. Generational poverty is when families have lived in poverty for at least two generations. The cycle of poverty sets in when families live in poverty for at least three generations. This pattern is often due to factors outside of the families control such as systemic oppression, poor education systems, and lack of access to resources like quality transportation, education, employment, or food. When this occurs there is likely no living family member who has the resources or skills to navigate their unique challenges and create the change needed to end the cycle of poverty.

    Communities with large concentrations of people living in generational poverty often lack the wealth of financial, educational, social or spiritual resources that communities of upper or mixed incomes enjoy. However, these under-resourced communities have a wealth of resilience and families who dream big dreams for their children and future generations. CUP’s vision is to empower families to reach their goals and fulfill their dreams.

    Resilience is the ability to “bounce back” when adverse situations occur. Many families living in generational poverty have experienced immense trauma and because of a lack of supportive structures have never been able to develop the resilience needed to set and meet their life goals.

    Developing resilience is a complex and personal process. The process is unique to each individual and family. By focusing primarily on the needs of youth and their parents or caregivers CUP is able to provide each student with an individualized plan for developing resilience which will empower each student to set and achieve their goals and dreams. Our unique focus on meeting needs across the lifespan allows us to follow children and their parents from birth to adulthood – supporting and empowering the parent as their child’s first and most important teacher and supporting them as they parent their child through each developmental stage. This a holistic approach that encompasses education, physical development, emotional and social health and spiritual growth – with the goal of fully developed and strong adults who are equipped to break the cycle of poverty in their families and live a Lifetime of Resilience.