Phoenix Member Earl celebrates employment

Phoenix Member Earl celebrates employment

The Phoenix Program was developed in 2007 as a way to curb the violence found in the urban core of Cincinnati while addressing the cycle of generational poverty at the root of the issue. The program is tailored to individuals at high risk for involvement in group violence, offering an alternative to a life of crime and helping them advance to a life of economic self-sufficiency through legal employment. The goal is to empower individuals to establish new, positive patterns of behavior that lead them away from a life of criminal activity and toward a bright future. We chose the name Phoenix for this program because, just as the mythical bird rises from the ashes to begin a new life, Members can also rise from their lives of self-destruction to begin a new life.

The Phoenix Difference

  • Highly specialized staff with experience in recruiting, mentoring, and counseling men and women living in high-risk environments; a deep and personal understanding of “the life.”
  • Staff willing to commit to nearly 24/7, on-call involvement in the program. Calls come in around the clock. Staff need to respond to homicides, help families in need, and build relationships – all of which demand accessibility at all hours.
  • Offers genuine care and support. The people who come to the Phoenix Program often lack trust and stable role models in their lives, but they receive both when they walk through our doors. We provide a fresh start and a place where they are no longer defined by their past.
  • Members who are willing to participate in their own rescue. Participation in the Phoenix program isn’t forced or passive, and it’s never an easy decision. It’s a commitment to turn away from the people and situations that frequently lead to destructive behavior. This can mean separating from friends and even family members connected to group violence.
  • A support group for Members to connect and establish a supportive and encouraging community.
  • Strong community partners including law enforcement, parole officers, and other community resources that supplement our services and aid in recruitment. We also have relationships with food pantries, funeral homes, transportation companies, and other providers of assistance to help the families of homicide victims.
  • Employers who understand. Phoenix Members often have extensive criminal backgrounds. We have developed relationships with employers who are willing to hire those with a criminal record.

The majority of individuals that become a part of the Phoenix Program suffer from generational poverty. This poverty is cyclical by nature and continually encourages unethical behaviors. With a central focus on the most impoverished areas throughout the city, the Phoenix Program is finding high risk men and women and offering them opportunities to become productive citizens and inspiring them to be life-affirming role models for their children – breaking the cycle of poverty.

A recent study by University of Cincinnati Economics Center found that being a Cincinnati Works Member reduced the probability of felony indictment by almost 50 percent.