CAIN Announces Expansion and New Partnership with WordPlay Cincy

Editor's note: The date of WordPlay's Northside writing center move onto the CAIN campus has been adjusted to May 2019.

As part of Northside’s celebrated biennial Porch Tour, Churches Active In Northside (CAIN) will officially announce its construction and renovation expansion: “Annette’s Place.”

Thanks to a generous bequest in June 2015, CAIN launched an effort to realize its long-held dream of expanded community engagement by purchasing the house next door to its Northside ministry center.

This building has been dubbed “Annette’s Place,” in honor of Annette Liebing, a native of Northside and lifelong member of First United Church of Christ, whose generous bequest makes this expansion possible. Renovations include conversion of the first and second floors into meeting and programming space for partner organizations, a food storage unit in the rear of the property and grounds improvement. The current goal is to complete renovations and expand program offerings by May 2019.

“This expansion is a continuation of CAIN’s mission to love God, love our neighbors and love our neighborhood,” said CAIN Executive Director MiMi Chamberlin. “The Porch Tour is an appropriate time to share our updates, which include restoring and expanding a porch on our new building.”

Chamberlin adds that much work has already been done to support the new spaces and programs. “We have secured over 90 percent of the funding we need; we recently received the necessary zoning variances; and we are proud to establish a new formal and collaborative partnership with local nonprofit WordPlay Cincy. As part of the program offerings of Annette’s Place, WordPlay will transition many of its key public Northside reading, writing and storytelling programs to the vibrantly decorated second floor of Annette’s Place beginning in the 2018-19 school year, to more closely align outcomes for our neighbors.”

"Annette's Place" building, which is being renovated by CAIN.

WordPlay Executive Director Libby Hunter is enthusiastic about the deepening partnership. “For five years, WordPlay Cincy has been empowering youth to make connections through reading, writing and storytelling,” Hunter said. “As an independent nonprofit, we are currently reaching more than 350 kindergarten through 12th graders every week. We’re looking forward to working alongside our friends at CAIN whose programs and services reaching 1100 families complement WordPlay’s mission and goals.”

CAIN and WordPlay are united in their understanding that literacy, education, opportunity and empowerment are all essential to breaking the cycles of poverty.

Along with WordPlay and other partners, the fully renovated and functioning Annette’s Place campus will allow CAIN to continue to provide comprehensive and compassionate care along with food and other basic living essentials to residents of the City of Cincinnati neighborhoods of Northside, Mt. Airy, and South Cumminsville who live in the 45223 zip code.

CAIN is currently seeking donors to purchase memorial Faith, Hope and Love tiles for the Annette’s Place Wall of Recognition to raise the remaining 10 percent of its $435,000 capital improvement project need. The capital campaign was kicked off by gifts and pledges from board and staff members and CAIN member churches: Christ Church Cathedral Community Grant, Clifton United Methodist Church, First United Church Of Christ, North Church, Northside Christian Church, and St. Boniface Roman Catholic Church. The next phase was grant funding, including generous support from The Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Ohio Valley Foundation, The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr. / U.S. Bank Foundation, The Spaulding Foundation, Freestore Foodbank, Franciscan Friars of St. John the Baptist Province, Western & Southern Financial Fund, and The Northside Community Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation.

CAIN logo.

About CAIN – Churches Active In Northside is an award winning, nonprofit ministry that transforms lives and inspires hope by providing nutritious food, crisis assistance, resources, and compassion in a way that respects human dignity and builds a more vibrant community. CAIN is an oasis in the Northside food desert: building community and extending compassionate care and hospitality to vulnerable neighbors in need of food, shelter and other essentials. CAIN touches the lives of over 500 households each month through its Rainbow Choice Food Pantry; Phil’s Place weekly dinner; and Grace Place shelter for women and children. For 8 consecutive years, CAIN has been highly ranked and received the Top-Rated Award designation from GreatNonprofits, based on reviews from guests, volunteers, donors and other stakeholders. Learn more at or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as CAINcincy.

WordPlay Cincy logo.

About WordPlay — WordPlay Cincy is a nonprofit organization that helps Cincinnati’s young people fulfill their potential by making connections through reading, writing and storytelling. They provide innovative creative literacy programs for children and teens in grades K-12 to achieve success both in and outside of school with the support of academic experts, teaching artists and caring volunteer mentors. Learn more at or find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @wordplaycincy.

The Northside Community Council presents Northside's 11th Biennial Porch Tour, open to all interested guests from both in and outside the neighborhood. Guides will provide information about the history of the houses and porches for all visitors as they follow the route of the tour. Guests may walk and take in the tour at their own pace, or horse drawn carriages are available at a sliding scale rate of $5-$10 to support the event.There will also be live music, food and community booths. For more info visit

When: Saturday, Oct. 7, 6-9 p.m.

Where: Northside Children’s Park - 1503 Chase Avenue

What: Porch Tour Community Gathering

Contact MiMi Chamberlin, Executive Director for CAIN

Contact Libby Hunter, Executive Director for WordPlay Cincy

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