Who We Are

Working Together to Transform Lives and Our Community

CityLink is a gathering place for individuals who want to make a positive life change. When we surround Cincinnati’s unemployed and working poor with holistic care, we provide a path to lasting growth and hope.

Our History

The journey we took to get launched.

2003 - And so it begins...

The journey began with City Gospel Mission, Crossroads Health Center, Jobs Plus, and The Lord’s Gym coming together to envision a path of integrated services that an individual in need could easily navigate. Area churches, known to be advocates for people in poverty, quickly joined the collaboration.

2004 - Laying the Groundwork

In 2004, we established the foundation for what the CityLink Center would be, including aligning on a
statement of faith, mission, and general vision.

2005 - CityLink goes house hunting

In 2005, we set our hearts on 800 Bank St, the one location that met all our desired criteria: located in the West End, and minutes from downtown, Over-the-Rhine, I-75, and I-71. After the location was found, it was smooth sailing… or, at least we thought it would be.

2006-07- The Struggle is real

The City of Cincinnati Zoning Board initially granted a zoning permit for CityLink in 2006; however, an opposing group filed an appeal and won. At this time, there were renovations in OTR, and people in the West End were concerned that those struggling with addiction, homelessness, and other issues were simply being relocated from Washington Park to this new facility.

2008- Victory!

The legal battle to launch CityLink continued all the way to The Ohio Supreme Court in 2008, which ruled in favor of CityLink.

2009-Research, research, research.

After this win, it was time to get to work! Throughout 2009, extensive research, focus groups, in-depth literature reviews and site visits led to revisions to CityLink’s vision, mission, core values, strategic objectives, programming and capital campaign budget. When a financial feasibility study reported that CityLink would only be able to raise $4MM of the estimated $14MM needed to launch, Crossroads Church increased their involvement, playing a critical role in our launch with their leadership and financial capacity (cue the Hallelujah chorus).

2011- It’s starting to feel real.

In 2011, we began conversations with potential partners in areas of education, employment, financial education and barrier removal services. On August 10th, over 400 guests attended the groundbreaking celebration.

2012- Come on in! We’re Open.

In July of 2012, Cincinnati Works executed CityLink’s first partner contract, followed by SmartMoney and ChangingGears. Around the same time, several churches joined the Spiritual Advisory Council, supporting our mission prayerfully and financially. In October of that year, we had our grand opening, enlisting over 100 clients opening day.

2013- Growing in style.

In our first full year open, we saw 496 individual clients engage in the center. In addition, a new partnership with St Vincent DePaul led to the launch of Clothing Connection, a service for clients to be outfitted with professional attire for interviews or new careers.

Our Values

Our Why Drives Our What

Our community launched and supports CityLink because we believe that every neighbor is created in the image of God with immeasurable worth. We believe that circumstances, systems, and choices can inhibit us from reaching our full potential. We believe in truth, grace, accountability, and empathy. We believe our community will only reach it’s full potential when all neighbors have an opportunity to reach theirs.


We will constantly explore, evaluate, and adjust to support the changing needs of our community and clients.


We will foster an environment where the lives our clients service providers and volunteers will be profoundly changed by knowing others and being known.


We will monitor and report on our results to continually improve our services and break the cycle of poverty.


We will seek God’s guidance in all that we do. We will help clients experience God’s love in practical ways through the work of programs, partners, staff and volunteers


We will hold ourselves and our partners accountable to the highest level of care, programs and facilities.


We will grow our impact through working deeply with other organizations, in relationships of mutuality, each leveraging our respective strengths

Interested in joining our team?

Check out our current opportunities


View Careers

Our Team

Marissa Abernathy

Events Manager

Michelle Abernathy

Financial Counselor (SmartMoney)

Gerardo Alpajon

Facility Staff

Charlotte Askam

Service Coordinator

Monica Benton

Client Outreach Coordinator

Rachel Boland

Client Support Coordinator

Emilie Boyes

Client Services Manager

Michael Brown

Facility Staff

Ta’Yana Edwards

Service Coordinator

Marcus Gibson

Facility Director

Amy Gilliland

Office Manager

Lauren Midkiff

Development Director

Johnmark Oudersluys

Executive Director

Ebony Pratt

Volunteer Manager

LaStarr Rivers

Events Coordinator

Dr. Angie Rivers-Harper

Employment Support Manager

Marissa Sims

Operations Support Coordinator

Jim Strayhorn

Director of Spiritual Growth

Erica Voth

Data and Administrative Coordinator

Robin Williams

Service Coordinator

Leslie Whalen

SalesForce & Systems Manager

Kimberly Johnson-Wharton

EMA Coordinator

Board Of Directors

Scenario Adebesin


Dr. Karen Bankston

Ben Beshear

Natalie Hurks

Procter & Gamble

Jennifer Mueller


Scott Phillips

Treasurer - Frost, Brown, Todd LLC

Tim Senff

Crossroads Church

Tom Shepherd

Board Chair - Shepherd Chemical

Illya Thomas

The JM Smucker Company