After months of unexpected permitting and construction delays – the Welcome Project is well on the way to meeting their goals.
- Rehab the storefront in Camp Washington adjacent to the current Welcome Project space to include a fresh food market and teaching/learning kitchen. The storefront has been rehabbed and the Market is now open! This new addition to The Welcome Project will serve as a teaching kitchen and micro food market to help combat the food access issues in Camp Washington. Pay what you can produce is available from the Camp Washington Urban Farm and as well as shelf stable goods supplied from Dean’s Mediterranean, Horchata, and other ethnic vendors.
- Hire a refugee/immigrant to manage this new storefront space including all data collection activities. Erika Allen, a Guatemalan immigrant (also an artist and Camp Washington resident!) was hired in March 2019 to manage the project. She has done an incredible job at connecting with new organizations and communities around the city to reach new people and assist a broader community of immigrants and refugees.
- Employ up to 10 refugee/immigrant women to design and develop arts projects to be sold to help sustain the Welcome Project. Currently contracting with 30 refugee/immigrant artists to teach classes, cook community meals, and develop art products for the store.
- Open the new facility in Summer 2019 with regular hours of operation. The timeline was delayed but the new facility is now open! We are gearing up for an exciting summer with cooking classes, weekly ticketed dinners, summer camps for kids, and many more activities in the new space!
- Maintain partnerships with the Camp Washington Community Board for the space for the Community Garden to provide fresh product to the market. Expand the partnership with the Camp Washington Urban Farm to provide fresh produce to be sold in the new fresh market. Have been working with the Community Board continuously on this project and on maintaining the community garden. The Urban Farm has hired a new farmer who is very passionate about The Welcome Project and dropping off his first load of produce (winter squash, kale, and sprouts) this week. Dean’s Mediterranean has stocked the market with bulk spices, oils, chips, nuts, and other dry goods and is assisting with catering opportunities, popup dinners, and cooking classes. Horchata is also helping to stock the market and assist with cooking classes and catering.
What have been your unexpected successes/challenges?
Since the last interim report, our most unexpected successes have come from a couple new key partnerships with Casa de Paz and the Community Action Agency. Being able to reach those most in need by offering art classes led by other immigrants in Spanish at Casa de Paz has been such a tool of empowerment for the immigrant teachers as well as great therapy for those in the program. The Head Start run by CAA down the road from us at Sacred Heart has the largest percentage of immigrant families of any Head Start program in Cincinnati.
Congratulations to Wave Pool and the Camp Washington community. – We celebrate with you!