• Tue. Mar 21st, 2023

Hamilton County Launches 513 Relief Bus To Offer No-Cost Services in a New Way

Sesh Digital Report

CINCINNATI – Greater Cincinnati residents flocked to New Corinthian Baptist Church on Thursday, Jan. 26, 2023 as Hamilton County launched its new 513 Relief Bus that will bring mobile services directly to neighborhoods.

Commissioner President Alicia Reece is inviting all greater Cincinnati to visit the bus stops.

“We helped over 4,000 people with our pilot bus in 2021,” said Reece. “Today, we are announcing the new permanent tech bus that allows Hamilton County to go mobile countywide with health and economic services to help residents. We a re using technology to deliver services in what has become a national model.”

On Thursday, County Commissioners with their community partners including UC Medical Center, Food Bank and the Urban  League of Southwestern Ohio cut the ribbon on the new bus residents started using the bus. The bus will include health screenings, help applying for public assistance, support for the older adults and caregivers, employment connections, financial literacy, career styling, mental health and substance abuse referrals and COVID-19 vaccinations.

Working together, Hamilton County departments and other partner agencies are proactively reaching as many residents as possible with a wide variety of services. The 513 Relief Bus removes banners that might keep residents from seeking help, including accessibility, transportation and technology.

County Departments that are participating with the bus include:

• Hamilton County Job and Family Services

• Hamilton County Office of Reentry

• Hamilton County Public Health

• Hamilton County Community, Outreach, Recovery and Engagement Program (CORE)

Other organizations participating including:

• Council on Aging

• Dress For Success

• Urban League of Southwestern Ohio

• Your Priority Healthcare

• UC Health

• Addition Services Council

• Talbert House

513 Relief Bus. Photo by Andria Carter

“At the onset of the pandemic, we quickly learned there are numerous residents of our county who are hard to reach in traditional ways,” Commissioner Denise Driehaus. “This gives us the ability to engage people in their own community in a proactive way.”

Before the new bus, the county borrowed a bus from US Health. That bus already helped more than 4,000 people with relief and vaccination. It visited 28 zip codes in 2021 and took applications for rent, utility and mortgage relief from people living in 50 zip codes.

Introduced by Commissioner President Reece and unanimously supported by the board of commissioners, the bus idea was adopted with the support of local civil rights and grassroots leaders, who suggested a one-stop bus to fight COVID-19 and other health and economic disparities.

Commissioner Stephanie Summerow Dumas said she’s excited about bringing resources directly to people.

“We can expect them to find us,” she said. “We are bringing help to them. That’s important because it shifts the perception away from being just a number to face-to-face interactions that hopefully lead to meaningful support.”

For more information about the 513 Relief Bus visit 513relief.org .