Evanston is a neighborhood in the Eastern, Central area of Cincinnati. The Montgomery Road Corridor is the main thoroughfare in the neighborhood and at one time, stood as a thriving business corridor. Evanston has been home to many professional and middle-class African American families who have resided in the neighborhood to rear their children attending exceptional schools. The neighborhood has a strong foundation in education with four elementary schools, one high school, and Xavier University—all with high-quality standards for education. Evanston is proud that you can attain a high quality education from Pre-K to a PhD. This has led to the community motto:
Evanston: The Educating Community
The Evanston Community Council is active today and remains a central force uniting the community. Council is “Dedicated to the well-being of all residents and to the development of the community through education, business, and spirituality.” The most significant accomplishments starting the 21st century are the establishment of the Evanston Employment Resource Connection Center to help individuals find and prepare for quality employment opportunities. Secondly, the 2012 Evanston Housing Strategy seeks to revitalize the health and well being of the community from housing to safety and beautification. Currently, the Community Council—under the guidance and leadership of President Adkins—is implementing a 2014 Housing and Commercial Development Strategy in partnership with the City of Cincinnati, Hamilton County Port Authority, Model Group, LISC and the Community Building Institute. This project will return 20 currently vacant, abandoned and tax delinquent properties to fully-rehabbed use for families interested in long-term home ownership as well as stabilizing seven critical commercial properties to positive community use.
The Community Council is also implementing the Ten Year Plan (2013-2023). This plan outlines ten deliverables to keep Evanston’s vision towards the future. A partnership with Interact for Health is pioneering two initiatives, a Safe Routes to School and Play Paths. The Safe Routes to School assists children in the safe passage to and from school, as many of Evanston’s students live in the neighborhood and walk to and from school each day. The Play Paths project is constructing safe activities along this route to promote outside activities and an inspiring walk to and from school. The final project worth highlighting is Evanston’s first worker-owner cooperative, Community Blend Café, which is “Brewing Coffee and Social Change at the Corner of Montgomery Rd. and Brewster Ave.” This cafe will provide local jobs to residents at a living wage, a third-place for residents and Cincinnatians alike to meet and congregate. The cafe will serve hot and cold coffee and teas as well as breakfast items, handmade sandwiches, salads and soups all at an affordable price—all of which was not previously offered in the community. This project is the result of collaboration with Interfaith Business Builders under the leadership of Ray West. Moving forward, Evanston Community Council and President Adkins are striving to fulfill the mission of council and commit to reaching the goals outlined in the Ten-Year Plan (2013-2023).