The Sanctuary, a social enterprise event space operated by nonprofit organization Community Matters, makes the power of placemaking evident. Birthday parties, weddings, and special events are all reasons people come together, and The Sanctuary’s accommodations allow such events to come to life. What was originally St. Michael’s Church in 1847, The Sanctuary was a gift from the Archdiocese to Community Matters after the church’s closure in the 1990s. Following a series of renovations that began in 2014, The Sanctuary is now a picturesque space available for low-cost to community members who use it for celebratory purposes. Additionally, the proceeds earned from outside event rentals allow The Sanctuary to support the organization’s community-based programs, which aim to create a thriving Lower Price Hill neighborhood.
To operate as a social enterprise event space, however, the Sanctuary requires special-events equipment. Since the Cincinnati Community ToolBank opened its doors in 2012, Community Matters has recognized the importance of a partnership with their fellow nonprofit organization. “At The Sanctuary, we believe that your event matters. The ToolBank helps promote this tagline by providing necessary materials that allow us to host events at The Sanctuary,” said Patty Lee, Community Matter’s Director of Development and Communication.
In the seven years that The Sanctuary has worked with ToolBank, the organization has borrowed a variety of tools and materials for special events and beyond. From wheelbarrows and shovels to tables and chairs, all equipment borrowed has assisted Community Matters’ innumerable tasks. Patty joked, “I don’t think there’s a tool we haven’t checked out from ToolBank. If there is, we should borrow it just for fun!”. Patty affirmed that Community Matters will continue using the ToolBank’s services for their project and event needs, particularly with their upcoming affordable housing projects. These projects will break ground in Spring 2019 in the Lower Price Hill neighborhood where Community Matters resides.