Starfire Stories

Starfire is a visionary organization working to build more for people with developmental disabilities’ lives. The data is clear; people with disabilities grow increasingly lonely and isolated as adults. Working with one person and their family at a time, Starfire connects people to relationships and uncovers a person's talents and passions - so they can thrive in their communities alongside their neighbors.


Sean and Emily’s Story - Ladles Soups

Customized Employment (Oakley)

Starfire helps people with developmental disabilities find jobs, and we go beyond that. Relationships are what matter most, and will last over a lifetime. See how Sean and Emily have built a friendship through their connection.

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The Covington Family

Garden Party Project (Price Hill)

Starfire believes that a connected an inclusive community starts with families. We support families who want to collaborate with us in that effort. Rita and David take on the role of promoting their neighborhood garden, and grow together as a result.

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The Clincy Family

Creative Community Fest Project (Evanston)

Starfire believes that a connected an inclusive community starts with families. We support families who want to collaborate with us in that effort. Mieke leads her family into a new collaborative spirit through their art project.

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The Combs Family

Pop-Up Sew and Plays

Starfire believes that a connected an inclusive community starts with families. We support families who want to collaborate with us in that effort. Carol steps into a new role as a leader in her neighborhood in this story.

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Joe’s Story - Empower

Customized Employment (Over-the-Rhine)

Starfire helps people with disabilities find jobs, and we go beyond that. We help enliven the workplace and add value in ways that bring their unique purpsose to a business. See that in Joe’s story.

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Sip n Sketch Project (Northside)

Amanda meets other artists by hosting monthly Sip n Sketch meet-ups at coffee shops, and finds comfort along the way. Since 2016, Amanda has been working alongside Ursula in her studio and hosting regular Sip n Sketches in her local area with other artists.

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The Melnyk Clement Family

Pop Up Puppy Party Project (Clifton)

Through mentorship and a grant from Starfire, the Melnyk Clement Family took steps to collaborate with neighbors and bring a pop up dog park in their neighborhood to life.

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The Hart Family

Christmas Celebration Project (Goshen)

The Hart Family hosted a family Christmas tree planting (sang Christmas carols, drank hot cocoa, etc) with neighbors.

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Community Coffee Roast, A Project in the Works (Pleasant Ridge)

Kourtney had his first sip of coffee on a camping trip when he was in high school. He has a great interest in the growing, harvesting, and roasting process and is partnering with RedTree and La Terza to plan a community coffee roast this fall. Learn More


Holtman's Donuts (Over-the-Rhine)

More than just donuts

When a local donut shop reached out to us to offer a spot at one of their stores, Spencer interviewed for the job. The rest was history. Learn More


Green House volunteer (White Oak)

Becky has been gardening with Starfire’s support since 2013. This year she landed a job at a green house, on top of her two weekly volunteer roles at gardens in the city.  “I’m pretty much set," says Becky.  Learn More



Salon Attendant (Hyde Park)

Emily is into fashion and make-up design. Her job at a salon is the perfect fit. Through this job, she is able to meet people she shares things in common with, and provide a useful service to the rest of the salon workers. Learn More


Sewing Circle (Madisonville)

Nancy says life is too short not to be happy. She has found happiness going to a local rec center three times a week to meet up with other women and men her age who also like to sew.  Learn More


Warehouse Assistant (Sharonville)

Jack found a place to work that matches his strengths. He is the fastest employee in his department. Jack sets the standard for new employees for the level of productivity that can be done. Jack and his co-worker Phil have connected over a mutual admiration and respect. Learn More



Write Me, I’m Yours, Monthly Writing Circle (White Oak)

For the past 4 years, Michelle has been meeting with a group of writers at a local coffee shop. The project began in 2013 when Michelle decided she wanted to engage writers across the city by setting out journals at local coffee shops and inviting people to contribute. She got other writers to sign on to the idea, and they called the project “Write Me, I’m Yours” which is now also the name of their monthly writing group. Learn More


Social Practice Art (Lower Price Hill)

Kachelle and Alicia have been friends for 2 years. The two met through their shared love of art and together have activated their neighborhood through projects that they call “social practice art.” They aim to call to attention the challenges and gifts of their neighborhood while bringing other artists into their “Artist Collective” group to spend time making art together. Learn More


Rights advocate for Women & Girls (Madisonville)

Grace is a women's rights advocate and is passionate about Cincinnati history. She is working on becoming a docent of the Cincinnati exhibit at the Museum of National History, in hopes of connecting with others who share her love of the city and helping to preserve our city's unique history. She is also working on transcribing documents for the Library of Congress with a brilliant group of men and women in Madisonville. Learn More