Columbus, OH (June 18, 2014)―To support the ongoing revitalization efforts in the Weinland Park neighborhood, southeast of The Ohio State University, The Columbus Foundation’s Governing Committee has approved a total of $888,640 in grants to date in 2014 from the Foundation’s Fund for Community Improvement.
In addition, the Foundation approved a $2 million low-interest loan to Campus Partners for Community Urban Redevelopment, Inc. that benefits Grant Commons, a Weinland Park project that supports the renovation of 24 buildings on East 11th Avenue between Grant Avenue and North Fourth Street in Weinland Park.
“The Foundation is committed to investing in organizations that offer valuable resources and programs to residents of all ages in Weinland Park,” said Douglas F. Kridler, president and CEO of The Columbus Foundation. “With the Weinland Park Collaborative, the Foundation and its donors continue to invest in improving the day-to-day lives and opportunities of those who call Weinland Park home.”
A $199,156 grant to Directions for Youth & Families (DFYF) will support the second year of the Neighborhood Options for Youth (NOY) program. Launched in 2013, NOY is focused on increasing public safety in Weinland Park by reducing youth involvement in illegal activities. There are more than 500 youth ages 8-19 living in Weinland Park.
Strategies used to help with this effort include:
- Increasing neighborhood-based patrolling of Columbus Police Department officers
- Increasing access to neighborhood-based case management and therapy provided by DFYF
- Closer coordination and collaboration among law enforcement, juvenile court, social service agencies, and concerned citizens
“The first year the Neighborhood Options for Youth project showed the power of collaboration with the Columbus Police Department and the juvenile court system in identifying and working with neighborhood families to help kids stay out of trouble and provide an alternative to the judicial system,” said Duane Casares, CEO of Directions for Youth & Families. “Thanks to the generous support from The Columbus Foundation, we are able to apply what we have learned in year one as we continue our outreach services in meeting the needs of the Weinland Park community. Our success in this first year demonstrates that all youth need is hope and an opportunity and the impossible becomes possible.”
A $245,000 grant to Godman Guild will support a variety of programs for Weinland Park residents, including Summer Youth Empowerment at Camp Mary Orton, Summer Teen Employment, Wildcats football and basketball, and Resident and Community Engagement.
“Having effective human services organizations is critical to the growth and development of our community, especially our urban core neighborhoods. As a human services organization, we are so pleased to walk side by side with The Columbus Foundation to do our part at the Guild to address just a few of the challenges facing our community,” said Ellen Moss Williams, president and CEO of Godman Guild. “Investment by the Foundation has allowed us to stay focused on implementing our strategic plan in the areas of Education, Economic Development, Health and Wellness and Community Engagement. Each and every day we are witness to the direct impact our partnership as evidenced by the changed lives of the many youth and families living in Weinland Park.”
Additional grants awarded in 2014:
- Columbus City Schools—$13,500 to fund hotspot cards and monthly data plans and materials stipend for 15 teachers at Weinland Park Elementary School.
- Communities in Schools of Central Ohio—$34,500 challenge grant to support a School Resources Coordinator at Weinland Park Elementary School.
- Community Properties Impact Corporation—$70,984 to support continued beautification of the streetscape in Weinland Park, including 56 flower window boxes and new trees throughout the neighborhood.
- Campus Partners for Community Urban Redevelopment, Inc.—$2,500 to support resident engagement activities in honor of outgoing civic association president Joyce Hughes. The civic association can use these funds at their discretion, with Ms. Hughes serving as an advisor to the distribution process.
- Campus Partners for Community Urban Redevelopment, Inc.—$175,000 to support real estate redevelopment activities in Weinland Park.
- The Ohio State University Foundation— $75,000 to support the Moms2B program which serves pregnant and parenting women in poverty to increase knowledge about healthy lifestyle choices, nutrition, breastfeeding, and safe spacing between births.
- The Ohio State University Foundation College of Education and Human Ecology—$25,000 to support scholarships for children to attend the Schoenbaum Family Center, an early-learning education center for children six weeks to five years old.
- University Area Enrichment Association –$48,000 to implement the University District Children’s Defense Fund Freedom Schools that will serve children between the grades K-12, with a summer educational enrichment program focused on reading.
About The Columbus Foundation
The Columbus Foundation is the trusted philanthropic advisor® to more than 2,000 individuals, families, businesses, and communities that have created unique funds to make a difference in the lives of others through the most effective philanthropy possible. Serving the region for 70 years, The Columbus Foundation is the seventh largest community foundation in the United States. The Foundation’s online giving marketplace, PowerPhilanthropy®, makes it possible for everyone to access valuable information about nonprofit organizations in central Ohio.