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A Place for Hope, Healing, and Connection

For more than a century, Directions for Youth & Families (DFYF) has inspired hope, healing, and resilience for youth and families in central Ohio. Through counseling, education, and support programs, the organization is helping to build healthy individuals, strong families, and safe communities.

For years, DFYF has operated two youth centers—the Ohio Avenue Youth Center and the Crittenton Center—where young people can engage in activities that promote creative thinking, self-expression, leadership, personal responsibility, conflict resolution, and more. However, due to limited space at the Crittenton Center, DFYF has long struggled to keep up with demand, with programs quickly filling to capacity.

In response to this challenge, DFYF launched “Rooted in Change,” a capital campaign to raise funds to build a new community center in Columbus’ Eastland area neighborhood. The Columbus Foundation, thanks to the generosity of donors and Supporting Foundations, awarded several grants to support the capital campaign.

On October 24, DFYF celebrated the grand opening of the new Crittenton Community Center with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. In partnership with more than 20 nonprofits, the new center will offer services that address food insecurity, housing stability, workforce development, education, legal aid, mental health, support for seniors, youth programming, and more.

Inside the new Crittenton Community Center.

“The new Crittenton Community Center will serve as an important resource, community hub, and source of hope for countless individuals and families,” said Dan Sharpe, Vice President for Community Research and Grants Management at The Columbus Foundation. “We congratulate Directions for Youth & Families for this incredible milestone and look forward to witnessing how this space will help lift up our neighbors and strengthen our community.”

Last year, in recognition of the organization’s vital role in bringing stability and opportunity to youth, families, and neighborhoods, Directions for Youth & Families was named the 2022 honoree of The Columbus Foundation Award. The award recognizes organizations that have made a difference in the quality of life in our community.




Directions for Youth & Families’ new Crittenton Community Center.