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Tuesday, October 31, 2023
Tyler Lowry, Franklin County Commissioners, 614/525-6630
Robin Ross, Franklin County Commissioners, 614/525-2392

This morning, the Franklin County Commissioners unanimously approved five resolutions at their General Session meeting that provide $5,834,192 in grant funding to 20 different community agencies that support Franklin County residents.  Sixteen of the grants totaling almost $4 million are via the commissioners’ usual Community Partnerships grant process to award county general fund money, and four are COVID-19 recovery grants allocating federal passthrough dollars.
“Franklin County provides our community’s social safety net via our health and human services agencies,” said Board of Commissioners President, John O’Grady.  “But families also rely extensively on nonprofit organizations in the community, and we rely on those agencies to support our families in need with assistance right where they’re at.”
The Community Partnership grants are awarded via a competitive process to support local community-based organizations that provide services to effectively and efficiently address the commissioners’ core principles and Rise Together Blueprint action steps and goals.  This year’s recipients include Feed The Kids Columbus, which partners with 28 local schools to feed children whose families are food-insecure, Heart of Ohio Family Health Centers, which tailors medical and social support for low-income patients, and Junior Achievement of Central Ohio, which provides financial literacy, career and work readiness, and entrepreneurship programing for students in kindergarten through 12th grade.  A full list of recipients is below, and the full text of the resolution and grants is available online.
“It feels like the worst of the pandemic’s health effects have passed, but many Central Ohio residents are still recovering from its social and economic effects,” said Commissioner Kevin L. Boyce.  “It’s vital that we’re able to direct these funds to this diverse group of agencies that are meeting the needs they see in their individual communities for families that often don’t have many other resources to help them climb the ladder of economic success.”
The COVID-19 recovery grants approved today are for $300,000 to support preschool programing at the Childhood League Center, $329,651 to Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio, $999,700 to the Franklin County Agricultural Society to make ADA compliance improvements at the Franklin County Fairgrounds, and $500,000 to the Mid-Ohio Food Collective to provide emergency food assistance to residents in need.
“Working with our nonprofit community partners is one of the best ways we can support our neighbors because they have a pulse on the community and community needs, due to the close relationships with the very people who make this county so special.  Franklin County is a wonderful place to live, work, and play, and it is incumbent on us as leaders to ensure that all of our families have the tools they need to not just survive, but to thrive,” said Commissioner Erica C. Crawley.
More information about the commissioners Community Partnerships program can be found here, and the full text of the resolutions and grants is available here.  For more information about all the ways the commissioners work to support Franklin County families every day, you can find the annual State of the County Report at
For more information on the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, log on to:

2023 Community Partnerships Grants Recipients
Organization Amount Description
Bhutanese Community of Central Ohio $191,736.00 The "Innovative Approach to Address Educational and Mental Health Gap Among Refugee Children in Franklin County Schools" (EMHG) program seeks to address the unique challenges faced by refugee children ages 10 to 21 in Franklin County schools, with a particular focus on the rapidly growing Asian population, including Bhutanese-Nepali, Pakistani, Burmese, and Afghan communities. It is a two-prong approach where we aim to work with parents and their children who are new to the school system, have identified mental health problems, and are academically struggling in the school.
Central Community House $148,832.19 The Foundation will provide programming to families to address key protective factors which strengthen families so that children may experience stability within their homes. The Foundation conducts programming focused on parental resilience, social and emotion competence of children, as well as concrete support in times of need.
Directions for Youth and Families $150,000.00 Our after school and summer programs continued to grow, and in 2015 DFYF was gifted the Crittenton Center, formerly a neighborhood center built in the 1970s called the K-Chalet, by the Kimberly Parkway Association. This gift was decided by a community vote of over 600 residents where organizations would present their ideas for the center/ property and the community would vote on which organization would receive the center/property. DFYF’s goal was to build a community center to host new after school and summer programs, provide community services, and have an open and safe space to bring the community together.
Dress for Success Columbus $163,500.00 Dress for Success Columbus (DFSC) is leading the way in innovative workforce development. DFSC’s renowned career develop programs put women on the path to self-sufficiency through workforce readiness, personal, and professional development. Programs are designed to advance equity for women by ensuring that they are given the support they need to obtain, sustain, and truly grow in their careers. While we are perhaps best known for our styling services, we recognize that it takes much more than clothing to help clients achieve economic security in the long-term.
Feed the Kids Columbus Inc. $22,588.00 FTKC is proud to partner with 28 Central Ohio schools to serve children who are food insecure. We estimate serving 7,975 children who will receive meal bags over Thanksgiving, Winter, and Spring breaks, and who will also receive snacks throughout the year. FTKC anticipates the number of children who need assistance at each school could increase throughout the school year.
Heart of Ohio Family Health Centers $500,000.00 Heart of Ohio Family Health (HOFHC) is seeking funding for its program titled: Achieving Equity in Chronic Disease Management Now and In the Future: Exposing the Workforce of Tomorrow to a Model of Care that Promotes Health Equity. The first component of the program creates tailored, comprehensive medical and social support for diverse, low-income patients. Because different patients have different needs, a team of culturally competent registered dietitians, registered nurse (RN) care coordinators, community health workers (CHW), and dental staff is required. The second component of the proposed program is targeted at reducing wage disparities and increasing academic success of students.
Junior Achievement of Central Ohio $250,000.00 Junior Achievement offers programming focused on financial literacy, career and work readiness and entrepreneurship in the classroom at all grade levels K-12, in addition to our three capstone programs offered at elementary, middle and high school - JA BizTown, JA Finance Park and JA Inspire, respectively. Funding through this grant would help support the capacity of our organization to serve 35,000 K-12 students during the 2023/2024 school year
Lower Lights Ministries $125,000.00 Lower Lights Ministries (LLM), with 15 years of experience working with impoverished families, has developed the Lower Lights Youth Enrichment Program (YEP) to break this generational cycle. By enriching the emotional and cognitive lives of the children over an extended period of time, their worldview and decision making skills are changed. To do so effectively, the Youth Enrichment Program operates four interwoven but autonomous services that share one goal: to walk with low-income children from “diapers to diplomas,” increasing their capacity to achieve personal, academic and financial success as adults. This goal is rooted in LLM’s strong belief that such children become strong community leaders and change agents, transitioning from dependency on the community’s resources to exceptional contributors to flourishing communities.
Ohio Women Alliance $259,700.00 The Member Assistance Program (MAP) is structured to provide practical support to people seeking abortion in the form of financial assistance for associated costs such as childcare, transportation, and lodging, along with wrap-around support from Practical Support Volunteers that are values-aligned and have received 10 hours of Anti-Oppression and Trauma-Informed Care/Crisis Training.
Prevent Blindness, Ohio Affiliate $22,000.00 The goal of the Prevent Blindness Vision Care Outreach (VCO) Program is to prevent unnecessary vision loss by providing equitable access to comprehensive, preventive vision care, education, and eyewear for uninsured/underinsured, medically & financially under-resourced children, families and older adults in Franklin County.
Seeds of Caring $45,000.00 In 2016, Brandy Jemczura founded Seeds of Caring after noticing Central Ohio was missing something critical: an organized, coordinated way to empower preschool and elementary-aged children to actively serve our community and take a stand for what they care about most. Most traditional volunteer opportunities are tailored to teens and adults for safety and efficiency; few are developmentally appropriate for young children. As a result, Central Ohio lacked a means for engaging an entire generation of young citizens in critical issues from an early age and for inspiring them to become lifelong change-makers.  With over 15+ volunteer opportunities offered each month,
Service Relief for Hospitality Workers $500,000.00 Service! aims to secure a lease in what is slated to become Columbus’ downtown restaurant district. This dedicated space will house two entities: a commercial kitchen that will serve as a workforce development center for existing hospitality industry workers and an incubator kitchen for individuals who wish to launch a food business but lack the capital to embark on such an endeavor. Incubator kitchen participants will be chosen through an application process to ensure their commitment to the program. The Service! Innovation Kitchen will incubate three independent businesses at a time and equip aspiring restaurateurs with tools for success.
Sprout Five $92,177.81 The GimmeFive program by SproutFive is a pioneering initiative designed to empower children and their families in low-income communities through education, economic development, and financial literacy. This multifaceted program combines the benefits of high-quality early childhood education, strategic economic development initiatives, comprehensive family-based financial literacy, and 529 college savings plans. The program's early childhood education component is grounded in SproutFive's evidence-based approach that has shown remarkable success, with over 90% of children in their programs meeting or exceeding developmental expectations and 100% of program graduates deemed kindergarten ready compared to the county average of 38%.
Star House $500,000.00 Over the past two years, the drop-in center experienced a substantial increase in individuals benefiting from immediate safety, basic necessities, and resources. Between January and May of this year, we had already served more than 800 individual youth— the total number of youth served in 2021. By the end of 2023, we expect to serve 1,600 to 2,000, a more than 100% increase in just two years. Given increased demand for our services, our goal is to add two additional drop-in centers and one additional village over the next three years. Areas under consideration for development are the South Side, West Side and Westerville. To support the growing number of youth in need of our services and to enable this expansion, Star House seeks a much-needed grant of $500,000 from the Franklin County Board of Commissioners through the 2023 Community Partnership Grant Program.
We Amplify Voices $500,000.00 Funding from the Community Partnership Grant would support We Amplify Voices existing youth programming and allow the organization to pilot a developmentally appropriate program for 3rd graders at 7 or 8 Columbus City elementary schools. WAV’s programming for youth and adult populations is grounded in the idea of Asset Based Community Development. The ABCD model groups assets into five categories: individuals, associations, institutions, place-based, and connections. According to the ABCD model, community reinvestment is a process that starts from within when individuals from marginalized groups are afforded to opportunity to identify, cultivate, and mobilize their assets.
YMCA $234,297.00 McKinley Manor is a new permanent supportive housing (PSH) project for 55 years and older single adults. The project will coordinate with the USHS system, prioritizing seniors who are chronically homeless individuals who have a disability. Central to the project is subsidized permanent housing in which an individual will pay 30% of their income for housing costs The project has 44 one bedroom units that consist of a kitchen, living space, bedroom and bathroom and is fully furnished. furnished. The property has a shared community space for residents, case management offices, front desk and property management on site. The Y strives to promote independence, housing stability and dignity. The Housing Program adheres to best practice models of Housing First, Harm Reduction, Progressive Engagement and Trauma Informed Care. The program works with all homeless service delivery agencies to provide rapid response to the community housing needs. As in other projects operated by the YMCA, a resident advisory board will assist in determining what services and programming should be brought in-house
Total $3,704,831.00