How might you go about transforming a neighborhood plagued by gangs, drugs, high unemployment, substandard housing and low-performing schools into a neighborhood of choice, where families want to live, work, worship or attend school?
You apply the full breadth of land-grant university resources via collaborations involving Extension, community, church, civic, and corporate partners. This has been the approach since 2002 involving Weinland Park, a neighborhood within the University District in Columbus.
As part of the OSU Extension – Franklin County staff, our University District team uses an asset-based approach to community development (which focuses on the strengths and assets of the community instead of the deficiencies) in partnering with both residents in the City of Columbus and Franklin County to strengthen the lives of children, youth and families. Our programs range from workforce development; individual development accounts; entrepreneurship; homeownership; and post-secondary education; to tax preparation; infant mortality; prison and re-entry programs; and supportive services for tenants.
After having had several ‘temporary’ locations throughout the neighborhood since 2002, residents and other local stakeholders advocated on Extension’s behalf to have a permanent location in the neighborhood! On November 21, our team will be moving from OSU’s Schoenbaum Family Center to a new, recently constructed office space at Terrace Place (99 E. Ninth Street, Columbus, OH 43201), owned by Community Housing Network. In this location, we’ll be able to expand our outreach and better serve the community needs while still continuing to offer educational programs and maintain our partnership with OSU’s Schoenbaum Family Center and the families and area residents they serve.
When you are in the area, plan to come see us in our new location!