What We Do
Before COVID-19, one-third of all Franklin County residents could not meet basic needs and even more were a crisis away from falling into poverty. Today, we know low-income families are bearing the brunt of the pandemic. Over half of Ohio’s low-income households reported a loss of employment income over the past year. While students in low-income households faced more barriers to remote learning, including lack of broadband access and available equipment.
United Way of Central Ohio is focused on fighting poverty by investing in the most effective partners that get results. This network of more than 90 local nonprofit partners provide opportunities and resources in two critical areas:
Ensuring people in crisis get food, shelter and assistance.Learn More
Helping children succeed from cradle to career.Learn More
Ensuring people in crisis get food, shelter and assistance.
did you know?
1 in 3 central Ohioans lacks the income to meet basic needs without assistance.
2,000 young adults in central Ohio are homeless.
- Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio
- American Red Cross of Greater Columbus
- Catholic Social Services
- Charitable Pharmacy of Central Ohio
- CHOICES for Victims of Domestic Violence
- Clintonville-Beechwold CRC
- Columbus Urban League
- Community Development for All People
- Community Kitchen
- Community Shelter Board
- Furniture Bank of Central Ohio
- Gladden Community House
- HandsOn Central Ohio
- Huckleberry House, Inc.
- Legal Aid Society of Columbus
- LifeCare Alliance
- Local Matters
- Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio
- Mental Health America of Franklin Ohio
- Mid-Ohio Foodbank
- OhioHealth I AM
- OSU Moms2B
- The Salvation Army
- Serving Our Neighbors Ministries
- Stable Families
- Star House
- YMCA of Central Ohio
- YWCA Columbus
Helping children succeed from cradle to career.
did you know?
The poverty rate and the unemployment rate for people who do not have a High School diploma is twice as high as for people who have graduated.
72% of disadvantaged preschoolers in Franklin County struggle to learn the skills needed for kindergarten.
- Action for Children
- Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Ohio
- Boys & Girls Clubs of Columbus
- Central Community House
- Childhood League Center
- City Year
- Columbus Early Learning Centers
- Columbus Speech & Hearing Center
- Columbus Urban League
- Communities in Schools of Central Ohio
- Community Development for All People
- Communities Properties Impact Corporation
- Directions for Youth & Families
- Dominican Sisters of Peace
- Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services
- Gladden Community House
- Godman Guild Association
- Groundwork Ohio
- Junior Achievement of Central Ohio
- Kaleidoscope Youth Center
- South Side Learning & Development Center
- St. Stephen’s Community House
- St. Vincent Family Center
- Stable Families
- The Center for Healthy Families
- The Salvation Army
- YMCA of Central Ohio
- YWCA Columbus
Together, We Fight Poverty.
1DivineLine2Health serves as a safe house for pregnant womxn, transwomxn, and runaway youth. We are on the streets, alleys, homeless camps and abandominiums. We have two safe houses, a community garden and the Love Bug Street Outreach program that covers the four hot zones of human and drug trafficking in our city. We operate the first full-time Drop-In Center in the county located on the Hilltop that serves trafficked womxn, their children and transwomen. Our Drop-In Center is a haven where they shower, eat a warm meal, rest, have their wounds cleaned, get linked to services and participate in activities. We provide nonperishable food, first aid, clothes, shoes, hygiene kits, and condoms. We transport people to hospitals and recovery sites when needed. We partnered with Franklin County Public Health as a mobile Narcan distributor to our street family. Our mission is to end human suffering locally and globally through the power of Love that brings people to serve the underserved in our community like our Love Drop-In Center.
PO Box 247561, Columbus, Ohio 43224
The Academy for Urban Scholars (AUS) is a brick-and-mortar statewide educational and employment leader for under-represented, under-served, and disengaged community members. AUS adheres to its internal motto of “Honda builds cars, We build people” through intensive door-to-door community outreach, high-quality instructional practices and staff, relentless fundraising efforts, and extensive community partnerships. AUS exists solely to ensure that its clients receive the best opportunities their communities can provide. Established in 2011, the AUS Personal Development Model has been created to address a wide variety of systemic challenges that lead to intergenerational poverty, discriminatory educational and training practices, and stymied personal development. Our Model is designed to re-engage learners of all ages, provide intense supportive services, mentoring, workforce training, and successful work placement opportunities. We serve adults and youth from economically disadvantaged communities that demonstrate high unemployment, limited educational success, have significant gang involvement, a high-risk of unplanned pregnancy, and extensive criminal activity and incarceration.
899 E. Broad Street Columbus, OH 43215
There are just 2,000 days between a child's birth and the day they enter Kindergarten--and those days are among the most important to a child's development. When parents, caregivers and teachers are prepared and supported, these moments enrich a child's life, promote healthy development, and ensure that he or she feels safe, loved, and prepared for a bright future. Since 1972, Action for Children (AFC) has worked to transform the lives of children during those first 2,000 days by supporting, empowering and advocating for the adults who make the biggest impact on children’s lives—their parents, caregivers and teachers. When children are nurtured by strong families and vibrant communities and when they have access to quality early learning experiences, they are better prepared for success in school and in life. To support this vital vision, and as the local child care resource and referral agency, Action for Children's services include: free child care referrals and access to community resources for parents and families; parenting education classes, seminars, home-visiting programs and workshops; professional development, coaching, and technical assistance for early childhood programs and practitioners; and child care resources and data for workforce development, public awareness and advocacy. AFC's service area includes Columbus and Franklin County as well as Delaware, Fairfield, Licking, Madison, Pickaway and Union Counties.
78 Jefferson Avenue (43215)
The African American Leadership Academy is designed to expand the number of African American leaders in central Ohio who excel in their professions and engage in community service. The Academy enlarges the definition of success and redefines the description of leadership to include doing well at work to do more good in the community. To that end, it assembles a group of Fellows who have the likelihood of significant accomplishments in both of those arenas. The Academy selects individuals who are ready to grow and to engage in preparation for that kind of success and that kind of leadership.
Each year, the Academy’s Advisory Board along with current and past Fellows seek out and nominate individuals to be invited to apply to the Academy. These individuals, ages 25-55, represent the business, non-profit, government, education and entrepreneurial sectors of the central Ohio community. Nominees have demonstrated potential for top leadership roles in both their professional and civic life.
The Academy’s mission is to increase the number of central Ohio’s African American leaders and broaden its awareness of a wider pool of capable and civic minded African American professionals. Maximizing the potential and engagement of all social and economic sectors is essential to the greater purpose of building “best at” and “best to be in” businesses and communities.
For more informations on the African American Leadership Academy, visit their website http://aalacademy.org/.
* United Way of Central Ohio serves as a fiscal agent for this initiative.
Founded in 2004, The African American Male Wellness Initiative (AAMWI) was established to improve the health disparities affecting African American men. From our humble beginnings, the AAMWI has grown to become the largest health initiative locally and across the state of Ohio. Accelerated growth of the AAMWI can be contributed to our ability to engage African American men. Every year the initiative engages over 50,000 families nationwide providing health educational workshops, fatherhood training, employment training and free health screenings to over 3,000 African American men. Our educational programming focuses on topics such as mental health, opioid addiction, healthy cooking, work readiness, HIV prevention and financial wellness.
2780 Airport Drive, Suite 333, Columbus, OH 43219
Africentric Personal Development Shop (APDS) is a behavioral healthcare center that uses the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM) criteria guidelines and models of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to provide substance use disorders treatment. APDS is certified by Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services to provide outpatient, intensive outpatient, medication assisted treatment, and prevention services. APDS provides a comprehensive domestic violence education and intervention program that uses the Duluth Model, Journey to Change, and the APDS Readiness Module for male batterers involved in domestic violence. APDS offers a 9-week SMART 2.0 summer day camp with strong emphasis on social emotional learning and character development for 120 youth ages 6 to 12 years.
1409 East Livingston Ave. Columbus, OH 43205
After-School All-Stars Ohio provides free academic support, mentorship, and transformative experience to help at-risk children in Ohio succeed in school and life. After-School All-Stars Ohio gives students a safe-haven during the “danger zone” hours of 3pm-6pm—the time of day when youth violence, drug use and other delinquent behaviors are most likely to occur. After-School All-Stars Ohio serves children whose lives are mostly defined by severe deprivation of basic human needs. Those needs include food, health, safety, shelter, and access to information.
1743 W Lane Avenue, Columbus OH 43221-3341
All THAT (Teens Hopeful About Tomorrow) is a non-profit mentoring and enrichment program that provides mentoring to teens in academic achievement, life skill development and career planning. Since 2010, All THAT has established caring relationships with teens in our program and enhanced their ability to make good choices, eliminate the use of alcohol and drugs and assist them in realizing their dreams. We expose them to college and opportunities in skilled trades, enhancing their potential to become high performers in the workforce and their local community. We are an official partner of Columbus City Schools, Columbus Public Health Department, Center for Family Safety and Healing, Franklin County Children Services and MENTOR Central Ohio. ALL THAT currently serves as a supportive space providing tutors and mentors to guide high school students so they can complete their online school work. During these challenging days in our city and in our country, the lives of teens are especially at risk. All THAT is here for them.
PO Box 27113, 4117 E. Livingston Avenue, Columbus OH 43227
Alvis provides research-based reentry programs for individuals with justice histories and/or substance use and behavioral issues. We also serve people with intellectual or developmental disabilities who face challenges as they seek to live independently. Alvis serves more than 8,000 men, women, young adults and children in Ohio each year, and our programs indirectly impact tens of thousands more. At Alvis, we give people the inspiration, the encouragement and the tools they need to turn their lives around 180 degrees.
2100 Stella Court (43215)
The American Red Cross, through its strong network of volunteers, donors and partners, is always there in times of need. We aspire to turn compassion into action so that: all people affected by disaster across the country and around the world receive care, shelter and hope; our communities are prepared for disasters; everyone in our country has access to safe, lifesaving blood and blood products; all members of our armed services and their families find support and comfort whenever needed; and in an emergency, there are always trained individuals nearby, ready to use their Red Cross skills to save lives.
995 E. Broad Street (43205)
As a community leader, United Way of Central Ohio goes beyond funding. We take a strategic approach, and we’re collaborating across the entire community to fight poverty at its roots. Here is a sampling of the many organizations and efforts we’re leading, convening or partnering with to identify and address central Ohio’s most pressing issues:
- Advocates for Ohio’s Future
- Alliance for the American Dream
- Center for Community Solutions
- Central Ohio Diversity Consortium
- Children & Families First
- Children’s Defense Fund – Ohio
- Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio (COHHIO)
- Columbus Federation of Settlements
- Columbus Health Advisory Committees (Near East, South Side, West Side, and Central)
- Columbus Public Health Chronic Disease Prevention Advisory Board
- Columbus Region Coalition
- Continuum of Care for Columbus and Franklin County
- Financial Capability Network of Central Ohio
- Franklin County Local Food Council
- Healthcare Collaborative of Greater Columbus
- Kirwan Institute’s FORC/FMT project
- LGBTQ Community Survey
- Linden Community Planning
- Mid-Ohio Foodbank’s Integrated Response to Hunger (IHA)
- New American Advisory Council
- Ohio Medicaid Coalition
- Ohio Workforce Coalition
- Philanthropy Ohio
- Policy Matters
- Prevent Family Homelessness Collaborative
- Rebuilding Lives Funder Collaborative
- Social Ventures
- South Side Thrive Collaborative
- The Business for Good Foundation
- Thrive Collaborative
- Weinland Park Collaborative
- Workforce Development Board of Central Ohio
At United Way of Central Ohio, diversity, equity and inclusion inform every aspect of our work. We understand from experience that the best solutions are crafted by diverse perspectives and stakeholders.
Diversity is who we are. Our Board of Trustees, staff and volunteers come from many walks of life and reflect the many faces that make up our community. Our greatest strength is that we’re not all the same.
Inclusion is essential to what we do and strengthens our community. It is at the heart of what it means to Live United and to advance the common good; to be a diverse, equitable and inclusive system is fundamental to fighting poverty in central Ohio.
Equity is making sure everyone in the community has what they need to reach their full potential. We align resources, build strong partnerships and ensure the fair treatment of everyone.
Years ago, we laid the foundation. Moving forward, we will continue to leverage and build upon the talent, strength and opportunity that is available in central Ohio.
United Way of Central Ohio’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Statement:
United Way of Central Ohio is committed to creating and maintaining a community where everyone has equitable opportunity to participate and contribute to their own success. Because our greatest strength as a community is that we are not all the same, everyone must be valued for their skills, experiences and unique perspectives.
We oppose all forms of structural racism, ethnic discrimination and other forms of oppression that have contributed to racial disparities in the past and persist in the present. Inequities and unfair policies and practices have marginalized entire populations, and we unequivocally denounce them, in any form. Racism and ethnic discrimination threaten the well-being of our entire community. United Way actively works to end all forms of inequities by dismantling unfair policies/procedures, and by engaging diverse residents and community members, particularly those whose voices have traditionally been marginalized.
As a trusted organization in central Ohio for nearly 100 years, we actively involve our for-profit, nonprofit and individual partners in co-creating solutions that build and sustain equity. We are committed to leveraging all our assets (e.g., convening, strategic investments, awareness building, advocacy) to create a more equitable central Ohio for all residents.
Project Diversity Pride Leadership is United Way’s inclusive nonprofit board development program designed to create impactful, diverse leaders from central Ohio’s racial minority and LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) communities. As our community becomes increasingly diverse, it’s critical that the composition of our nonprofit boards reflects this diversity to include many perspectives and approaches. The program trains participants to serve effectively by providing the knowledge, skills and experiences to contribute confidently. Participation in this program is a valuable $1,000 investment and we encourage the applicant’s employer to pay the tuition fee on their behalf. A limited number of partial scholarships are available to participants for which employers or personal circumstances will not allow them to participate otherwise.
|March 28||Applications Available (online only)||APPLY ONLINE|
|April 19||Open House (1 p.m. to 2 p.m.)||REGISTER HERE|
|April 21||Open House (11 a.m. to 12 p.m.)||REGISTER HERE|
|May 9||Applications Due by 5 p.m.||SUBMIT ONLINE|
|Week of May 23||Selection Letters Emailed to Participants|
|June 1||Orientation Reception (5:30 to 6:30 p.m.)|
After orientation, the curriculum is six months of structured workshops and facilitated dialogue with monthly sessions two to four hours in length. View Full Timeline and Employer Agreement here.
CURRICULUM AND PROGRAM STRUCTURE
The program is composed of an opening retreat, facilitated board development workshops, service project planning and graduation. The curriculum is six months of structured workshops and facilitated dialogue with monthly sessions two to four hours in length. United Way believes it’s important for participants to immerse themselves in the community and hear firsthand from local nonprofits about the work they do in order to best address the issues impacting nonprofits and our community. Throughout the program, United Way provides skill development, community tours, education and direct access to local nonprofits.
Sessions include lectures, hands-on workshops and other activities incorporating key board governance subjects such as:
- Fiscal Management
- Parliamentary Procedures
- Strategic Planning
- Marketing and Public Relations
- Fundraising and Resource Development
- Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
- Service project planning and execution
BENEFITS OF PARTICIPATION
Graduates cite numerous professional benefits, particularly in these areas:
- Skill development
- Collaborative decision making/flexibility
- Building a diverse professional network
- Increased understanding of the community and local nonprofits
- Nonprofit board/committee opportunities
Participants will participate in one or two service projects designed to provide practical experience of being on a board or committee and implement the knowledge and skills they are learning from the program.
During the learning sessions, participants will report on their service project experiences during the conclusion of the program.
Following graduation, United Way will facilitate introductions to nonprofit leaders whose organizational missions align with participant interests. United Way does not guarantee board or committee placement.
For any questions you may have, please contact:
Reyna Hughes, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Program Manager at Reyna.Hughes@uwcentralohio.org
NOW ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FOR THE 2022 PROJECT DIVERSITY PRIDE LEADERSHIP COHORT!
PROJECT DIVERSITY FACTS
Designed to give people of color— African Americans, Asians, Hispanics, Native Americans and other racial minorities—a greater opportunity to serve the community, Project Diversity was launched in 1989. Known today as a premier racial minority leadership program, it boasts an impressive list of about 550 graduates, many of whom have gone on to serve on local nonprofit boards.
PRIDE LEADERSHIP FACTS
Founded in 2008, Pride Leadership has given close to 200 members of the LGBTQ+ community a greater voice in leadership. Since its inception, the program has gained a solid reputation as a quality leadership development program in central Ohio.
“Project Diversity showed me the challenges minorities have in our community. I saw different leadership styles in action and learned the importance of trusting in a team. It gave me a new group to call family.”
–Magaly Vasquez, Columbus Metropolitan Library
“Pride Leadership has been a wonderful experience because not only do I have the tools, skills, resources to move forward with supporting organizations in this city, I also have a number of new friends. That to me is a great value.”
–Justin Warren, L Brands