Our beloved city of Columbus is nearing a population of one million. Currently, Columbus ranks as the 15th largest city in America — and quickly rising. We love our Buckeyes, our Hot Chicken Takeover, our diversity, our zoo, our Jeni’s Ice Cream, and so much more. Columbus continues to draw nationwide attention to its livability and more and more 20’s and 30 something’s choose to call this place home.
We couldn’t love our city more.
However, while Columbus is drawing people from as far as the Bay Area for its affordability and “cool factor,” we turn a blind eye to some concerning areas found in the underbelly of our city. For instance, there are thousands of kids in foster care agencies without a place to call home. Intimately tied to our city’s foster care crisis, is the opioid epidemic. Ohio has the highest rate of deadly heroin overdoses, to which Ohio Attorney General, Mike DeWine put out a call to all Ohioans to open their homes to foster kids who have lost their caretaker to a deadly overdose. NBC has reported half of all foster care kids are there because one or both of their parents are drug addicts. Where there is addiction, often following close behind is a kid desperate for a home. Also tucked into our beloved city’s underbelly is its public education system. There are 114 schools within the public school system — representing over 50,000 students. According to Ohio’s state report card, Columbus City Schools received an overall “F” (grading Achievement, Progress, Gap Closing, Improving At-Risk K-3 Readers, Pepared for Success, and Graduation Rates). Our city’s kids are not getting the education they deserve and we must stand in the gap to help our city schools. We believe every kid is made with dignity and should have access to proper education so their lives might be set on a trajectory of progress. Mental illness strikes men and women in every corner of our city and have little to no access to find health. Suicide is the second-leading cause of death among 10-19 year olds, and over half of mental illness cases emerge before the age of 14. Add to all of this that Columbus ranks as the second most economically segregated city in the country and every day local headlines tell the story of a city still divided among racial lines.
Because our hearts love our city, they also break for our city. We commit to lamenting our reality, repenting from where we have contributed to our city’s shortcomings, and implementing action steps to be good news to men and women everywhere around us.
Our City giant includes several sub-giants, if you will. As a community of people, C3 is laser-focused on impacting the City of Columbus in real, lasting, and tangible ways. Surveying our surroundings, we’ve identified 5 giants that must be tackled for us to have a meaningful impact on our city. They are:
1) Mental Health
2) Education System
3) Foster Care System
4) Opioid Epidemic
5) Race & Segregation.
Tune into the City Giant Sermon here:
Below you will find suggestions to consider as you tackle the Mental Health giant:
Below you will find suggestions to consider as you tackle the Race & Segregation giant:
Below you will find suggestions to consider as you tackle the Education giant:
Below you will find suggestions to consider as you tackle the Opioid Epidemic giant:
Below you will find suggestions to consider as you tackle the Foster Care giant:
If you’d like to be followed up with, please fill out the following contact form to let us what way(s) you plan to tackle this particular giant. Let us, also, know what more information you need to get started: