The Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center ("CRC”) has been a fixture - and a bulwark for assistance and support since 1971. That’s 50 years, dear readers!
They provide an array of services nearly as vast as the needs they address. Associate Director Stephanie Baker, who seems upbeat after 15 years on the job, leads a team of 40 paid staff and 300 volunteers under the overall stewardship of Executive Director Bill Owens.
Baker takes pleasure in being able to meet a variety of needs at several different sites to everyone from young children to our elders.
Baker says, “Our greatest accomplishment has been staying optimistic during the Covid Crisis.”
Rooted in a succinct Mission Statement, the CRC delivers responsive services, cultivates partnerships, and promotes opportunities to foster a healthier community.”
Part of the one century-old Columbus Federation of Settlements and a funded partner of the United Way of Central Ohio, support originally came from the congregation of The North Broadway United Methodist Church with others quickly joining in.
A cursory listing of available services and programs: Family Services, Kinship Care (for children being raised by family other than their parents), before and after daycare programs, and Personal Finance Management—including rescuing people threatened with eviction and/or relocation from their homes, transportation services, and more. 80% of the CRC’s clients were below the federal poverty level. The CRC logged more than 1,588 phone calls and in-person assessments supporting seniors, which resulted in 88% of its clients feeling more in control of their finances. They have more than 6,700 in-person service hours offered, more than 7,500 case management assists, transportation services including more than 500 outings completed and nearly 500 seniors’ medical appointments. These outings include bi-weekly trips to local grocery stores, events, gardens, and frequent neighborhood potluck meals. Breakfast is popular.
Volunteers spent more than 400 hours doing yard work for older adults. Full disclosure here - this writer has been a grateful recipient of this program. A lovely family with two bright and lively little girls raked our leaves, played in the piles, bagged it all neatly and the girls drew pictures of our house (still on our fridge). On another occasion, a hard-working social worker helped us negotiate through the frustrating, Herculean - even nightmarish task of sorting out and enrolling in Medicare and supplemental insurance.
CRC’s Village in the Ville can offer minor home repairs, tech assistance, home visits, friendly chats, and pet sitting.
Space here does not allow for much more detail on these services - so let’s talk FOOD.
Prompted by a bit of wisdom from a longtime ComFester that “Food is Life. Food is Medicine” ComFest chooses to highlight one of the CRC’s most successful programs: the Food Pantry (Feel free to file this under “Clintonville - Who Knew?”)
The stats are impressive - 600,000 meals fed to 12,000 people (1/3 over age 60) up 18% in 2020 to folks needing help in 93 zip codes. Showing steady community support from individuals and corporate donors - with the Mid-Ohio Food Bank contributing the single largest portion, potentially Life-and-Wellness saving food delivery to older adults and “Grab and Go” meals have been provided, filling in for the regular potluck gatherings.
For these reasons, for its dedication and good works, ComFest recognizes the Clintonville-Beechwold Community Resources Center as a true bedrock in Columbus. ComFest is pleased to count them as a model organization for the public good.
— Leslie Zak