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Life Beyond The Freeway

2-1-1 or (614) 221-6766 ext 113

Most would consider life in Columbus, Ohio, to be rewarding. Columbus is the largest city in the state and the 15th largest city in the country. With a median household income of more than $47,400, Columbus has all the trappings of the good life, including major hospitals, a wealth of universities, institutes of research, culture, sports, entertainment, restaurants and shopping.

The good life... for most of us. But in spite of all the success for many in our community, more than 20 percent of adults and 18 percent of children live in poverty. Not all residents have found success in our city. What obligation do we have to care for one another? What is the "safety net" in our community?

HandsOn Central Ohio’s Reality Columbus: Life Beyond the Freeway can help you put the pieces together. Reality Columbus educates people on the issues of local poverty, homelessness and hunger while demonstrating the value of promoting and encouraging volunteerism and advocating for change on local, state and national poverty initiatives.

A unique four-hour tour, Reality Columbus transports you from the relative comfort of your world into the safety nets of our community. The tour provides an educational focus on the issues of poverty, hunger and homelessness.

Following a brief orientation, participants venture into the world of public assistance and meet the people whose job it is to assess the needs of those who have little or nothing. You will see where persons sleep if they have no place to call home and witness the lines they stand in if they have nothing to eat. Participants will visit human service providers that are addressing poverty issues such as shelters, permanent supportive housing, clothing pantries and food distribution sites.

The tour stops at human service providers such as homeless shelters, permanent supportive housing units, the Engagement Center at Maryhaven, community kitchens, food pantries, Mid-Ohio FoodBank, Amethyst, Franklin County Department of Job and Family Services Opportunity Centers, settlement houses, Habitat for Humanity, clothing pantries, halfway houses, MAP Furniture Bank, health clinics for low income, Boys & Girls Club of Columbus, and the Somali Community Association of Ohio.

The tour dispels myths about poverty related issues and illuminates these problems in the context of larger social and economic issues. Tour participants have shared that it made them realize what a high value is placed on volunteerism as a means of addressing poverty issues.

This fee-based service leverages experiential learning into community volunteer commitment, funding for programming and action to address critical social needs in the community.

To schedule a tour for your group contact Ernest Perry at (614) 221.6766 ext 113 or via email.

Reality Columbus will not only affect how you view the lives of our less fortunate citizens but how you view your own life as well.

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