Columbus council OKs $1.three million to assist youth, curb violence


COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Several organizations in Columbus are trying to make the city safer after another violent weekend in a violent year.

“There is still a lot to be done,” said Geno Tucker, CEO of Urban Scouts. “It’s very heartbreaking to see these kids, to see these young adults out here shooting and killing each other.”

Ten organizations, including Urban Scouts, have just found out that they will be getting more money to make this work possible this summer.

Many social service groups and organizations have done this work over the past few years, and the extra money will allow them to reach even more children.

Columbus City Council approved $ 1.3 million in funding for these 10 organizations on Monday. The money is distributed among the groups.

This is the second allocation from the city’s $ 10 million Reimagine Security Fund, bringing the full allocation to nearly $ 3 million for 2021.

The goal of all groups is to protect children from crime through mentoring programs, professional training opportunities, leadership training, and more.

Urban Scouts, for example, train children from underserved communities in landscaping and pay them for the work they do in the community.

Urban Scouts worked with 45 children last summer. This summer they will be able to work at 80 with the additional funds.

“If we’re going to get the kids off the streets, we have to give them what the street has to offer, and that’s money and a sense of belonging,” Tucker said. “At Urban Scouts we are a family and we make sure that you have money to look after you and your family.”

Overall, Columbus City Council president Shannon Hardin said the funds should help 2,500 children in the city.

The 10 organizations and their assignments are:

  • Urban Scouts: $ 200,000
  • Legacy Youth Sports League: $ 200,000
  • Africentric Personal Development Shop: $ 170,000
  • Community of Caring Development Foundation and St. Stephen’s Community House: $ 135,000
  • Community Development for All People: $ 90,000
  • Marion-Franklin Civic Association: $ 50,000
  • Columbus Urban League: $ 200,000
  • New Direction Community: $ 170,000
  • Martin de Porres Center: $ 131,000
  • Highland Youth Garden: $ 25,000

“Youth violence is increasing and there is no single solution,” said Hardin in a press release. “But it is important to offer young people committed and enriching opportunities to learn, grow and earn money this summer. As a community, we need to help them see beyond their current situations. “