Family and Neighborhood Services
Across the United States individuals and families who have never had to access food pantries before are doing so because of the downturn in the economy, significant layoffs, and overall job loss.
Family Services provides ongoing support and assistance towards the goal of individuals and families becoming self-sufficient.
These efforts are leveraged by a base of 600 volunteers annually, many of whom are clients who choose to give back by volunteering in the Choice Food Pantry.
Many folks assume that our program, also known as the CRC Food Pantry, only provides food for the community. Although that is the largest part of our activity, we also provide referrals, problem-solving and positive support to those in crisis.
Family Services assists Food Pantry clients by connecting them to the Ohio Benefit Bank. CRC’s Benefit Bank Counselors (staff and volunteers) assist clients by linking them to resources such as medical assistance, child care assistance, food assistance, energy assistance, and more. Clients can use the Ohio Benefit Bank to complete applications for benefits, estimate eligibility for certain benefits, and even submit some applications online. During tax season, individuals can file their taxes using the Ohio Benefit Bank for free!
* For more information about the Ohio Benefit Bank check out www.ohiobenefits.org
During winter, Family Services helps enroll eligible residents in the government’s Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP). During the summer months, CRC sponsors free lunch for Clintonville youth up to 18 years of age with volunteers from local churches and elsewhere in the community. Family Services also provides a weekly Sunday Breakfast, averaging 40 people a week.
Children and Youth Service
CRC’s Kids Club, a low cost after-school and summer care program for elementary youth, is host to a daily average of 120 children Mondays through Fridays during the school year and the summer months.
Kids Club is currently located at three sites — Clinton Heights Lutheran Church, directly across the street from Clinton Elementary School, Maple Grove United Methodist Church and Columbus Mennonite Church. The program has access to large classroom areas and a library for small group work. A Certified Reading Specialist is available to work with youth in small groups on literacy projects and homework help. Summer programming includes special events, team sports and recreation, field trips to the local pool, the summer library reading program, and academic enrichment opportunities.
Kids Club operates without interruption upon the end of the school year and the start of summer. Kids Club helps youth improve their academic performance and overall well-being by providing a multitude of socially and educationally enriching activities including structured homework time, arts and crafts, games, physical activity, working with a Certified Reading Specialist, Greater Columbus Arts Council art classes, and monthly guest speakers.
Providing quality supervision for elementary school aged youth year round helps improve the quality of life for the entire community. Youth are kept safe and are provided with educational opportunities and parents have affordable youth programming. The community benefits by keeping youth off the streets who may otherwise become victims or contributors to crimes. CRC works to provide services to fit the local neighborhoods needs and Kid’s Club fills the need for youth programming as shown by the community’s continued involvement in registering for the program which is always full.
Senior Supportive Services
We help many seniors living in Clintonville/Beechwold to remain independent and safe in their own homes, and provide recreational activities to prevent social isolation. CRC is especially attuned to our most vulnerable seniors who live in poverty and live with disabilities due to physical or mental health impairment. However, CRC works with older adults in all income brackets as seniors universally face barriers that impede their ability to function at home without support. Nearly 90 percent of seniors want to stay in their own homes as they age, often referred to as aging in place (AARP 2009). CRC Outreach staff work with seniors to overcome barriers that could prevent them from living independently–typically related to healthcare needs.
CRC provides a wide range of services for area seniors including:
Social outings to destinations such as the Columbus Museum of Art or Franklin Park Conservatory •Weekly grocery trips•Transportation for medical appointments•Monthly Breakfast Club and Coffee Klatch•Home visits and personal assistance•Health-related or safety-related home maintenance and repairs.All local seniors are eligible to attend our social gatherings and outings, and to receive transportation for medical appointments and weekly grocery trips.
The CRC Kinship Care Program provides support to relative caregivers who have taken custody of children who cannot be cared for by their parents. The program is based on a strength-based, Family Development model and focuses on academic success for the youth. The Kinship Care Program helps children avoid placement in a non-related foster home when parents are absent, and therefore helps them maintain stability in their education.
Kinship families who increase their caregiver knowledge, skills, and involvement in their child’s education in turn produce children who feel loved, confident and supported in their educational setting. This allows them to enter school ready to succeed and ultimately better able to graduate from high school. CRC’s Kinship Care Program provides support to children and their caregivers in all life domain areas including food, housing, healthcare and transportation to name a few. Providing basic needs in the home is essential for children to be successful in school