Star House recognizes that any one of us needs the following four essentials, consistently and simultaneously, in order to thrive: health/well-being, a good-paying job to cover living expenses; truly affordable housing; and supportive relationships. Star House staff are connecting young people in Central Ohio with all four through our drop-in center, Carol Stewart Village, Star Works and Group Mentoring. You can learn more about our programs below.
Star House operates Central Ohio's only drop-in center for youth, ages 14-24, experiencing homelessness. Our drop-in center is open 365 days a year.
Star House recently partnered with Finance Fund to open Carol Stewart Village, a neighborhood for college-age youth with on-site programs and services.
Star House connects young people with transitional employment opportunities through our workforce development program, Star Works.
Star House connects youth in Central Ohio with supportive groups of mentors who can help young people feel more supported and rooted in their community.
Safe respite and a chance to thrive
Star House's drop-in center is open 365 days a year. Youth are provided access to food, clothing, hygiene items, laundry facilities, showers and a safe place to be. Beyond basic needs, our clinical team provides therapy and case management, and partner agencies provide on-site and community-based access to stabilizing resources, such as housing, transportation, health care, employment, education, addiction services, legal aid, government benefits, ID cards and more.
Carol Stewart Village
Home and a chance to thrive
Each year, thousands of young people in central Ohio struggle to navigate from adolescence to independence and fall into homelessness. At Star House’s Milo Grogan
drop-in center in 2019, we saw a rolling population of 115 homeless youth and their small children daily, up from 65 per day in 2018. Last year, we served 1,285 individuals,
offering them safe respite and a chance to thrive. Through continuous best practice research with our on-site partner, The Ohio State University, we know that the
number one cause of our guests’ homelessness is disconnection from family and that a leading predictor of exiting homelessness is a supportive community.
To maintain stable housing, any one of us needs to sustain the following four assets: affordable housing, a living-wage career, health & well-being and a supportive community. Without all four in place simultaneously, we are susceptible to chronic housing instability— living without a place to call home. Our institutional vision for central Ohio youth is that they have a home and a chance to thrive. Our drop-in center serves as the gateway to thriving for our guests— offering outreach to the streets, connection to food, clothing, safe respite, health care, therapy, case management, and access to housing, jobs, education, legal aid, mentoring and more. A strong partner base for our current services has ensured that we are ready to take an important next step toward our strategic vision: Establish a neighborhood for young people, ages 18-24, connecting them with best-in-class housing, living wage jobs and certification, health and well being, and social
connections, all on one site.
Star House and Finance Fund have partnered to transform two blighted motels, situated on four acres in Franklinton, into 60 below-market-rate studio apartments with on-site
access to education and transitional employment; resources like mental and physical health care; and intentional social connections through mentoring and
opportunities to engage in the Franklinton community.
The multi-building campus is named Carol Stewart Village after a long-time, Franklinton civic advocate. Star House and Finance Fund will provide housing for up to 62 young people, ages 18-24, in the first year at Carol Stewart Village. With $1.6M in funding from the City of Columbus, $1.0M in funding from Federal Home Loan Bank, support from AEP, Anthem, City of Columbus/Affordable Housing Trust, COCIC, Crane Group, Federal Home Loan Bank, Greer Foundation, Installed Building Products, Mike and Paige Crane, Peggy Kelley, PNC, Siemer Family Foundation, The Columbus Foundation, CoverMyMeds and an anonymous fund, Carol Stewart Village will create a community within a community. At a total cost of $4.5M, this project is a signature investment in Franklinton— a neighborhood poised for significant growth.
Star Works connects young people experiencing homelessness with transitional employment opportunities through on-site social enterprise and workforce development partners.
The path to success for our youth is too often filled with setbacks due to catch-22 barriers. For example, youth lacking stable housing, income and transportation experience greater difficulties gaining traction to achieve and sustain employment. In order to achieve stability, many young people first need flexible skill development and transitional employment opportunities that align with their current state of instability. To address this need, we created Star Works, a trauma-informed workforce development program. The program, a partnership with workforce development and social enterprise partners, such as Columbus Works, Columbus City Schools, Wild Tiger Tees, and Peace + Love + Bling, offers temporary, flexible, trauma-informed training and transitional employment as well as connections to livable wages and long-term employment options. Star Works removes barriers to completing training and gaining employment by working with youth to solve the issues that may cause them to lose more traditional jobs.
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Young people need supportive relationships in order to thrive. In fact, we know through research with The Ohio State University that social connections are a leading predictor of exiting homelessness. What’s more, research also tells us that mentoring has been proven more successful than therapy for youth who have experienced trauma.
The Open Table program, a nationally-recognized model, connects individual Star House guests with a "table" of six to eight mentors who they meet with once a week for one year to goal-set, goal-report and thrive. Ten tables were formed during our 2019-2020 pilot.
If your corporation, alumni group, place of worship or civic or community organization is interested in forming a mentor group, please reach out to us.
SecondNurture, Harmony Project and Starfish Alliance teamed up to connect members of the Harmony Project, a popular 500+-person choir, with residents of Carol Stewart Village for a unique music-based group mentor program.
Note: While we are not actively forming new mentor groups at this time, due to COVID-19, we plan to form new tables again in 2021. Having your information now will help us launch more quickly once we have the "all clear." Please express interest in your organization forming a mentor group below.