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Franklin County Announces Comprehensive Plan To Fight Poverty

Columbus Urban League president Stephanie Hightower at a press conference announcing Franklin County's new poverty reduction plan.
Adora Namigadde
/
WOSU
Columbus Urban League president Stephanie Hightower at a press conference announcing Franklin County's new poverty reduction plan.

The Franklin County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday announced a plan to reduce poverty in Central Ohio.

The Rise Together Blueprint is the result of interviews with hundreds of Franklin County residents and  lists more than 120 recommendations for action.

Franklin County Board of Commissioners president Marilyn Brown says the first step is to collaborate with the Columbus business community to create an Innovation Center.

"We’re gonna hire three staff members who wake up every day with this on their minds," Brown says. "Only this. They don’t have to focus on mandated reporting things to the state or the federal government."

The staffers will work out of the Columbus Partnership. Commissioners want it to become a stand-alone organization, to which they would commit $2.5 million annually.

"They will come up with the metrics," Brown says. "They will come up with the programs, the services, and they will come up with the ways to really move the needle in these three areas.”

Brown says they will focus on increasing access to health care, putting jobs in economically disadvantaged areas and getting more young people into training programs.

"We wanna figure out if there’s a way we can be more flexible and offer childcare to every family that we can," Brown says.

She says that’s a loftier goal that is a direct result of the blueprint.

Adora Namigadde was a reporter for 89.7 NPR News. She joined WOSU News in February 2017. A Michigan native, she graduated from Wayne State University with a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in French.