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“Photograph by Jon Groner”

The B.R.E.A.D (Building Responsibility Equality And Dignity) organization held it’s annual Nehemiah Action on May 9, 2016.  In attendance was a crowd estimated at 2300, comprised of a diverse group of faith organizations from the Columbus area.  The group came together to present concerns and propose solutions to government officials who could help move the solutions forward.  Foundations for Families in partnership with The Church of Christ 1889 Genessee Avenue helped support the two initiatives presented at this year’s rally.

Welcome Columbus ( Columbus Municipal ID)

Many Columbus residents such as immigrants, victims of domestic violence, foster children, low-income elderly persons, the homeless, and others, face obstacles getting access to basic services due to the inability to obtain and keep ID documents.  The proposed Columbus Municipal ID would be a secure photo ID card issued by the City.  The applicant would still need to furnish documentation to establish their residency and identity but it would expand the list of acceptable documents and be more flexible than what is currently required to obtain a state ID.

Because we assist many of the populations impacted by this problem in the Linden area, we support the efforts of B.R.E.A.D in addressing the concern with City officials.

Hire and Better Pay!

B.R.E.A.D. is also working in the Linden and Hilltop areas, to address  unemployment and underemployment ( workers unable to earn wages that will sufficiently support their families).  The unemployment rates are much higher in these areas partly because people who are trying to reenter the work force after being incarcerated are not being considered by employers.  And those who do find jobs are working for wages that won’t support their families.  Few companies invest in these areas which means the cycle continues.

Two recommendations were made at the rally to address these concerns:

1.) Create institutional mechanisms to reward private industries with contracts from the city for hiring people with criminal backgrounds.

2.) Add community wealth building strategies in neighborhoods with the highest levels of poverty like Linden and the Hilltop.

If you would like more information regarding the B.R.E.A.D organization and the proposed initiatives see their website: www.breadcolumbus.com or contact them at (614) 220-9363.