By Maia Johnson
Whetstone’s sophomore humanities class visited two settlement houses in Columbus this past Monday- Gladden Community House, which is Franklinton, and the Community Resource Center here in Clintonville. A settlement house is defined as an institution in an inner-city area providing educational, recreational, and other social services to the community. Such institutions typically provide groceries, childcare, and support through difficult situations to economically struggling families and individuals.
Gladden Community House provides several youth programs to families in the community. Preschooling is one, although they also offer after-school care to children of all ages. Games, crafts, and snacks/meals are included. Additionally, a food pantry is provided to struggling families in the area.
Mrs. Bell, tenth grade humanities teacher, said of Gladden: “Gladden has a unique history. It’s named after Washington Gladden, who was part of the Social Gospel movement in Columbus. It has a long history of serving the people of Franklinton. The Gladden Community House has a lot of direct services to assist people in that neighborhood, including one of the highest-ranked preschools in Columbus. They have a lot of on-site programs; sports programs, after-school programs, the food pantry…”
The Clintonville Community Resource Center (CRC), though a smaller building than Gladden, also provides excellent assistance to struggling families, including a food pantry, community meals, and after-school youth programs. Mrs. Bell mentioned that she has noticed, “how much community connection there is.” Tenth-grade student Isabel Cook also noted that she loved the way CRC welcomed volunteers, and that the employees there do encourage volunteers to be as positive as possible, especially when working with community members receiving service.
For students looking to receive volunteer hours, considering either of these settlement houses would be a perfect way to both earn your hours for graduation but also to immerse yourself in your community. Please visit either of these websites for more details: