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Columbus Mayor Michael B. Coleman joined City Councilmember Hearcel Craig, Janet Jackson and Nationwide Children’s Hospital CEO, Steve Allen, MD, to celebrate the completion of a new home on the South Side that is a concrete example of the neighborhood’s revitalization. Homebuyer LaQuita Long has two children, her daughter Zeza was born at 25 weeks and spent the first 360 days of her life at Nationwide Children’s. Zeza is now wheelchair-bound and receives ongoing treatment requiring frequent visits to the hospital, so the family needed a home nearby. With the support of Healthy Neighborhoods, Healthy Families; United Way of Central Ohio and the City of Columbus, a once vacant and blighted lot was turned into wheelchair-accessible house that the Long family has now made their home. Healthy Neighborhoods, Healthy Families, first announced in September 2008, is a five-pronged, public-private collaborative focused on neighborhood revitalization in Columbus’ South Side. It’s a broad-based effort that is responsive to the needs and desires of the community. In collaboration with area nonprofit partner, Community Development for All People, the collaborative renovates and sells homes, helping to address the issue of vacant and abandoned properties. The collaborative also offers programs like home buyer education and homeowner repair grants. To date, the collaborative has helped improve 70 homes through full rehab and home repair grants. United Way is investing nearly one million dollars in the collaborative over three years. This investment is one of the many ways United Way is working to reach our community’s Bold Goal of reducing vacant and abandoned housing by one-third in the five priority neighborhoods of Franklinton, King-Lincoln, Northland, Near South Side and Weinland Park.



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