COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Star House is a Columbus organization that helps young people ages 14 to 24 experiencing homelessness. They have many resources available for central Ohio youth, including a 24/7 drop-in center and an affordable neighborhood near Franklinton.
Star House at Carol Stewart Village houses over 60 young adults who have experienced homelessness during their lives, and local company COhatch has committed to renovating all the units for free.
COhatch specializes in creating areas for people to work with private offices, coworking spaces and meeting rooms. Dave Anderson, COhatch’s Head of Impact says this is a way for members and employees to get out of their comfort zone.
“We have an opportunity not only to create a beautiful space but to actually create a home for someone who maybe hasn’t experienced a home of their own,” says Anderson. “So, we get the opportunity to do that for the first time.”
Anderson says COhatch wanted to partner with Star House because of the impact they make on local youth in need. 62 units are available for people ages 18 to 24 at Carol Stewart Village. “The residents are able to stay here up to seven years and have access to social services and just gain stability in workforce development, financial literacy, things like that to help them gain stability and move out on their own,” says Erin Query, the manager of Housing and Engagement at Star House at Carol Stewart Village.
Most of the apartments are currently housing residents, yet most of them are not renovated. COhatch wanted to change that, and they plan to remodel all 62 apartments. On Tuesday volunteers worked on the second unit in the neighborhood and they remodel each unit from start to finish in one day.
Query says it’s amazing to see what COhatch volunteers can accomplish in a few short hours. “To invest their own dollars, their own time to make these units beautiful, new, something the residents have likely not seen before is a private nonprofit partnership that I think we really need to see more of,” says Query.
Anderson says COhatch employees and members want to make a difference and Star House is giving them that opportunity. “It’s bringing people together; it’s giving people an opportunity to step out of their office and out of their normal workday and make a huge impact on the youth in our city,” says Anderson.
Learn more about Star House’s mission and how you can give back here.