COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – A Columbus non-profit has big plans for a west side building that’s been vacant for years. Lower Lights Ministries has bought the property at 2323 Sullivant Avenue and plans to turn it into what the organization is calling a Child Enrichment Center.

“There’s going to be a lot going on in that building,” said Jan Ruark, CEO Emeritus of Lower Lights Ministries. 

It was one of the final projects she got started during her tenure.

“We just want to make it a safe place for kids to come, grow, learn, we want them to become leaders in their community and excel at school,” she said.

The center will provide high quality affordable childcare for low-income families. It will help much more than just children through its three-pronged approach, according to Ruark. Mentoring, classes, and other resources will also be available for parents.

“It’s more about giving people opportunities, giving them hope, giving them options and justice, and they feel like you know I’ve got a fair chance,” said Ruark. “The needs isn’t just immediate, it’s long term. It’s not about the need as much as it’s about working toward justice for families. I think the primary need is to give people a chance. To give them hope that there is a way for them to grow, get stronger, achieve what they want to achieve.”

The third prong will be for the center’s employees. Ruark says there will be opportunities for career development and personal growth.

“Every little seed of hope moves justice forward and improves neighborhoods and so that we’re excited about doing,” she said. 

Ruark hopes the building will be completed by Spring 2023.