March 2022

Columbus City Council approves over $1 million in funding 4 nonprofits

Courtesy of WBNS 10TV
By Olivia Ugino
March 21, 2022

‘I’m gonna die in the streets but now it’s going to be saving lives’: Columbus nonprofit employee aims to curb gang violence. — Adrian Jones works for the Columbus Urban League’s Neighborhood Violence Intervention Program which helps young people stay away from gangs.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus City Council is taking more steps to curb violence in the city. The council unanimously approved more than $1 million in funding to four different nonprofits.

The funding includes Columbus Urban League for their work with gang violence.

Adrian Jones works for the nonprofit’s Neighborhood Violence Intervention Program. Jones dropped out of high school at 15 and started the Bloods gang in Columbus.

“I spent 30 years on a hard journey on gangbanging, drug dealing, in and out of the penitentiary, in and out of county jail,” he said.

Jones left jail in 2009, got his GED, and changed his life. He extended his education to Ohio State where he graduated with a 4.0.

The Neighborhood Violence Intervention Program helps young people, typically between 12 and 24, stay away from gangs.

Over the past year, the Urban League said the program helped 40 young people get summer jobs, calmed down 85 potentially violent situations and helped with 19 peace agreements.

The funding from Columbus City Council will help extend the program and expand its outreach.

“In the past, we’ve been confined to certain segments of the city, but now with this new legislation underway that’s being crafted under the new Director of Public Safety, it’ll give us our folks the ability to work throughout all of Columbus,” President of Columbus Urban League Stephanie Hightower said.

Community for New Direction, Community Crime Patrol Inc. and Community Refugee and Immigrant Services are the other three groups that received funding.