Neighborhood Service

Confluence Volunteers will have the opportunity to serve five hours a week with social justice projects in the neighborhood.

Franklinton is a fascinating place. As the first settlement of Columbus, the area has a rich, complex history colored with culture shifts, floods, neglect and revival. Franklinton has a strong Appalachian influence from previous migrations, creating a fascinating dynamic of Urban Appalachian culture in the neighborhood.

Despite its rich history, and proximity to a thriving downtown in Ohio’s capital city, catastrophic floods, urban disinvestment, and neglect have resulted in many challenges in Franklinton, being cited as one of the largest “white slums” in America according to US News and World Report. A recent study conducted by the Franklin County Family Comes First Council (2007) ranked Franklinton (zip code 43222) the most “at-risk neighborhood” in Franklin County.

Both Franklinton Gardens and Franklinton Cycleworks were started out of  Jezreel, an intentional community in Franklinton, and have grown leaps and bounds through their partnership with St. John’s and the Diocese of Southern Ohio. Serving with either the Gardens or Cycleworks will give volunteers a unique opportunity to understand issues of justice surrounding food and transportation, and build relationships with neighbors through the practical acts of planting gardens and repairing bicycles.

Franklinton Gardens

Franklinton Gardens is a nonprofit urban farm located in Franklinton—a historic neighborhood on the west side of Columbus, Ohio.  Franklinton Gardens is dedicated to growing and sharing healthy food, creating beauty in abandoned places, promoting nutrition and active living, and building community with our neighbors. Franklinton Gardens produced over 5,000 pounds of organic fruits and vegetables for distribution to the Franklinton community this past season.

The Franklinton Produce Market, which sits next door to the Intern House, is open July – October. For the fourth consecutive year, this food stamp friendly market will offer the organic produce of Franklinton Gardens and other local farmers at affordable prices. Simple healthy recipes and nutritional information are made available to residents as well.

Franklinton Produce Market

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Watch the video below to learn more about Franklinton Gardens and the neighborhood. Video directed by Franklinton residents, Matt and Elisa Leahy of Noonday Films

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/43507913″>Franklinton Gardens</a>

Franklinton Cycleworks

Franklinton Cycleworks (FCW) is a non-profit community bicycle shop serving the neighborhood of Franklinton since 2008.
Our mission is threefold:

  • Educate patrons about bicycle repair and maintenance
  • Create a space and provide the means for people to maintain their bicycles
  • Foster values of community, environmental sustainability, and healthy living

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FCW looks forward to helping anyone interested in developing the skills and knowledge necessary to maintain one’s bike. Almost all of the bicycle parts at  the shop are used and are priced to be very affordable.

FCW works exclusively with used bicycles because we believe in environmental stewardship and the importance of restoration. Bikes, while fun and responsible transportation, require the use of non-renewable resources. The restoration of used bikes requires far fewer new materials and fosters the art of bringing new life to the forgotten and underappreciated.

FCW sells some rehabilitated used bikes, assists in the education of future mechanics and participates in various bike give-away programs in an effort to be a model of restoration and community cooperation. It is our hope that these ideals will diffuse into the social fabric of Franklinton and greater Columbus.

Watch the video below to learn more about Franklinton Cycleworks and the neighborhood.

Interesting Franklinton Statistics

  • Most Franklinton census tracts have the worst rating (10 out of 10) on the Federal Community Disadvantagement Indexthrough the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinqunecy Prevention (OJJDP)
  • Declining population of over nearly 11,000 residents, with the highest share of people under age 5 in the area*
  • Franklinton has the lowest median household income ($23,316), and the highest poverty rates in Franklin County with 37% of households below poverty level, and over 77% of households below self-sufficiency*
  • Less than one-third of the adult population has a HS diploma*
  • Over 70% of homes are vacant or renter-occupied*
  • Franklinton has the highest teen pregnancy rate in Franklin County**
  • Franklinton has the highest teen crime rates (highest misdemeanor rate and third highest felony rate)**
  • Franklinton children have the highest rate of mental health disorders in Franklin County**
  • The population consists of 68.9% white, 22% black, 2% Asian, 7.1% other ethnic origin

Sources:

*Columbus and Franklin County Consolidated Plan 2010-2014

**Franklin County Family Comes First Council Key Indicators Master Report 2007

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