Programs are designed to prevent young people from becoming involved in crime, keep them involved, learn and develop new skills.

COLUMBUS, OH – Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginter announced Tuesday that the city is providing $20.1 million for summer programs for children and teens.

Programs focus on violence prevention, training and employment opportunities and academic enrichment. They are designed to prevent young people from becoming involved in crime, to keep them involved, to learn and to develop new skills.

“The pandemic is finally behind us, but its effects continue to affect society — especially our young people, who have been disproportionately affected,” Ginter said. “We have a special commitment to continue to reinvest in their health and well-being to ensure they have the skills, knowledge and experience they need to succeed, now and in the future.”

Of the $20.1 million in funding, $8.9 million will go to more than 90 community organizations that submitted funding requests in April. You can read the list of organizations that receive funds here.

One such organization includes Always With Us, a nonprofit organization created by former Ohio State basketball player George Reese.

“Reducing violence through their employment and being able to do that in my hometown, on the east side, and at my alma mater, Independence High School, definitely means a lot,” Reese said.

Ginter said parents should do their part by knowing where their children are at all times, locking up their guns and following curfews. He added that with the help of these programs, the city will contribute to the fight against youth violence.

Reese says it’s all about getting kids to trust you. Its program will serve about 125 children between the ages of 6 and 12.

“The best thing for me is that I get to do this in my hometown, 43232. Seeing these kids at that age reminds you of yourself. Being able to break those cycles and turn them in the right direction is a win-win for me,” Reese said.

Ordinances authorizing $8.9 million in city funding will be considered by the Columbus City Council at its May 22 meeting.

The city says this investment will join an additional $11.2 million already approved for a number of city-funded summer programs, including the Teen and Police Academy (TAPS), ReRoute, summer internships and ongoing partnerships with several public organizations.

“We are proud to invest in our community partners who are critical to the success of our children and youth,” said Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin. “This funding will provide Columbus children with a wide range of opportunities to learn, grow and work in their neighborhood.”

The Columbus City Council voted Monday to award $500,000 to two organizations in hopes of ending violence in the Short North Arts District.

Money from the vote will go toward the Short North Alliance and Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District to provide safety and security in the area.

The groups received the same funding last year and used it for security initiatives and special duty officers to patrol the area.

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