Columbus is an amazing community to be a part of, and even though it’s the biggest city in Ohio, it has the small town feel of the Midwest. It’s also special in that Columbus is rich in community resources and organizations.
There are community resources in Columbus that can help you through whatever life throws are you. There are also plenty of activities, for you to enjoy and get involved with events around the city. Check out our weekend events calendar for things to do every weekend!
Free resources in Columbus
If you have questions or need help with resources, call 2-1-1. Operators will help connect you to resources and social programs.
Find a whole section with programs offered, including health, financial, and well-being, as well as all topics regulated by the department.
CAP4KIDS has a comprehensive list of community resources available for families and parents. Resources include food assistance, emergency housing, unemployment benefits, educational resources, mental health assistance, and fun activities.
Older Adults: Staying Connected
To help ensure that older Ohioans stay connected while staying at home, Ohio Department of Aging offers a daily check-in by phone for Ohioans age 60 or older.
Ohio Department of Aging’s Staying Connected program provides a daily check-in by phone for Ohioans age 60 or older. Older adults can sign up for a daily call for a predetermined amount of time. When participants answer the phone, they will be asked to respond via touch-tone to confirm that they are OK or to access live support.
If no one answers after three attempts, a call is then made to an alternate contact (if provided) or to non-emergency services. The service can be canceled at any time.
Eligible Ohioans can sign up at aging.ohio.gov or by calling 1-800-266-4346.
Staying Connected is not an emergency response service, and participants should always use 911 or their emergency response system if they are injured or in need of emergency assistance.
There are lots of other services and resources for older adults on the website.
Food and Grocery Resources in Columbus
Check back for details on the 2022 Summer Lunch program.
Blessing Boxes are outdoor cabinets in public places that are stocked with non-perishable food items, basic toiletries, baby supplies, and anything else that might be considered a blessing to someone who finds themselves in need.
Items are anonymously donated and anonymously received. A simple rule applies – Leave what you can, take what you need. If you have extra (unexpired) non-perishable food items in your house, this is a great way to pass them on, as so many recipients don’t qualify for foodbanks, but still need help.
There are 100+ Blessing Boxes around Columbus and about 50 more that go by other names
Find locations of Blessing Boxes around Central Ohio below or at this link.
Food banks are always a major player in preventing hunger, and in times like this, many more families may find themselves needing the assistance of food banks to get through the weeks. There are many food banks and food pantries located throughout Central Ohio.
If you need assistance finding one, check with your local churches or call 2-1-1 for a list of community resources. Food banks may also be able to assist with pet food and baby care needs.
No one should be ashamed to need assistance from a food bank. Find a list of food assistance options for counties served by the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.
If you wish to help in your community and have the means, please consider making a food or monetary donation to a local food bank. Many food banks are able to provide up to 3 meals per every $1 donated.
Be a good neighbor
While we should practice proper distancing, we should also pull together with our communities. Please check on your neighbors to see if they have access to food, medicines, and basic household needs.
It is especially important to check with relatives and neighbors who are elderly, disabled, home bound, or at risk for other reasons. Even if you cannot help directly with their needs, you may know of someone who can. Use social media for good!
Mental Illness, Drug and Alcohol Addiction, and Recovery Resources
Ohio Careline: 1-800-720-9616
The NORD Center Warm Line: 1-800-888-6161
Project DAWN – Ohio overdose prevention support.
Ohio Addiction Recovery Center – Columbus-based treatment center with numerous local COVID guides and online support resources.
Detox Local – A list of SAMHSA-approved detox centers near Columbus.
NAMI Ohio – Support for people with severe mental illness, as well as their family and close friends
Live Another Day: A carefully curated list of the best rehab treatment centers in Columbus
Complete small diy projects inside your house, like hanging framed photos or art, painting walls, rearranging furniture. Need to borrow some tools? Franklin County residents can borrow tools from ModCon Living’s Free Tool Rental Library with membership.
Do some digital organization. Organize photos and delete ones you don’t want. Clear out your email inbox. Delete or organize folders in your computer.
Use your library card!
While some libraries are still closed or limited, you can utilize so many library resources without leaving your house! Sign up online for a library card (if you don’t have one), and you’ll have access to thousands of books, audiobooks, movies, magazines, music, and more!
You can read books on your phone or other personal device for FREE using Libby, Tumblebooks learning for kids, other apps featuring media available through the Ohio Digital Library and more.
- Columbus Metropolitan Library Systems
- Delaware County District Libraries
- Pataskala Public Library
- Westerville Public Library
- Worthington Libraries
- Upper Arlington Public Library
- Southwest Public Libraries
- Bexley Public Library
- Marysville Public Library
- Licking County Library System
We will be continually be add to this list as resources and ideas are discovered!