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BREAD, (Building Responsibility, Equality and Dignity) is a coalition of several dozen diverse faith communities in Columbus and Franklin County. It researches social justice issues and advocates before government leaders for justice on such issues as health care, jobs, housing and education. BREAD has had a number if “Issue Campaigns,” among them have been ones centered around:
· increasing access to safe, decent, affordable housing;
· increasing access to health care by increasing the capacity of the Columbus Neighborhood Health Centers;
· decreasing the number of Columbus Public School students at risk of reading failure;
· raising the number of people hired into jobs created with tax abatements
Some of BREAD’s campaigns have come to successful conclusions, others are still in process, and new ones arise annually. Key to BREAD’s success, is using the numbers of people who attend our rallies and action meetings to impress on government leaders that there are many people of faith who are called to work for justice, who are aware of the issues and who vote.
The IC BREAD Team participates in BREAD’s research, follows its progress, communicates the issues within the parish and seeks to organize as many parish members as possible to attend key meetings.
Issues and Successes
The IC Bread Team is planning a series of issue papers in areas of social justice concern in Franklin County. The first is in regard to Youth and Education.
1. Increased funding for the Affordable Housing Trust. Most recently , the Franklin County Commissioners voted to dedicate proceeds from a $1 increase in the title-transfer fee to the Affordable Housing Trust. The trust meets a critical and growing need in our community by increasing the supply of affordable housing, in both homeownership and rental-housing opportunities.
2. Expanded capacity of Neighborhood Health Centers. In November the County Commission voted to invest $1.3M to expand the capacity of the Neighborhood Health Centers to provide "new medical homes" to over 2,000 patients. This represents 2,000 people who would not have had medical care otherwise.
3. Improved transportation to jobs. In September a new COTA Transit Center began operation at E. Main and Champion focused on providing express bus routes to job sites and bringing new investment and life to E. Main St. BREAD worked for the last 4 years to make this happen.
For information, contact Mary Ann Grossman at 614-451-5872, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org