YMCA of Central Ohio

Running to strengthen their community

A neighborhood doesn’t always have a sense of community. But one group of residents who live in the residential section of the Downtown YMCA recently removed the barriers of communication to discover community and brotherhood.

In September, five residents began training for the Ohio State University (OSU) 4 Miler. They received free shoes through donations from Front Runner and met weekly to train for the run. Volunteers from the YMCA of Central Ohio met with the residents during training to encourage them throughout the training process. In addition, the residents met with local church members and a Reverend at some gatherings to discuss their progress and share experiences.

Amanda Owen, Director of Supportive Services at the Downtown YMCA, said, “Through the running club, residents were able to form a community, engage in discussions about issues affecting their lives and build confidence.” They also exchanged personal stories and took time to build friendships with one another. The residents successfully completed the OSU 4 Miler and are already discussing plans for their next activities.

The YMCA of Central Ohio, one of Central Ohio’s largest nonprofit organizations and one of the nation’s most recognized brands, offers residential services to low-income adult men at its Downtown YMCA. Often on the verge of homelessness, the men are able to live in a building next to the Downtown YMCA and receive reduced rental agreements. For more information about resident services at the Downtown YMCA, please contact Amanda Owen at 614-384-2285.