“It’s more than a house, it’s a movement,” Columbus nonprofit receives $500K from city

Good News Notes:

Columbus City Council voted to award $500,000 to a local nonprofit that has big plans for an empty lot on the city’s northside.

Zora’s House, currently located on Summit Street in the University District, plans to break ground at its new location at 1394 North Fourth Street in the fall.

It would give a much-needed facelift to the old D&J Carryout location that had become a common spot for crime and a city eyesore.

“At one point, it was known as the most violent corner of the city of Columbus,” Zora’s House CEO LC Johnson said. “You could definitely sell that and build some market-rate condos and be done, but our neighbors told us, this has to be something for the community. Given what this block has represented, this is the only option.”

Johnson said Zora’s House is a community space for women of color that she created because nothing like it existed when she moved to Columbus four years ago.

“In a lot of the spaces I was occupying professionally and otherwise, I was the only black woman and I also knew that my experience wasn’t a rare experience. Many women of color bear a burden of representation and don’t get the amount of support and community they need to activate their leadership, scholarship, their activism,” Johnson said.

Zora’s House would expand from its current 2,000 square feet of space to a new, 10,000 square foot building complete with community workspaces, offices, and even bedrooms where members would be able to stay for weeks at a time.

“It would be a really unique, residential, incubator program where folks can come and stay for up to two weeks at Zora’s House, on-site, and get wrap-around coaching and support as they work on their dissertation or writing a novel for example,” Johnson said.

The new building would also provide more space and resources for Zora’s House to continue the work they already do but on a larger scale. So far, Johnson said they’ve been able to impact over 3,000 women of color by helping them create connections with other women of color and leading them on a journey toward their career or academic goals.

“It transformed my life in that it made me believe I could do the things I want to do for myself,” Zora’s House member Tasha Lomo said….”

View the whole story here: https://abc6onyourside.com/news/local/columbus-city-council-franklin-county-ohio-north-fourth-street-university-district-nonprofit-zoras-house-women-of-color-north-fourth-street-4-6-2022

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