Federal dollars to flow to Columbus-area youth programs

Columbus city leaders Thursday announced that the city would put $16.2 million — mostly from federal COVID-19 relief funds — toward youth programs this summer, which officials said was 2.5 times last year’s amount.

“What we’re trying to do is make sure this is a seamless handoff from the Columbus City Schools to the hot summer,” said Columbus City Council President Shannon Hardin during an announcement in Franklinton.

“This is a historic investment in our young people, in our community, to keep us safe. What we know is that it worked last year. We know that when we got those dollars on the streets, we connected with those 30,000 young people, it decreased violence out there.”

Of the total dollars, $14.4 million comes from the American Rescue Plan, while another $1.8 million comes from the city’s general fund. City Council will take up approving the expenditures beginning next week.

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