Community Shelter Board is a collective impact organization leading the community’s response to homelessness by creating collaborations, developing innovative solutions, and investing in quality programs in Columbus and Franklin County. Community Shelter Board oversees an annual budget of $31 million to support homeless programs and services at 19 different provider organizations across the community. Last year, these programs ended homelessness for more than 12,000 people. Community Shelter Board is funded by the City of Columbus, the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, the United Way of Central Ohio, The Columbus Foundation, Nationwide Foundation, American Electric Power Foundation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the State of Ohio, and many other public and private investors.
The poor, no matter how destitute, have enormous untapped capacity; find it, be inspired by it, and build upon it. -Robert D. Lupton
Melvin Schottenstein believed that it was not acceptable for any person to be homeless in the Columbus and Franklin County community, even for one night. He had a bottom line inability to accept any situation that left a man, woman or child without food or shelter. He worked closely with another local philanthropist, Nancy Jeffrey; and a local businessman, Bob Lazarus; to bring together both public and private funders to fashion a collective community response to homelessness.
These three people were absolute champions around the issue of homelessness in Columbus, and were instrumental in founding the Community Shelter Board in 1986.