Homelessness is a complex issue that affects individuals, families, and communities across the world. Governments, nonprofit organizations, and community groups around the world are working to address homelessness and provide support to those in need. For Columbus Ohio the Make-A-Day Foundation is committed to making a difference.
The Make-A-Day Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization that provides outreach to Columbus’ homeless population. For more than three years, these outreach efforts have been centered around hosting block party-styled, pop-up events. Each event focuses on connecting our homeless guests with our community and resources available to end homelessness.
Their mission is to empower the impoverished through inclusive community events, acts of kindness, outreach, advocacy, and educational awareness.
To assist their guests with ongoing challenges after events, Make A Day closely partners with health, behavioral health, community and social service agencies. These partnerships allow Make-A-Day’s homeless guests to access “on-the-spot” presumptive Medicaid health insurance coverage, on-sight medical, behavioral health, dental and vision, housing, vocational, and human services. Make-A-Day has also established an ongoing partnership with Franklin County’s Office of Justice Policy Programs to offer their guests access to on-sight expungement, warrant removal, peer support services, and other smart justice resources and programs.
Make-A-Day’s programs include Pop-Up Outreach events to provide opportunities for guests to build personal relationships with typical community members. By connecting guests to their volunteers, providing made-to-order meals from gourmet food trucks, offering professional haircuts, shampoos, styling and shaves, Make- A-Day creates an equalizing space for marginalized people to connect to caring members of their community and build trust to facilitate the exploration of opportunities.
To assist homeless guests with ongoing challenges, the Make-A-Day Foundation has established partnerships with local health, behavioral health, criminal justice, housing, community and social service agencies. These partnerships provide access to “on-the-spot” presumptive Medicaid health insurance coverage, on-sight dental services, and medical, behavioral health, dental, vision, housing & benefit referrals and smart justice opportunities.
Another important program is Make-A-Day's innovative "Community Opportunity and Appreciation Team (COAT)" mobile outreach program which meets people where they are - this includes where people sleep and where they are in life’s journey. In contrast to the traditional, “brick-and-mortar, come to us" approach, Make- A-Day's COAT program reaches those who are the most vulnerable and least able to proactively access existing community resources.
Their mobile kitchen starts things off with an act of appreciation by offering a chef crafted, made-to-order meal. Their mobile salon then offers guests a professional haircut, shampoo, styling and conversation. By setting the tone with acts of appreciation, they change the dynamic with guests who are frequently treated as invisible and without value.
Make-A-Day Foundation's mobile program also provides a holistic set of opportunities. Our embedded, masters- level social worker and trained volunteers partner with peer supporters and other agency outreach programs to complete referrals and provide follow ups for physical, dental & mental health, substance use, housing, employment, social service and criminal justice opportunities.
For more information on how to support or volunteer with them visit: Events — MAKE-A-DAY Foundation (makeaday.fun)
Thank you to Lindsay Barber, Executive Director, and the founders and staff that provide the passion, dedication and tireless efforts on behalf of our community’s homeless population!
“Hunger will return, hair will grow, clothes will fade, but acts of love and encouragement create everlasting growth.”