Crittenton Groundbreaking Celebration

On June 16, Grady stepped up to the microphone two times – to kick off and to conclude our “Sowing Seeds of Hope” groundbreaking celebration. He read a poem, “The Rose that Grew from Concrete”, and a quote from Tupac Shakur. In between, Grady joined Directions Steel Band to perform for us, as so many of our youth were excited to do on this special day. Grady is 10 years old and one of our Crittenton Center youth. He has been attending since 2019 and is a proud honor roll student. Mayor Ginther sat between Oumou, who shared her poem, “I am”, and Grady, who, according to the Mayor’s speech, shared some pretty good jokes with him.


The Rose that Grew from Concrete

Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?
Proving nature’s law is wrong it learned to walk without having feet.
Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams, it learned to breathe fresh air.
Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.

-Tupac Shakur, autobiographical


Crittenton Community Center
Sowing Seeds of Hope
Groundbreaking Celebration

Our kids and parents were joined by Mayor Andrew Ginther, our 21 non-profit partners, and Directions for Youth & Families’ Board and staff for this long-awaited day!

Joining in the celebration were City Council President Shannon Hardin, Senator Hearcel Craig, Representative Latyna Humphrey, and Dan Sharpe of The Columbus Foundation. We enjoyed spoken word and music and dance performances from our youth. The Columbus Zoo and Aquarium brought “Trout” the penguin along with other animals, and CD 92.9 FM’s ice cream truck provided much-appreciated cold refreshments for the almost 100 degree day.

Our thanks to all who have joined us on this journey


What we heard:

“I am so very thankful to have a fun, safe, and supportive environment for my children to attend. The amazing staff focus on their social and academic development. As a working mother, I am very grateful to have that support system that steps in as I step away to take care of my family. Thank you for doing an amazing job at encouraging our youth to participate in an array of activities. I just want to thank the Crittenton Center for making ‘trying new things’ the norm for our children.” – Tiana Lee, Crittenton Center parent (pictured right), was a featured speaker

“The groundbreaking celebration was quite emotional for me and others because we finally see it coming to fruition. What a great day for our youth and families. They represented themselves in spectacular fashion.” – Ernie Sullivan, DFYF Board member

“I have never been more proud to be part of Directions for Youth & Families than I was today. What a great event for a great addition to a community. And there was no questioning the passion of everyone involved.” – Kim Niswander, DFYF Board member

“The Osteopathic Heritage Foundations are proud to support the new Crittenton Community Center, where Directions for Youth & Families will offer a whole-person approach to supporting behavioral health, skill-building and wellbeing of the families in the Kimberly Park neighborhood.” –Susan Beaudry, Vice President, Osteopathic Heritage Foundations

“DFYF and OhioHealth have worked diligently to deliver care and to address the challenges of the inter generational cycle of poverty. Our community partnership with DFYF and the Wellness on Wheels program has woven and strengthened the thread of supportive programs and services.” – Rebecca Barbeau, Director of Operations, OhioHealth


We need your help. Closing out our capital campaign during a pandemic has been challenging. We have raised 6.9M towards our goal of 8.9M (pre-pandemic the goal was 6.6M, a startling increase due to rising costs). Please join us in this community changing movement – a restorative justice model of community healing grounded in the basic needs of food, shelter, safety, health, education and human life. Find out more here.


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