Over thirty years ago, New Life Community Outreach began its ministry at North Broadway UMC when volunteers began serving free breakfast on Sundays to their neighbors in the Columbus community. As years went by, the ministry continued to evolve as its volunteers recognized the growing needs in their local community.
Today, New Life Community Outreach is a separate 501(c)3, housed within Short North UMC and nearly entirely volunteer-run. Their services have expanded from serving breakfast on Sunday mornings, to providing medical care, legal support, spiritual care, and men’s clothing to persons in need. The expansion has been thanks to strong partnerships with local companies and community organizations.
By partnering with the local physicians, New Life operates a Health and Wellness Center every other Sunday, where individuals have access to free medical services. At the Health Center, people can have 1-on-1 time with a physician to discuss any medical concerns, and even receive specialist and hospital referrals should the physician deem it necessary. The Health Center also provides access to over-the-counter medications which may be difficult to obtain otherwise. In addition, New Life has also established a relationship with the “Justice Mobile”, which offers access to free legal counsel.
New Life has its own Men’s Clothing Closet, which benefits individuals in the Columbus community, including refugees and men transitioning from correctional facilities. Through their referral program, people have the option to shop in person, or submit their clothing size and preferences for the volunteers in the Closet to shop for them. The Closest receives donations from local churches, businesses, and individuals looking to repurpose their gently used clothing.
Through all these programs, individuals are welcomed into Short North UMC, a safe and loving space free from judgment where people can learn about the Christian faith, ask questions, and express their spiritual frustrations and affirmations. Led by Executive Director, Rev. Wendy Hansen-Smith, faith is rooted in the foundation of their work.