VOAN was formed in 2014 to provide a vehicle for community organizing focused on addressing various root causes of poverty. VOAN develops the leadership of Ohioans experiencing poverty and marginalization so they can organize themselves and their communities for civic engagement, movement building, and coming to the table with policymakers on issues that directly impact their lives.
We build collaborative organizing projects. Our Think Tanks on Poverty operate across Central Ohio and address systemic issues that are priorities for our members experiencing poverty at the local level, such as criminal justice reform, living wage employment, access to mental health and addiction services, access to transportation, broadband internet, and housing. Read more about the Think Tanks on Poverty here.
In 2016, ARCH (Accompanying Returning Citizens with Hope) was founded as a program of St. Vincent de Paul, the Diocesan Office for Social Concerns, VOAN, and the Catholic Foundation. We organize educational events, manage accompaniment services to link people coming home from incarceration to services, build a network with business leaders to link workers to employers, and we work on systemic advocacy to promote restorative practices and reforms in the justice system. ARCH has grown in 2020 with the generous support of the Franklin County Commissioners Office of Justice, Policy and Programs. Read more about ARCH and the project affiliated with us at https://www.archreentry.com