Photo credit: Jon Groner

BREAD

Building Responsibility, Equality and Dignity

Background

Building Responsibility Equality And Dignity (BREAD) is an organization of 41 religious congregations which are working together to solve critical community problems. We are not a service provider, but a grassroots, direct action, multi-issue organization, which has come together to be a powerful force for improving the quality of life in Columbus, OH.

Impact

Since BREAD’s beginning in 1996, we have brought people together from different religious denominations, different areas of the community, and different races to work together on issues of common concern. These are just a few of the community improvements resulting from BREAD’s work since its beginning:

  • Spearheaded a campaign with other allies to pass state legislation to lower the interest on payday loans at 28%.
  • Got the City of Columbus and Franklin County to form and fund the Affordable Housing Trust Fund in 2001 and expanded to $11.5 million annually in 2019. Since 2001, the fund created more than 11,000 units of affordable housing
  • Pushed the Franklin County Prosecutor to create the KEY Truancy Reduction Program which improved attendance for 200 students in six schools in the 2007-8 school year.
  • Got Lead Juvenile Court Judge Elizabeth Gill to utilize Neighborhood Restorative Justice circles as a diversion for first-time non-violent youth offenders. Currently seven neighborhoods are diverting children from the juvenile system through Restorative practices.
  • Got City Council to allocate $2.1 million dollars for small business expansion through the creation of small business incubators and small business loan funds and secured an additional $1 million dollar loan in matching funds from the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio.
  • Successfully pressed the local Alcohol Drug and Mental Health Board to expand care for people with severe and persistent mental illness by creating 3 new Assertive Community Treatment Teams and allocating $200,000 for a program accredited by Clubhouse International.
  • Pressed Columbus City Schools to implement Restorative Practices in three schools with high rates of suspension. In the first year they  reported 25% fewer behavior incidents than the previous year and cut the number of out of school suspensions by nearly half!
  • Worked with the Columbus Fire department to add one additional social worker doubling their capacity to connect older adults to needed services.

Read more about BREAD in the news.

Current Membership

Presently, 41 congregations, representing over 40,000 individuals, are members of BREAD. We come from all parts of Franklin County, and we represent a diverse mix of black, white, and Hispanic persons, coming from different religious traditions, including Catholic, Protestant, Pentecostal, Jewish, historically African American, Unitarian Universalist, and Muslim.

Contact Us

www.breadcolumbus.com

404 S. Third Street
Columbus, OH 43215

(614) 220-9363

Lead Organizer: Rob Sievert-Wagner
robtsw@gmail.com

Senior Organizer: Clarissa Epps
clarissa@thedartcenter.org

Associate Organizer: Cora Harrison
cora@thedartcenter.org