The Think Tank Mission
VOAN and the Think Tanks on Poverty work on community education, leadership development, coalition building, storytelling, strategy, and developing the power needed in the community to make the changes we seek -- one step at a time. We have obtained seats at the table and worked on a range of issues across Central Ohio, including addiction and recovery, housing and homelessness, criminal justice and reentry, broadband internet, and youth prevention.
The Think Tanks on Poverty seek to give voice to working and poor people to challenge the systemic issues that keep them in poverty. Systemic change is of two kinds -- We may change a policy or law, but the most important and long-lasting systemic change is when we change how decisions are made so they include working and poor people. While doing this primary work, we also attempt to address hunger, employment, transportation, housing, injustice, and other basic needs of our organizing members so that they may continue building the community.
What are the Think Tanks doing about COVID 19?
The Think Tanks on Poverty recognize that those in our membership who are working, low income, and/or marginalized will be unduly impacted by the COVID 19 pandemic. Already, businesses and employers are closing their doors, and events are being canceled to stem the spread of the virus. The ripple of these actions will undoubtedly be far and wide.
Additionally, we have created a Facebook group, Ohio Think Tanks - COVID 19 Mutual Aid where people can connect on a more public platform. Please feel free to post your offers of support, as well as the resources that you need. Keep in mind that as we are a very small non-profit and that posting on the Facebook page may be a quicker avenue of finding or offering support.
Who should fill out the surveys/reach out?
Offering support could mean donating funds for those in need to buy groceries or pay for prescriptions; delivering goods to a person's door; collecting prescriptions for those unable to travel, etc. We encourage those unable to pay for groceries, obtain prescriptions, etc. to reach out for assistance. We cannot ensure that every need will be met, but we will certainly do our best to see that they are.
Information & Resources
In this time of uncertainty, many will be looking for resources to make sense of both COVID 19 and the impact it is having on the world around us. Below are several credible resources with both reliable and measured information about the virus.
A broad spectrum of information and answers to questions (ex: how serious is the virus, how can I prevent it, what do I do if I become ill) located on one page. Available in both English and Spanish. Their Twitter account is located here.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers a wealth of factual and practical information on the virus.
The Department of Health has launched a site specifically tailored to COVID 19 concerns. Among the information offered, one can see a tally of those who have tested positive/where they are located; coping strategies for anxiety; information on school closings; updates on the State of Emergency and Governor Dewine. Their Twitter account is located here.
Ohio Department of Health Call Center - 1-833-4-ASK-ODH (1-833-427-5634)
A call center to answer questions regarding COVID 19 is now open. The call center will be open 7 days a week from 9 a.m.-8 p.m.