Check out People, Pandemic & Poverty - a newsletter of the Newark Think Tank on Poverty


The Newark Think Tank on Poverty (NTTP) was founded in 2014. It is made up of community members in Newark and Licking County, Ohio who have experienced barriers in obtaining work that provides a livable wage, safe housing, affordable healthcare, and accessible transportation. The Newark Think Tank on Poverty became independent in 2020 and is operated by local leadership in Newark. 

You can watch "Up River" a documentary produced by Doug Swift, and Wild Iris Video about the first year of the Newark Think Tank. 


Issues and Projects


  • Ban the Box: NTTP championed "Ban the Box" legislation in 2015, getting a local law passed by the city council, and helping to see a similar law passed at the statehouse. They then held a series of public events, educating employers about barriers to reentry.


  • Payday Lending: NTTP hosted a town hall with the Attorney General’s Office on Predatory Lending and held a candidate forum for the Prosecutor’s race. We engaged in ongoing dialogue with the Newark Police Department on drug addiction and the NARI program. Our monthly meetings brought in judges, probation leaders, Child Protective Services, housing, and transit experts, allowing our members to engage in policy and planning discussions on issues that impact their lives.


  • A Seat at the Table:  Various members gained “Seats at the Table” at the following agencies to help bring the experience of people in poverty to decision-making tables: Licking County Jobs and Family Services, Licking County Criminal Justice System and Re-entry Program, St. Vincent de Paul Center Board, Licking County Health Department, Licking County Housing Initiative.
  • Reentry Coalition: The NTTP formed a working group made up of formerly incarcerated people to plan a stakeholder half-day session and then launched The Licking County Reentry Coalition with the buy-in from a wide range of stakeholders. The NTTP helped form the Licking County Coalition for Reentry with agency leaders, case managers, and the formerly incarcerated and their families to improve reentry for those coming out of jail and prison. NTTP provided an in-reach and peer advocacy to help connect returning citizens and others navigate and become connected to local services.  


  • Local Newsletter: NTTP launched a newsletter, we are working to build leadership in surrounding counties, and we are participating in efforts to improve rehabilitation and increase access to effective treatment for those suffering from addiction and substance use disorder.
  • Town Hall on Addiction and Recovery: the NTTP held a countywide town hall with Newark City Schools on addiction and recovery. They have also worked on a range of other issues, like access to public drinking fountains for the homeless, transportation, gentrification, jobs, and more.


  • Mental Health Stigma and Justice Cafes: In 2019, The Newark Think Tank managed a project aimed at helping to end the stigma surrounding addiction and also began holding Justice Cafe.
  • Harm Reduction: NTTP held community events to educate the public and promote various harm reduction efforts in the region.


  • People, Pandemic, Poverty: the NTTP released a newsletter/zine during the beginning of the pandemic called "People, Pandemic, and Poverty," which highlighted art, poetry, and stories from the local community. 


Note: This is a brief highlight of key accomplishments from 2015- 2020 while affiliated with the Vincentian Ohio Action Network. Please reach out to the local leaders below to learn more about current activities!


To learn more about the Newark Think Tank on Poverty and their current work, please email [email protected] or visit their Facebook Page.



In The News (Archive)

The Newark Advocate: Mayor Confronted on Newark Homeless Issue after Council Meeting

NEWARK – Frustration over Newark's homeless problem dominated Monday night's City Council meeting and continued well after it ended when citizens confronted the mayor about his administration's response to homeless camps in the city. Mitchell Boden, who said he was homeless in the 1990s and again for all of 2015, spoke during the meeting, summed up the feelings of several speakers... To read more, click here


The Newark Advocate: Residents Express Outrage Over Removal of Homeless Camps to City Council 

NEWARK – Citizens packed City Council chambers Monday night to express concern for the homeless and dismay with the city's response to those in tents, even in bitter cold. The removal of three homeless camps infuriated some residents, who claim city officials lack the compassion for the homeless, who they said had nowhere to go except to set up another camp somewhere else... To read more, click here