Our mission is to strengthen the well-being of Franklinton’s children, families and community, and build a thriving equitable neighborhood.
Gladden Community House is a settlement house serving Franklinton and its surrounding neighborhoods. We are a United Way affiliated non-profit agency providing education and recreation programs, emergency assistance, and advocacy and support for individuals, families, and groups.
Gladden Community House is a settlement house located in the heart of Franklinton on the near west side of columbus, Ohio. As a United Way affiliated non-profit agency, we offer a broad range of neighborhood-based social services to individuals, families, and groups.
Gladden was founded in 1905 by Reverend Washington Gladden and Mrs. Celia Jeffrey as a neighborhood outreach mission of First Congregational Church. First Church was originally located across from City Hall at Broad and High Streets, just across the Scioto River from Franklinton, although it later moved further east on Broad Street. Gladden’s official connection with First Congregational Church ended in 1923 when Gladden was incorporated as an independent non-profit welfare agency but First Congregational Church and its members continue to be strong supporters of our work with the low income residents of Franklinton and the near west side. Gladden occupied three other locations in Franklinton before constructing our current facility at the corner of Town Street and Hawkes Avenue in the center of Franklinton in 1953. A $2.8 million capital campaign allowed us to renovate the existing building and add a 12,000 square foot two-story addition in 1992-1995.
In 1923 Gladden became a charter member of the Columbus Community Chest/Associated Charities, today known as United Way of Central Ohio, and United Way remains our primary funder. Additional funding comes from the City of Columbus, which has supported our youth programs and Gladden Food Pantry for over 20 years. Recognizing our critical role as the community center for the near west side, the City has also provided us with emergency support from time to time, including 1913 and 1959, when Gladden served as an emergency shelter for victims of Franklinton’s last two major floods, and most recently in 2007, when the City funded the replacement of our roof and air conditioning system. The Community Shelter Board also provides ongoing funding to support our homelessness prevention services, Franklin County Children Services funds our Family to Family program, and Franklin County Senior Options supports our work with seniors.
In our 108th year, as an active member of the Columbus Federation of Settlements, Gladden remains an essential support system and engine for change in our near West side service area.