Foreclosures during the Great Recession added to thousands of blighted properties in Columbus. But, a state program helped fund demolition of many of those houses and apartment units.
Columbus has the nation’s second-largest Somali population. But community leaders say affordable housing has become increasingly sparse.
More than a dozen people who are accused in a sex trafficking ring run by Somali gangs that reached from Minnesota into Ohio and Tennessee face trial beginning today in Nashville.
A recent conference in Columbus focused on preventing the radicalization of Somali youth. Officials say that has not been a problem in Columbus in the past and they want to make sure it does not happen in the future.
New census figures show Columbus grew more diverse during the past decade. In the Northland area, the white population fell by more than 25 percent while African-Americans, Somalians, and Latinos moved in. The changing demographics are especially evident along a stretch of Morse Road.
Local Somali leaders fear many community members will not be counted in the 2010 Census. They blame the Columbus census bureau for not helping Somalis understand how the census works, and for not hiring them to work for the bureau. The Columbus census bureau says it’s a misunderstanding.
In the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, which has the largest Somali population in the US, eight Somali men have been killed in the last two years, and authorities say they were killed by fellow Somalis. Local Somali community organizers attribute the deaths to a rise in gang violence. Now Somali community leaders in Columbus — which hosts the second largest US Somali community – are working to curb a similar rise in youth gang violence.
Tens of thousands of Africans have immigrated to Ohio in the past decade, and some state legislators say it’s time the government set up a special commission to help the refugees settle into their new life.
Local interpreter training and placement service doubles size as need grows in Central Ohio.
Members of Columbus’ Somali community today are commemorating the one-year anniversary of a controversial shooting. 23-year-old Nasir Abdi was shot and killed by a Franklin County Sheriff’s Deputy last year while officers where trying to take him for treatment. Deputies say he was armed. But some witnesses say they did not see a weapon and the shooting was unnecessary.
As Campaign 2006 enters its final week, candidates seek out the diminishing ranks of undecided voters. In Columbus, those ranks might include members of the city’s large Somali population. During the week-end, an estimated 150 or more people crowded into Mifflin Middle School auditorium for a forum sponsored by The Somali link newspaper.