Houses Of Hope Look To Turn Around Neighborhoods Across Columbus
Revitalization in the south Columbus neighborhood off Parsons Avenue is hard to find.
But, between the boarded up homes, is Hazel’s House of Hope. Hazel’s daughter, who grew up in this neighborhood, had seen what was going on here.
Cindi Gremling was asked if she bought the house, would she use it in a way to reach the people living in the community.
So, Gremling and her husband packed up from their Pickaway County home in the summer of 2011.
They gutted Hazel's House of Hope from top to bottom and re-opened it as a place of peace for neighborhood kids and families.
“It's a safe place where we don't have to worry about what they're getting into,” she says.
From bible study nights to game night and teen gatherings and even holiday meals - They use anything to take kids off the crime-ridden streets.
“We've had people on the block come in and take a shower because they have no water, we've done laundry for people on the block,” added Gremling.
She has since opened up three more homes, all in neighborhoods in desperate need of help. This fall, she plans to open a fifth house which will be specifically for unwed mothers.
The home in Sunbury will give pregnant women and girls refuge, as they choose to give their babies a different life through adoption.
Cindi says that's the whole mission behind Hazel's House of Hope.
If they can help just one, they might succeed in helping more down the road.
“It only takes a little bit of light to pierce the darkness. We now have kids going to college, we now have boys who are joining the military.”
Cindi says not even Hazel imagined the countless lives changed by her little house and the people who gave it hope.. one brick at a time.