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Neighbors say violence in north Columbus distracts from positive work underway

Along the 161 corridor, non-profits like Elevate Northland are making strides to boost community support.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Columbus police are investigating a shooting in north Columbus that sent two men to the hospital Wednesday.

The shooting happened at a small plaza on North Meadows Boulevard, the same plaza where a little more than one year ago, a man was shot and killed while working in the barbershop.

Those who have always called north Columbus home say they are heartbroken every time they read these headlines.

"...I know that Northland and the neighborhoods and the people are supportive of one another,” said Judith Cockrell. “And don't want anyone to feel that they're not.”

Cockrell is the executive director of Elevate Northland, a non-profit formed in 2019. She said they have big plans in the works right now.

"We are in the process of converting a 46,000-square-foot warehouse into more of what we call a modern community center to support all the changing and growing Northland area,” she said.

The warehouse will be located off Morse Road on Evanswood Drive. The goal of the space is to help people build their own businesses and to promote community connections through food.

It's designed to include a co-working space, meeting, training rooms and commercial kitchens —  a place for adults to get support to launch and sustain culinary careers, like with food trucks.

“Food trucks are a very low entry point into business, so we have 11 bays in the back of the warehouse that will be where they can charge and be safe and have coverage," said Cockrell. "We also have what we call a hybrid storage so we'll have a combination of a racking system and bulk storage available in the warehouse as well."

They are going through the permit process with the city now before construction can begin.

Cockrell said it comes down to support, because support is the backbone of a safe and welcoming community.

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