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Housing Stability

Success Bridge: A College-Community Partnership

On July 2023, Columbus Mayor Andrew J. Ginther and City Council President Shannon G. Hardin announced that the city would provide $2 million to extend the Success Bridge program, which supports Columbus State students who face housing insecurity or homelessness.

The new funding moves the program beyond its initial pilot phase, during which more than 450 Columbus State students received housing support. The 2020 pilot was made possible by $1.5 million in support from the Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority and private philanthropy, including Bath & Body Works Foundation, Fifth Third Foundation, and the Beatrice I. and Alan R. Weiler Fund.

Initially launched as a three-year program, Success Bridge offered three tiers of support to students:

  1. Consultation, referrals, or other information on options
  2. One-time or short-term financial support, including up to three months for rent, utilities, and other housing-related expenses
  3. Long-term financial support, including as many as 24 months in one of 22 subsidized housing units

group photo

Columbus State Vice President Dr. Desiree Polk-Bland (second from left) and partners Michelle Heritage (Community Shelter Board), Scott Scharlach (Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority), Beth Fetzer-Rice (Home for Families), and Carlie Boos (the Affordable Housing Alliance of Central Ohio) at Community Shelter Board’s Under One Roof event, where the organizations were honored with the inaugural Heritage Innovation Award for collaborative work on Success Bridge.


The U.S. Education Department’s National Center for Education Statistics recently reported that 8% of undergraduate students experience homelessness.

Housing insecurity and homelessness have a larger impact on Columbus State students; in fall 2020, 14% of students reported that they were homeless, and 60% reported having experienced housing insecurity in the past year.