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Columbus

Find alternatives to calling the Columbus Police Department.

Typically, people call the police because they are experiencing or perceive an emergency and need immediate assistance. In order to provide the most effective alternatives to calling the police or 911, unless otherwise indicated, the resources included here are limited to those that offer immediate assistance through emergency or crisis services.

Where we know or suspect that a resource may work in cooperation with law enforcement, we acknowledge that in the listing.

These resources are not intended to cover all situations, only to provide the services described. If you are in danger of immediate harm and feel safe doing so, call 911.

Housing

  • Community Shelter Board
    • 24-Hour hotline connecting people experiencing homelessness in Franklin County to emergency, transitional, and supportive shelter. Serves as the entry point for all adult and family shelters in Columbus.
    • 614-274-7000 
  • HandsOn Central Ohio 211
    • Referral switchboard for community services throughout Columbus, including food insecurity, emergency clothing, rent and utility bill assistance
    • 2-1-1 (Switchboard)
    • Foodline: (614) 221-6766 or text (614) 702-7772
    • Locate services online at https://211centralohio.org/
  • Southeast Coast Friends of the Homeless
    • Provides support to homeless men and women through emergency shelter, transitional and supportive housing programs.
    • Referral through Community Shelter Board hotline, 614-274-7000 
    • Direct: (614) 225–0990
    • https://southeasthc.org/
  • The Homeless Families Foundation
    • Serves children and their families living in poverty, helping them to secure housing and resources to stabilize their lives, while providing educational programming and support for kids. For long-term assistance; immediate housing should be sought through the Community Shelter Board hotline at 614-274-7000
    •  (614) 461-9247
    • https://homelessfamiliesfoundation.org/
  • Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio
    • Emergency shelter offered to help homeless men achieve stable housing. Also provides rental assistance to families experiencing a housing crisis. Priority service to veterans. Additional services offered outside of Columbus.
    • Shelter and Veteran Resources: (614) 849-0145
    • Family services: (614) 251-7610
    • https://www.voaohin.org/

LGBTQ+

  • BRAVO – Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization
    • Provides comprehensive individual and community programs for survivor advocacy and support to LGBTQI survivors of hate and bias violence, discrimination, intimate partner violence, stalking, and/or sexual assault. Confidential helpline provides assistance developing safety plan and community referrals.
    • (614) 294-7867 or 1(866) 86-BRAVO (27286)
    • http://bravo.equitashealth.org/
  • Kaleidoscope Youth Center
    • Affirming community center for LGBTQ+ youth. Provides a drop-in center for an empowering environment, gender-neutral restrooms, computer use, and meals, and operates a Host Home network to place youth in queer-affirming volunteers homes and to help them avoid homelessness. Ongoing case management services. Wheelchair accessible.
    • 603 E. Town St.
    • (614) 294-5437
    • https://www.kycohio.org/

Mental Health

  • Franklin County Suicide Hotline
    • (614) 221-5445 (24/7)
  • Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation
    • 24/7 support resource for people or loves ones of people experiencing suicidal ideations. Community education and support to prevent suicide.
    • 1 (800) 273-8255 or text HOPE to 741741
    • https://www.ohiospf.org/
  • NetCare Access
    • 24-hour mental health and substance abuse crisis and assessment services for Franklin County, Ohio. Through crisis line, licensed and experienced crisis clinicians will direct the caller to the most appropriate means of assistance. Walk in mental health and substance abuse crisis services provided at 199 South Central Avenue 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
    • (614) 276-CARE (2273) (24/7 Crisis Assistance)
    • General: (614) 274-9500
    • https://www.netcareaccess.org/

Domestic Violence & Sexual Assault

  • BRAVO – Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization
    • Provides comprehensive individual and community programs for survivor advocacy and support to LGBTQI survivors of hate and bias violence, discrimination, intimate partner violence, stalking, and/or sexual assault. Confidential helpline provides assistance developing safety plan and community referrals.
    • (614) 294-7867 or 1(866) 86-BRAVO (27286)
    • http://bravo.equitashealth.org/
  • Choices – a program of Lutheran Social Services
    • Serves victims of domestic violence, providing emergency shelter, a crisis hotline for information and referrals, counseling, temporary pet kenneling, and legal advocacy. LGBTQ+ affirming. Shelter location is unpublished.
    • (614) 224-HOME (4663) (24/7 Crisis Line)
    • https://lssnetworkofhope.org/choices/
  • Deaf World Against Violence Everywhere
    • Community, legal, and social service advocacy for survivors of crime and trauma. Trauma-informed counseling, and 24/7 advocacy at local emergency rooms inc cooperation with SARNCO. 24/7 hotline.
    • TTY: (800) 787-3224
    • Voice: (800) 799-7233
    • https://www.dwaveohio.org/
  • OhioHealth Sexual Assault Response Network of Central Ohio (SARNCO)
    • Provides advocacy and emotional support services in conjunction with medical and social services at OhioHealth Emergency Departments and other local facilities in central Ohio. 24/7 emergency helpline provides emotional support, crisis intervention and community resource information. Provides recovery and aftercare advocacy. Works with Deaf World Against Violence Everywhere to provide advocacy to deaf survivors in the emergency department.
    • (614) 267-7020 (24/7)

Youth

Please note, people answering these calls may be mandatory reporters, and required to make a report to CPS or law enforcement in certain situations. Learn about local mandatory reporter laws here.

  • Huckleberry House
    • Works with Central Ohio’s youth ages 12 to 24 and families who are dealing with issues like abuse, violence, neglect, poverty, and homelessness
    • Crisis hotline: (614) 294-5553 or text “SAFE” and your current location to 44357
    • Non-crisis: (614) 294-8097
    • HuckHouse.org
  • Kaleidoscope Youth Center
    • Affirming community center for LGBTQ+ youth. Provides a drop-in center for an empowering environment, gender-neutral restrooms, computer use, and meals, and operates a Host Home network to place youth in queer-affirming volunteers homes and to help them avoid homelessness. Ongoing case management services. Wheelchair accessible.
    • 603 E. Town St.
    • (614) 294-5437
    • https://www.kycohio.org/
  • North Central Mental Health Services – Teen Line
    • This line is answered by trained teen volunteers during evening hours and by adults during other hours. This 24-hour line provides peer counseling to adolescents who may be dealing with loneliness, depression, and other problems.
    • (614) 294-3300
    • https://www.ncmhs.org/
  • StarHouse
    • Central Ohio’s only drop-in center for youth, ages 14-24, who are experiencing homelessness and their small children. Offering young people a safe respite from the streets, immediate access to basic needs (laundry, shower, phone, etc.) and connections to stabilizing resources, such as housing, transportation, health care, employment, education, addiction services, legal aid, government benefits, ID cards and more. Not a shelter.
    • 10 p.m. – 2 p.m. 24/7/365
    • 1220 Corrugated Way – no signage, look for wishing wells
    • (614) 826-5868
    • https://www.starhouse.us/

Elders

  • North Central Mental Health Services – Senior Hotline
    • This 24-hour line is available to help older adults and their caregivers deal with the needs and issues of aging. elp and support are available 24 hours a day to older adults who may feel lonely, neglected or troubled by a difficult family situation.
    • (614) 294-3309
    • https://www.ncmhs.org/

Crime

Coming soon.

Substance Abuse

  • Alcoholics Anonymous – Columbus
    • 24/7 hotline for people struggling with alcohol use; information and referrals
    • (614) 253-8501
  • Cocaine Anonymous – Columbus
    • 24/7 hotline for people struggling with cocaine use; information and referrals
    • (614) 251-5122
  • MaryHaven Shelter
    • Central Ohio’s largest and most comprehensive behavioral health services provider specializing in addiction recovery. Services for people experiencing Emergency shelter, 24-7 crisis response providing stabilization services for people who have overdosed, long-term housing, in-patient and out-patient services, family and individual recovery housing, medically assisted detox treatment, and mental health services. Available communal living shelter specifically serving women of color.
    • (614) 445-8131 (24/7)
    • https://maryhaven.com/
  • NetCare Access
    • 24-hour mental health and substance abuse crisis and assessment services for Franklin County, Ohio. Through crisis line, licensed and experienced crisis clinicians will direct the caller to the most appropriate means of assistance. Walk in mental health and substance abuse crisis services provided at 199 South Central Avenue 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
    • (614) 276-CARE (2273) (24/7 Crisis Assistance)
    • General: (614) 274-9500
    • https://www.netcareaccess.org/

Please consider using these alternatives to calling the Columbus Police Department or 911 when faced with a situation that calls for de-escalation and/or intervention. We can abolish the police by not calling the police.

We have tried to indicate where police or law enforcement may work with the alternative resources listed; please let us know if you have any concerns about these resources.

Reimagine public safety. Don’t call the police.

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