It should be a place where every man feels safe on his streets and in the house of his friends.
It should be a place where each individual’s dignity and self-respect is strengthened by the respect and affection of his neighbors.
It should be a place where each of us can find the satisfaction and warmth which comes from being a member of the community of man.
This is what man sought at the dawn of civilization.
It is what we seek today.–Lyndon B. Johnson
Since 1965, St. Stephen’s has focused its service in the Greater Linden area, weaving itself into the fabric of the community. In doing so, St. Stephen’s strengthens its families with intentional civic and social service programs, empowers their youth through mentoring, tutoring and entrepreneurship and nurtures their children with quality childcare and education. This holistic approach strives to support the physical, social and emotional needs of the Greater Linden Community. As a hub for advancing self-sufficiency, we continue to Brighten Lives in Columbus through five core areas…..
Our Proud History….
The United States became the destination for a wave of European immigrants during, and immediately following, World War I. While we tend to think of New York, Boston and Chicago as primary settlement points, a number of immigrants came to a smaller city — Columbus, Ohio — and settled in the south end in an area then known as ‘Steelton’ to work in the steel mills. Bishop James Hartley recognized the extensive needs of this growing Catholic population of Italian, Hungarian and Yugoslavian laborers and, together with Catholic Women’s War Relief, established Barthman Avenue Catholic Community Center in 1919. Shortly thereafter, the center’s name was changed to St. Stephen’s Community House. In these early days, St. Stephen’s served as a settlement house, assisting new immigrants to learn the language, assimilate to the culture, and acquire citizenship.
As the needs of its community grew, so did St. Stephen’s. While it continued to serve the needs of immigrants to the U.S. and Columbus as a settlement house, the organization eventually expanded to serve all of its community members, especially those most in need. Meanwhile, the south side continued to grow through the first half of the century.
In the early 1960’s, St. Stephen’s Community House and the South Side Settlement House realized they were duplicating services in the area, while other areas of Columbus remained underserved. In response, the boards of both agencies met to discuss this growing need and how best to serve it. As a result of these collaborative talks, the Catholic Diocese of Columbus decided to move St. Stephen’s Community House to the Greater Linden area. Over time, the organization established itself as a much-needed resource for the neighborhood. Since 1965, St. Stephen’s has focused its service in the Greater Linden area, weaving itself into the fabric of the community. The thread of the agency’s history runs through generations as great grandparents of children in the after-school program recall their own days at the agency. This same thread also runs through and around numerous smaller communities weaving the larger community tight together in the common purpose of taking care of the neighborhood. St. Stephen’s has helped keep the Greater Linden area strong by strengthening the fabric of community to comfort and care for its neighbors.