Applying Purpose and Passion to Service

APPS Job Readiness Program

The APPS Job Readiness Program (AJRP) is a year around comprehensive workforce development program that provides practical work experience, training and career pathways with the City of Columbus and the business community. Job coaches provide linkage to support services, mentorship and site visits 3-5 times per week to ensure the success of participants. AJRP serves young people 14-23 years old and their families who live in the City of Columbus or pay Columbus taxes.

AJRP provides several training programs: AJRP-Summer, AJRP-Bridge and Cared Straight.


The APPS Job Readiness Summer Program provides job placement and training for participants from June through August every year. The goal is for participants to receive foundational work experience and training to help prepare them for their future career choices. Couple this with service linkage to stabilize families and coaching, our participants will leave our program prepared to get, keep and excel at workforce opportunities.


Bridge is purposefully designed to provide economic support to Columbus families and businesses. Participants are afforded an incredible learning opportunity through career specific mentorship from business owners in Columbus. Businesses can receive staffing at a reduced cost or for free while training their next hire or industry leader. Another unique aspect of the program is the City of Columbus and Bridge partners are able to provide higher wages to support families through the Share Wage Campaign. Both the City and the partner contribute to paying the salary of the employee but spend less than if they were paying for the employee on their own, it’s a win–win.

Cared Straight

The Cared Straight Training Program is a transformative approach that emphasizes addressing the whole person, recognizing that threats of incarceration and punishment alone will not move at-risk youth toward a path of living a better life. Ultimately, the support and care from a network of other young people and trusted adults will change behaviors and decision-making. Cared Straight creates a foundation of experiences and knowledge focused on topics such as Gun Safety, Trauma & Self Care, Interactions with Law enforcement and Health & Wellness. This training program was developed by APPS participants and City Intervention Specialists in Summer 2020.

City Intervention Services

City Intervention Services (CIS) utilizes cross-departmental information and resource sharing along with community-based partnerships to help reduce violent crime in our City. This enables CIS to identify, locate and engage the young people and families that are most susceptible to being victims and/or perpetrators of violence. The goals is to reroute young people and their families to healthier outcomes by preventing incarceration and them being victims of violence. City intervention specialists provide system navigation, service linkage, crisis intervention, community outreach and life coaching for young people 14-23 years old and their families who are residents of Columbus.


Started in March 2021, the VOICE (Violence, Outreach, Intervention, Community Engagement) program is a hospital-based violence intervention program that seeks to take advantage of what is called the “Golden Moment,” or the moments shortly after being injured due to violence as the result of risk behaviors. In partnership with Columbus Public Health and Grant Hospital, intervention specialists provide the same services as traditional City Intervention Services, with the only difference being that VOICE utilizes an incentive-based model for completing life plan milestones. VOICE serves City of Columbus residents and their families age 18-40.

WeCare Community Outreach

WeCare Community Outreach is an APPS outreach program that prioritizes meeting residents in their environment for service delivery. Bringing services directly to the communities we are serving helps to remove barriers and allows for more authentic engagement. Started in 2020, the WeCare tour kicked off a process of neighborhood engagement and providing resources to help with increasing physical activity and coping with the various stressors that families face. WeCare allows staff to share resources and engage in informal “porch conversations” as a key strategy. Outreach components include:

  • Produce drops at Columbus Recreation and Parks community centers
  • Door-to-door distribution of the WeCare totes, a mix of art, recreation and coping items
  • The Cap City Night Festivals in Columbus Recreation and Parks’ parks located in high crime and poverty areas