Star OSU House
OHIO State University


City Council aids star house in search for new facility

November 15, 2014
By Jesse Bethea, Columbus Underground

"Currently, there's an estimated twelve to fifteen hundred homeless youth and youth in transition in Central Ohio," said Denitza Bantchevska, Interim Director of Ohio State University's Star House. "Since we're serving this year about 650 so far, that means we're not serving about half of that population that's out there on the street. So the need is great." READ MORE>

Star house serves a need

November 14, 2014
Editorial, The Columbus Dispatch

Homelessness is a tough way for a teen or young adult to start out in life, and there aren’t many resources devoted to this age group to help get them on track before it’s too late. A year after the state of Ohio gave a funding boost to Ohio State University’s Star House, the city of Columbus is expected to approve a $300,000 grant to aid the city’s only drop-in center for homeless youth. READ MORE>

city likely to help fund new site for star house center homeless youth

November 7, 2014
Rita Price, The Columbus Dispatch

The city's only drop-in center for homeless youths - a program that has long operated out of a run-down house with just one usable shower - probably will gain city support to help buy a new building. Columbus City Council President Andrew J. Ginther said he expects the council to approve a $300,000 grant for the Star House on Monday. "What better way for us to invest on the front end than to prevent these kids from becoming a part of the chronic homeless community?" Ginther said. READ MORE>

Center for homeless youth adds hours, services

March 21, 2014
By Rita Price, The Columbus Dispatch

The bustle inside the old house on N. 4th Street is typical enough: Teens and 20-somethings talk, joke, jockey for the most-comfortable seats and fry dinner in the community kitchen. That they can do these simple things — and stay warm and safe — long past 5 p.m. on weekdays is as close as some get to luxury. “My dad stays at the YMCA; my mom is dead,” said 20-year-old Krys Andrews. “I might be homeless, but I have the Star House.” 
The city’s only drop-in center for homeless young people no longer has to stick to regular business hours as it works to help teens and young adults with round-the-clock problems. Star House is now open 24/7, and leaders are looking for a larger site. Hours, services and visions for the future broadened dramatically after the current state budget was approved last summer. It provides $665,000 a year for Star House, which was started by an Ohio State University professor in 2006 and operates out of a university-rented house north of Downtown. READ MORE>


December 19, 2013
Click here to watch the video.

Home away from home

July 12, 2013
Dispatch Editorial, The Columbus Dispatch

For homeless youths who are alone, scared and hungry, Ohio State University’s Star House is a safe haven where they can find food, showers and caring guidance to escape the streets and lead a productive life. That alone makes the $665,000 a year tagged in Ohio’s new biennium budget for the drop-in center a great investment for taxpayers. Homeless youths and young adults are incredibly vulnerable. Adults typically have already let them down; it’s a good thing that, this time, lawmakers didn’t do the same. Lacking family guidance, too old for foster care and ineligible for family shelters, these young people often are invisible until they graduate to the criminal-justice system or the homeless-adult shelter system, or become one of the thousands homeless youth buried in unmarked graves every year in this country. READ MORE>

Center for homeless youth gets state help

July 8, 2013
By Rita Price, The Columbus Dispatch

Five days a week, Will Welker — 23 years old and living under a bridge — makes his way to Star House for food, water, clean clothes and the company of people who care. Saturdays and Sundays stink because the city’s only drop-in center for homeless teens and young adults is closed. “You just try and sleep,” he said, “sleep until Monday.”
The center at 1621 N. 4th St. in the University District wasn't open when one of Welker’s fellow campers, also a Star House client, shot and killed himself in November. But the limited hours and services that have long troubled both the youths and the staff who help them finally are set to expand. The new two-year state budget signed by Gov. John Kasich provides $665,000 a year for Star House, which was started by an Ohio State University professor in 2006 and operates out of a university-rented house north of Downtown. READ MORE>

Kasich may veto funds for homeless center
Budget gives STAR House $1.3 million to help needy youths

June 28, 2013
By Rita Price, The Columbus Dispatch

The two-year state budget approved yesterday could put Ohio on a path to help its most neglected and underserved homeless population, supporters say. Advocates for teens and young adults are asking Gov. John Kasich not to veto a budget amendment that provides $665,000 each year for Ohio State University’s STAR House, Columbus’ only drop-in center for homeless youths. 
“This could be the beginning of addressing a long-neglected state policy issue,” said Bill Faith, the executive director of the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio. “It’s not a story of a legislator throwing money at a pork-barrel project. This is a real problem.” READ MORE>

Star House funding still kept out of state budget

June 05, 2013
By  Ian Kullgren, The Columbus Dispatch

An effort to restore a proposed funding boost for services to homeless youths in central Ohio has failed in the state Senate.
The chamber last week removed the $665,000 for Ohio State University’s Star House from the state budget bill at the request of the Kasich administration, which was concerned about cost and the concept of including such an earmark in the budget. Sen. Peggy Lehner, R-Kettering, attempted to reintroduce the funding amendment. READ MORE>


May 20, 2013
By Rita Price, The Columbus Dispatch

A top Republican lawmaker is asking Gov. John Kasich not to kill a House-passed budget amendment that would provide $665,000 a year for central Ohio’s only drop-in center for homeless youths.
Rep. Cheryl Grossman, R-Grove City, sent Kasich a letter on Thursday after learning that the Office of Budget and Management wanted the amendment removed. READ MORE>


APRIL 29, 2013

By Rita Price, The Columbus Dispatch

The city’s only drop-in center for homeless youths opened in 2006, and almost every year since then, its director has fought to keep food on the shelves, clothes on kids’ backs and hope in their hearts.
Star House is often dangerously close to folding.
But now, and much to director Natasha Slesnick’s happy surprise, the center could receive a big boost from the state. The amended two-year budget bill passed by the Ohio House and sent to the Senate includes $665,196 a year for Star House to serve homeless teens and young adults in central Ohio. READ MORE >


APRIL 13, 2013

Click on here to watch the video


December 14, 2012
Dispatch EditorialThe Columbus Dispatch

The lonely life and death of a young man who couldn't make it on his own throws a harsh light on how little help is available for young people who come of age without aid from parents — young adults who aren't really grownups, but find themselves on their own. READ MORE>

Suicide illustrates struggles of homeless young people

December, 9, 2012
By Rita Price, The Columbus Dispatch

When an advocacy group wanted to produce a photo project on homeless youths, Chris Frederick became the first volunteer. 
Sure, he said, he would tell his story. He’d pose for pictures, too, sitting on a worn blanket in front of a graffiti-tagged building just north of Downtown where he sometimes slept. READ MORE>

Star House Offers Services To Homeless Columbus Youth

February 27, 2012
By Marilyn Smith, WOSU

Each day hundreds of homeless young people roam the streets of Columbus looking for shelter from the cold and something to eat. But facilities for homeless minors are limited in the city. There is a place near Ohio State where young people can stay during the day, get a hot meal and wash up. READ MORE>

OSU home provides safe haven for many

February 4, 2012
By Amanda Pierce, The Lantern

The large brick house on the corner of North Fourth Street and 12th Avenue looks like a typical off-campus house. A big-screen TV and video game controllers take up most of the large front room, Guitar Hero is set up in the dining room and a pile of drying dishes and pans sits next to the sink in the kitchen.

Unlike most college houses, though, this house sees between 25 and 40 homeless youth come through its doors each day.

What began as a research site for the Ohio State College of Education and Human Ecology is now a drop-in center for homeless youth and an important fixture in the Columbus community. READ MORE>

OSU STAR House is a port in the storm

January 18, 2012
By Julia Harris, OnCampus

From the outside, at least, there’s nothing particularly remarkable about the two-story brick house at 1421 N. 4th Street. Like many of its neighbors, it’s got a big front porch, a chimney snaking up one side and a boxy air conditioning unit hanging out of its attic window.

From the inside, however, the OSU STAR House (Serving and Treating Adolescent Runaways) is not at all ordinary. READ MORE>

Homeless drop-in center to remain open

November 22, 2011
By John Ross, Columbus Alive

The Ohio State University STAR House will remain shining into next year, thanks to fundraisers, public donations and new research dollars that have staved off financial woes facing the center for homeless youths. READ MORE>


OSU Star House Loses Funding

August 15, 2011
NBC4 Video

The only local drop-in center for homeless youth could close. NBC4 explains why a new funding source is imperative. WATCH VIDEO>

City Hall exhibit shows dilemma of homeless youths

April, 18, 2011
By Rita Price, The Columbus Dispatch

She never imagined her picture hanging in City Hall for any reason, let alone this one.
The framed photograph of 21-year-old Brittany Koon, huddled under a black-and-white blanket in the car where she sleeps, invites public officials and passers-by to see her pain. READ MORE>

Sisters of charity: Siblings give help to homeless youths

December, 19, 2010
By Rita Price, The Columbus Dispatch

No matter how early Jeana Patterson arrived at work last week, her footprints weren't the first on the snowy porch. Cold and hungry and lonely young people were waiting to go inside. "They can eat, get warm, take a shower," Patterson said. And, this being the season, the homeless young people also like to look at the Christmas tree, which they somehow manage to appreciate without bitterness. "They're happy to be part of a tradition," Patterson said. "They want to belong."  READ MORE>

A Shelter from the streets

February 6, 2010
By Jeffrey Sheban, The Columbus Dispatch

Moving to Columbus in 2004 to conduct research on runaways and homeless youths for Ohio State University, Natasha Slesnick wanted to hit the ground running.

The transplant from the University of New Mexico went looking for the type of facility found in most large cities -- where wayward young people stop to eat, wash up and check on e-mail.

Since 1970, Columbus has had a residential center, Huckleberry House, for young runaways. READ MORE>

Program Aims To Help Homeless Teens

February 23, 2008
By Channel 10 TV News

They are shadows who find solace along cold walls in empty buildings and abandoned homes.
They are children - sons and daughters of circumstance. One girl just turned 17. "I ran away for a few times and then I started moving in with my grandma, but then she kicked me out because me and my cousin, Stacy, didn't get along," the girl said. READ MORE AND WATCH THE VIDEO>