ARC hub a base for community exploring

Richard Furney shows off some of his ceramics pieces during a lunch break at the ARC community hub in Grove City.

The suggestion board in the new ARC community hub usually fills up fast. Participants in the STEP (Start Toward Emerging Possibilities) program have no trouble coming up with places to go, things to do and people to see.
“Ride a pontoon boat. Watch drag racing. Visit a bookstore. It’s fun to see what everyone chooses,” said Allie Nordman, STEP service administrator at ARC. “You can kind of go by your own whims.”
ARC opened the hub in Grove City earlier this year as a pilot for a new model of community services, one that uses the site as something akin to a base camp or drop-in office for program participants, STEP staff and for homemaker-personal care employees providing supports in the area.
There are rooms for programming, planning, meetings or a quick lunch before heading to the next activity.
“The traditional model at the bigger buildings has been that people would spend the bulk of their day on that site. Generally speaking, they would go out for fairly limited amounts of time,” Nordman said. “With the STEP program, people are out in the community most of the time.”
If all continues to go well, ARC hopes to open additional hubs in other parts of the county, Nordman said.
Community specialist Audrey Platt loves brainstorming with participants about new places and areas to explore. “It works really well,” she said. “We have a lot of shared interests, which is great.”
On a recent summer afternoon, Platt and three STEP participants stopped to eat lunch at the hub, where they talked about recent trips and upcoming plans. Richard Furney got a big kick out of visiting an antique mall. “It’s a place where I could probably go back and spend a lot of money,” he said.
He also had fun at the Zoombezi water park, and was looking forward to a return visit to a ceramics class.
Several STEP participants, including Furney, had attended ARC workshops and programs for years. “It’s nice to be able to offer them something different,” Nordman said. “There are some who started with this one or two days a week and now have added more, they like it so much.”
For more information about the hub, call Nordman at 614-897-9582 or email [email protected]

STEP program participants have no trouble coming up with a list of places to go.