Lower Lights Ministries primarily serves the Franklinton area, a neighborhood located just west of downtown Columbus, Ohio. Franklinton is a fascinating place. As the first settlement of Columbus, the area has a rich, complex history colored with culture shifts, floods, neglect and revival. Franklinton has a strong Appalachian influence from previous migrations, creating a fascinating dynamic of Urban Appalachian culture in the neighborhood.


light the way home community


Franklinton was the first settlement in the area, predating the City of Columbus that would later annex the neighborhood. Founder Lucas Sullivant envisioned a community of promise and new beginnings for settler families when he settled the area in the late 1700s.

Despite its rich history, catastrophic floods, urban disinvestment, and neglect have resulted in many challenges in Franklinton, being cited as one of the largest "white slums" in America according to US News and World Report. A recent study conducted by the Franklin County Family Comes First Council (2007) ranked Franklinton (zip code 43222) the most "at-risk neighborhood" in Franklin County.

Interesting Franklinton Statistics

  • Most Franklinton census tracts have the worst rating (10 out of 10) on the Federal Community Disadvantagement Index through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinqunecy Prevention (OJJDP)
  • Declining population of over nearly 11,000 residents, with the highest share of people under age 5 in the area*
  • Franklinton has the lowest median household income ($23,316), and the highest poverty rates in Franklin County with 37% of households below poverty level, and over 77% of households below self-sufficiency*
  • Less than one-third of the adult population has a HS diploma*
  • Over 70% of homes are vacant or renter-occupied*
  • Franklinton has the highest teen pregnancy rate in Franklin County**
  • Franklinton has the highest teen crime rates (highest misdemeanor rate and third highest felony rate)**
  • Franklinton children have the highest rate of mental health disorders in Franklin County**
  • The population consists of 68.9% white, 22% black, 2% Asian, 7.1% other ethnic origin


*Columbus and Franklin County Consolidated Plan 2010-2014

**Franklin County Family Comes First Council Key Indicators Master Report 2007