Our Mission 

To improve the lives of immigrant and refugee families by connecting and providing resources in all aspects of human services.

Our Vision 

Inspire full integration of immigrant and refugee families by connecting Central Ohio through mutual understanding.


Welcome to Our Helpers. We are a women led, immigrant-founded nonprofit in Columbus, Ohio. In 2014, Hodan Mohammed had the vision to start a nonprofit after hundreds of hours of helping Central Ohio's Somali American community by herself. Originally an informal group of volunteers, Hodan's vision was affectionally known as "Our Helpers" by those they served. The Somali language in our logo translates to "Don't be lonely. Don't be sad. We are here to help." Although our organization is still small, we live that mission every day. 

Our youth basketball league could continue safely. Through the tireless advocacy of Columbus City Councilmember Remy, Councilmember Dorans, and the Franklin County Human Services Chamber, we were able to secure vital funding through federal, state, and local mechanisms that kept our doors open. We continue to be endlessly grateful for the warmth and support we have received from our local partners.

2021 has been a challenging year, to say the least. The COVID-19 pandemic has left deep wounds across our country. Those wounds are especially felt by the communities we serve. From the loss of economic security to the loss of loved ones, the immigrant and refugee communities in Central Ohio have been hit especially hard by the pandemic. Before the onset of COVID-19, Our Helpers was already uniquely equipped to engage families that have been isolated from traditional organizations. With the pandemic, we have been put in a position where our work has never more been more critical. Thanks to the continued support of our funders, we have been able to deliver the same high quality of programming with even less resources to work with. 

The theme for our 2021 Annual Report is "Change". We had to learn how to pivot services online or into otherwise safe environments, which was crucial to our continued success. With 2021 behind us, we look to a new year full of opportunity. Even as we continue to look at opportunities for further engagement, quality, not quantity, is our goal in all that we do. As you read further, you will learn about how we streamlined our programming, surpassed our expected outcomes, and have a firm footing in 2022. 

Thank you to our Board of Directors, our Community Partners, our staff, and all of those that have helped us continue to thrive. Your understanding of the important work we do is so impressive and appreciated.   

​​​​​​​Hudan and Laura 


When muralists Ryan Sarfati and Eric Skotnes were learning about Columbus before painting their 11,000 square foot, 11 stories tall mural at the Graduate Hotel at 750 N High St, Columbus in the Short North Arts District, they learned that Columbus has the second largest Somali community in the United States. Being the children of immigrants, they wanted to celebrate the immigrant experience in the city. During their research, they met Hodan Mohammed, the founder of Our Helpers and knew they had the central piece of their mural in a portrait of her representing those who have the strength and courage to leave their homes to come to Columbus and succeed. A mystical experience of hummingbirds flying around their heads one day brought them to study the birds. They found a direct parallel in their migratory pattern as far as the Somali population traveling to Columbus. A circle of hummingbirds completed the vision that became “The Journey”. Since its completion in June of 2020, ‘The Journey’ has become an iconic mural in the Short North Arts District.