What is the mission behind Homeport?
Homeport creates strong communities by developing quality, affordable homes on a cornerstone of dignity, security and opportunity.
What do you love about being a part of Homeport, and what do you want people to know about the organization?
Homeport is very proud to be a thriving non-profit real estate development company in the people business. It was created in 1987 in tandem with the Community Shelter Board when city and civic leaders in Central Ohio saw a need to address both homelessness and affordable housing. Today, Homeport is the largest locally-focused nonprofit developer of affordable housing in Central Ohio, with 2,380 rental apartments and homes in 36 communities. Its 6,200 residents, almost half of whom are 18 years old or younger, can access a broad range of services from after-school programming to emergency assistance for rent and utilities. Homeport also links its residents to food, furniture and employment assistance as well as medical and mental health services.
What have been some of Homeport’s biggest accomplishments in the past five years?
For the first time in over a decade, Homeport in 2019 received two Low Income Housing Tax Credit awards from the Ohio Housing Finance Agency. The awards will lead to a 32-unit apartment building in Whitehall for seniors and 50 apartments and single-family homes in North Linden.
Homeport has been named an Energy Efficiency Champion by American Electric Power for 33 single family homes it built in 2018 in Milo-Grogan. The “green design” construction, HVAC system and energy efficient appliances provide significant savings to residents.
Additionally, in 2017, Homeport was named one of The Columbus Foundation 5 Nonprofits to Watch. In 2016, the Ohio Department of Health awarded Homeport a “platinum”, or highest-level award, in recognition of its written policies prohibiting smoking in its apartments and homes.
What does it mean to be a part of the Change for Charity program?
We are honored to be chosen by the Easton Community Foundation not only for the funds that will help stabilize our residents, but for the opportunity to showcase the need for affordable housing and what we do to help the community.
How does your organization plan to use the funds it raises from the Change for Charity program?
The charity dollars will be used to prevent evictions and other crises facing Homeport residents.
Other than participate in Change for Charity, how can people support Homeport?
There are a few different ways to support Homeport and give better homes and enriched lives for thousands of Central Ohioans. There are many ways to get involved, beginning by taking Homeport’s State Auto Insurance Companies-sponsored Strengthening Communities bus tour. The tour allows you to hear about and visit Homeport properties—all while you engage with residents who benefit from advocacy and partnerships.
Individual donations can make an impact in the organization’s mission. One couple, Andy and Holly Malone, was honored in 2018 with the first Spirit of Homeport award for setting aside a percentage of real estate commissions to Homeport. You may also designate Homeport in your Financial & Estate planning through the Columbus Foundation Giving Store.
Regular donations can come through enrollment in the Kroger Community Rewards program. By designating Homeport, the organization benefits every time you swipe your Kroger card. Shop at AmazonSmile and pick Columbus Housing Partnership Inc, dba Homeport, to support our mission every time you order.
Finally, there are sponsorship opportunities at Homeport’s annual Voice & Vision gala, where supporters of the organization gather and learn more about the impact they are having on the community.
For more information on Homeport, visit their website.