It all started in 1988, when Homeport, then known as Columbus Housing Partnership, saw opportunity in the Gault Manor Apartment complex near Livingston and Nelson Roads. Gault Manor was a 48-unit apartment complex badly in need of repair. Executive Director Beth Hughes reached out to the community for support, and Huntington Bank – then Huntington National Bank – responded with over $800,000 in financing.
The ensuing redevelopment included roof repairs, interior design work, new appliances, and landscaping. Gault Manor was re-launched as Bide-A-Wee Village once the renovations were completed. Bide-A-Wee ultimately became Rebecca’s Place for Friends of the Homeless.
Over the years, Huntington’s commitment to our mission never faded. Through their support of our marketing efforts, we were able to launch a revamped website and shoot a series of videos that helped increase awareness of our organization throughout the community. Coupled with a 6-year, $25k donation, our Homeport Programs are now able to reach more of those in-need throughout the city. Huntington’s contribution of $3.5m was also integral in revitalizing the Southside Homes neighborhood – bringing 32 new, single-family homes to the area.
Fast forward to 2009, and Huntington Bank once again stepped up to stabilize homeownership in Central Ohio with The Huntington Homeownership Alliance. The 3-year, $10 million Huntington Homeownership Alliance, a Strategic Partnership with Homeport, is expected to help an estimated 9,000 households through housing counseling, foreclosure avoidance services, and affordable mortgages. The Huntington Hometown Mortgage program would enable at least 100 people to purchase homes here in Central Ohio.
Support over these past two decades has not been strictly monetary. From volunteers like Daniel Ruggiero helping teach Home Buyer Education classes, to board member Tom O’Hara, Jr. working to carry out the strategic plan of our organization – Homeport has benefitted tremendously from the passion at the heart of Huntington’s core values.
Homeport would like to thank Huntington Bank for the support through the past 25 years, and we look forward to working with Huntington to Building Vibrant Communities in the future.