Homeport’s Annual Celebration Packs ‘The Vault’

Audience Asked To Increase Support Of Organization’s Mission

More than 400 people gathered recently in downtown Columbus to celebrate Homeport’s 27 years as a leader in affordable housing – and to recognize the challenges ahead.

“Whatever you did this year, do a little more next year,” said U.S. Rep. Joyce Beatty.

Speakers praised Homeport for its affordable home ownership and rental opportunities, foreclosure prevention counseling and homebuyer education, as well as on-site educational and after-school programs for resident children.

“A child’s future should not be determined by zip code,” said Joe Gilligan, Central Ohio office director for U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown. “That’s why the work Homeport does is so important.”

The program, held Oct. 16 at event venue “The Vault,” was underwritten with the support of Homeport donors. Chairman of the Homeport board, Thomas O’Hara, offered greetings to the audience. Appearing on a video, Jeff Hastings, president of U.S. Bank’s Central Ohio operations, urged participants to join Homeport’s special donor program known as the “Army of 1000.” 

The audience watched our feature video [see top of page] that featured residents of Homeport. A senior citizen spoke of how a moderate income Homeport community enabled him to care of his failing wife. A single mom spoke to her dream of raising her 10-year-old daughter in a safe, single-family home. Another woman spoke to how Homeport helped her avoid foreclosure.

The special evening was highlighted by a report from Homeport President/CEO Amy Klaben on the Homeport communities housing 5300 people, half of whom are children, and the programs and services critical to their stability and long term success.

 “We are helping to break the cycle of poverty,” Klaben said. “We are creating a new future for so many families in our beautiful city. Because of what you have done over the past year, this is possible.”

But, more needs to be done in creating educational empowerment, neighborhood revitalization and safe, decent affordable homes, she said.

“Please join me as we re-double our efforts, explore new areas, and do the things that are hard to do. Join us in making a difference, because Home Matters.  As John F. Kennedy said about going to the moon, ‘We do these things…not because they are easy, but because they are hard. These are the things that measure the best of us.’”