Giving Thanks & Looking Ahead

Fifteen Years as President/CEO at Homeport

By Amy Klaben

I am so proud of the good work we have done together over the past 15 years. I am inspired everyday by both our amazing staff and the stories of success from the people and families we serve.

We have impacted thousands of lives together. Thank you for all that you have done with us, side by side, for our community, for our children, and for the future of Columbus and Central Ohio.

With the help of our partners and the greater community, we have done more in the last 15 years than I could possibly sum up here. It is my deep honor to share with you just a very few of the many great things we have done to make a difference in people’s lives:

  • We have served over 25,000 individuals with programs on homebuyer education, foreclosure prevention, as well as credit and budget counseling.
  • We developed rental apartment communities for seniors and today have five of them.
  • We established our first smoke-free rental community last year. Some of our existing developments will become smoke free this year. This is amazing!
  • We have provided backpacks and school supplies to hundreds of children.
  • We developed collaborations and partner relationships that allow our residents to benefit from after-school programs, mental health screenings, produce and food pantry distributions, a furniture bank, and more.
  • We had led the revitalization of North of Broad – and it is simply beautiful!
  • Over 5,300 people live in our homes today.

We are also building homes in areas close to workforce needs to minimize transportation gaps and to be closer to schools. Together with developer Casto, we are planning the re-use of historic Barrett Middle School to create apartments and single family homes in Marion Village.

And this is only the beginning.

Our mission to provide affordable homes, where people can live within their means and raise families with stability, remains our essence. Housing is at the heart of education, health and employment issues. We are not providing just a home. We are helping to break the cycle of poverty and providing the opportunities to redefine futures and turn hopes and dreams into a reality.

We know that affordable homes relieve health care costs because unaffordable housing causes enormous stress. We believe so much in the importance of this message that this spring we will be hosting a Town Hall style meeting for a special showing of the HBO-Maria Shriver produced documentary, “Paycheck to Paycheck, the Life and Times of Katrina Gilbert.” The event will be held on the evening of March 12, at COSI. I would love to see you there.

As we move forward, we will work even harder to tell this story and ensure that more business and community leaders are aware of our mission and the role they can play in addressing our local need for affordable housing.

And we need your help, too.

There are plenty of ways to make a difference for people in our community through volunteer opportunities with Homeport. I urge you to learn more about our organization. Come see the good work we are doing and roll up your sleeves as a volunteer and/or make a donation.

Thank you for standing by our side. I can’t wait to see what the next 15 years bring.