Homeport Happenings -- January 2017

'Ugly' Never Looked Prettier

Homeport's Morgen Wade and Craig Murphy, center, accepted gift check from EMH&T

Offbeat Fundraiser Nets Record Gift For 'Book Bank' Program

Engineering firm EMH&T for the second year in a row has shattered the record for biggest single contribution by a company or individual to Homeport’s highly successful literacy and learning initiative “Bright Ideas Book Bank.”

Thanks to an “ugly sweater” competition at its headquarters in New Albany, EMH&T wrote a check on Dec. 9 to Homeport for $5,074, -- funds that will be used to purchase books for children living in Homeport’s residential communities.

EMH&T gave $4,000 to Homeport last year from its Ugly Sweater competition. The funds are raised when employees bid on who has to wear, for one day, tacky looking sweaters designed by co-workers.    

Brian Quackenbush wears sweater from Marty Shuter

Brian Quackenbush wears sweater from Marty Shuter

“The creativity of EMH&T employees in designing these sweaters, and their generosity of spirit, matched by the company, is remarkable,” said Morgen Wade, Homeport’s Manager of Volunteer Engagement and coordinator of “Book Bank.”

EMH&T equally matched the donations of employees, dollar for dollar. Employees wore their crazy attire to work and off-site meetings, helping spread the word about Book Bank and Homeport.

“The employees at EMH&T are a group of talented, creative and generous individuals who work extremely hard and at the same time, enjoy any opportunity for a good laugh and some fun,” said EMH&T President Sandy Doyle-Ahern. “Our yearly ‘Ugly Sweater Silent Auction’ allows us to support the mission of Homeport’s Book Bank and bring joy and humor to our office.” 

Book Bank began in 2013 as part of Homeport’s commitment to literacy and fighting learning loss during school breaks (Christmas-New Year’s; Summertime). The Ohio Educational Library Media Association has recognized Homeport for the initiative as has The American Association of School Librarians.

Over the program's four years, Homeport has provided 1,900 kids with 5,800 books, many at Book Fair gatherings that allow kids to have fun games wrapped around literacy themes. 

Homeport Board Chair Chris Hune, second from right, helps children select books at Georges Creek book fair event.

Homeport Board Chair Chris Hune, second from right, helps children select books at Georges Creek book fair event.

Homeport Story Wrapped Into National Book

Homeport CEO Writes About King Lincoln District Success

Homeport's North of Broad (NoBo) redevelopment in the King Lincoln District is one of 150 stories highlighted in a newly released book on innovative affordable housing and community development.

The book, "NeighborWorks Works: Practical Solutions from America's Community Development Network," is available for purchase through Amazon. It will help policymakers, funders, media, potential partners and industry professionals examine trends, challenges and potential solutions in creating economic opportunity in American communities.

"If you're looking for solid case stories on solving some of America's problems around affordable housing, rural initiatives, financial education and foreclosure prevention -- all while being excellent in community leadership and social entrepreneurship - look no further! " writes NeighborWorks's Project Manager & Marketing/PR Strategist Antoinette Sykes.

Homeport President & CEO Bruce Luecke wrote about Homeport's innovative efforts to bring back a once vibrant neighborhood in the King Lincoln District that suffered when highway development cut through the area in the early 1960s. "The key to successfully improving the area would be patience, a methodical approach and several partnerships," Luecke wrote.  The story tells of the block by block improvement approach by Homeport and partners that over a decade from 2004-2015 brought about the construction or rehabilitation of more than 100 new or renovated homes.

Homeport is a charter member of NeighborWorks America, a 35-year-old non-profit established by Congress to create opportunities to help individuals live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities.

Sign Of The Future

Banner on South Hamilton Road in Whitehall.

Banner on South Hamilton Road in Whitehall.

'Hamilton Crossing'  Advertising Installed

If motorists were wondering what was being constructed just east of Hamilton Road in Whitehall on the south side of Etna Road, there should no longer be a mystery.

On Dec. 20, a 50-foot-wide, 6-foot tall mesh vinyl banner  promoting "Hamilton Crossing" went up on the edge of the property where 64 one and two-bedroom affordable apartments are being built by Homeport for seniors of low to moderate incomes.

The three-story, 69,665-square foot building is expected to be open by fall. Residents must be at least 55 years old.  To learn about leasing opportunities, contact Wallick Communities at 614 863-4640.