Homeport Employee Profile: Kat Cochrane-Yamaguchi

  Kat Cochrane-Yamaguchi

Kat Cochrane-Yamaguchi

Title: Grant and Compliance Manager

Responsibilities:

Homeport secures and manages more than 40 grants and grant-like contributions annually. These funds enable our Resident Service coordinators to connect our 6,200 residents to vital services related to health, food, education, eviction prevention and more. Grants help our Housing Advisory team interact with 1,200 of our Central Ohio neighbors considering homeownership -- but who also need assistance in improving credit scores, budgeting and savings. Finally, grants are vital to construction, rehabilitation, and renovation of the affordable housing stock in the Central Ohio community. My role as Grant and Compliance Manager is to work with our stellar staff members to research best practices, seek funding prospects, write proposals, manage grant processes, improve program delivery and design, and conduct outcome reporting.

What do I like most about the organization?

Homeport is a high performing culture with staff members intellectually and emotionally committed to improving the lives of Central Ohio’s low- and moderate- income families. It’s inspiring to be a part of this team. The mission is what first compelled me to look at Homeport as a place to work. Before Homeport I spent 12 years at another Central Ohio nonprofit building up programs in the fields of adult education and workforce development. The adults who come to these programs are intelligent, creative, driven, and committed people, and are doing their very best to move forward in the face of difficult and trying circumstances. I saw that the most pressing barrier that consistently derailed their goals was the lack of affordable, safe, decent housing. Homeport is changing that, and I am thrilled to get to be a part of doing this anti-poverty work.

What have you done in your career you are most proud of, or that people may not be aware of?

Getting to see something germinate from idea to successful implementation is always a moment of pride. I’ve had the chance to be a part of several such efforts and collaborations for collective impact during my career, particularly in the areas of adult education and workforce programs. Through these experiences, I’ve witnessed how public and private partners and committed agency staff effect positive change.

There are individuals in our community who face seemingly insurmountable obstacles and have been told a terrible story their whole lives that they cannot succeed in school, in the workplace and in life. Then they sign up for a class or a training program and start showing up. They are surrounded by positive people invested in their success. The story starts to change, and they become the narrator of a new message that has their hope and perseverance at its core. And they walk across the graduation stage. And they celebrate one month, three months, twelve months on the job. What I am most proud of is getting to be a part of a team helping people access and author a better, truer story about themselves, their families and our community.

Favorite things I do outside of work?

I spend time with my wonderful family including my parents, partner, and kids; we like to go on walks, play card and board games, and have our weekends absorbed with youth soccer and gymnastics meets. I’m also an avid reader and enjoy singing in my church choirs.

Personal Heroes?

My mother. Annie Dillard wrote, “How we spend our days is of course how we spend our lives.” My mother spends her days tutoring adults, donating to important community work, watching every news source to keep an eye on events, noticing beauty in a showy clematis or red sugar maple, and feeding the songbirds the superior seed mixes. Her days are a shining example of living a life with grace, kindness, love and wonderment.