Donor News

Mary rediscovered NOBO because of Homeport

Mary moved to North of Broad (NOBO) in the King Lincoln District when she was thirteen years old and called this neighborhood home for a many years. Eventually she did move away as the neighborhood declined. While living in low-income housing in another area of the city, Mary took a free financial education class at Homeport and learned that they were building homes in her old neighborhood.

"I always had aspirations of having a home. It would be 100% better because I was in a small cramped apartment. I had two young children, and I wanted somewhere to raise my children – where they could grow up and make memories."

Mary's dream came true when she purchased her very own home in NOBO. She now lives next door to her mother and the house she grew up in, and her first grade teacher lives down the street. Mary purchased Homeport's very first home in the North of Broad neighborhood, which gave her a front row seat to the revitalization of the area.

According to Mary, most of the people who previously lived here were older and had passed away – leaving homes abandoned and making room for "some not-so-nice things in the community." Since Homeport began working here the street has been beautified, new homes are bringing more working-class people to the neighborhood, and the community is being restored. Neighbors know one another and talk together. One day, Mary accidentally left her garage door open and her neighbor called to let her know. "I feel like I have someone looking out for me," said Mary. Not only has Mary connected with her community but so have her children. Many new families moved in to the area with children. For the first time, her kids have friends to play with in a safe place where she knows her neighbors are helping to keep an eye on them.

"We feel safe and comfortable. I like looking out my door and seeing new homes. I just love the neighborhood and the way it's grown." ~Mary

Maude Hill - employee and donor

I am thrilled to be both an employee and a donor for Homeport as we live the mission to create and preserve healthy, stable and affordable communities one neighborhood, one person at time.  We offer our clients and residents the Lexus in service and support as I’m able to see lives transformed first-hand.  I’m so pleased to be one of a growing number of donors who make decent, affordable homes a reality for more families in need. ~ Maude Hill, Vice President of Community and Government Relations

Let’s talk about impact: Hussein’s Story

Staff and volunteers at Homeport’s rental communities shepherd youth towards growth, self-respect and a greater understanding of the world around them during out of school programming. Here is the story of one child in Emerald Glen’s summer day camp for kids aged 5-12.

On the first day 5 year-old Hussein walked into our summer program, Chris, a Homeport volunteer thought to himself, “Now, here’s a kid that’s not ready for kindergarten.” When he first came into the program, Hussein was completely nonverbal, except for the ability to say his name. Whether he was too shy, or simply couldn’t speak, Chris couldn’t say. All he knew is that for Hussein, camp would be a difficult experience.

Throughout the summer, though, thanks to the guidance and encouragement of the counselors and supportive peers, Hussein began to come into his own. Soon, he was not only playing games and participating in daily activities, but he was talking! Over the course of eight weeks, Chris watched this shy, introverted little boy transform. When he walked out of our summer camp, Hussein was ready to take on kindergarten.

Ruth Waldron: Senior living at a Homeport community

"I never knew about senior living until two years ago. I thought senior living was the nursing home. And I found out that it wasn’t because I just didn’t know what it was. My first experience in the senior building they just let you know that they are there for you. You have people around you, management during business hours, and then the closeness of the apartments so you have all of your neighbors that if they don’t see you, if I don’t see somebody I’m going to call them, I’m going to go and knock on their door and say “Hey, are you alright today?” Most apartment life it’s just you’re in your apartment – that’s it, that’s all.” 

~Ruth Waldron

Chris Hune: I care about Homeport because...

Chris Hune wanted to make a difference in the lives of her neighbors here in Central Ohio when she teamed up with Homeport. She has a passion to make a positive difference specifically in the lives of women and children, and this passion found it's home when Chris joined our Women of Homeport affinity group. The Women of Homeport efforts specifically support women and children living in Homeport communities.

When asked why Chris supports Homeport, she said:
"I care about Homeport because every family deserves the right to live in a happy, healthy and thriving environment.”  

To learn more about the Women of Homeport or our other affinity groups, please email Nicole Papa Odegaard at nicole.odegaard@homeportohio.org.

Meet the Lewis Family

"They [Homeport] don't just sell you a home, they really embrace you as a family."

–Mary Lewis purchased the first home for her and her son Winston with help from Homeport. The Housing Advisory Center provided the education necessary to be comfortable with the home-buying process, while Homeport Home Ownership was there to help with the more personalized details of the process. Mary and Winston now not only have each other, but also Homeport and NoBo neighbors to call family.

Amy's Corner

I hope the summer is providing each of you opportunity to spend time with those you love; to relax a bit; and to enjoy all the pleasures that your home, neighborhood and community have to offer.  I want to sincerely thank you on behalf of the families and seniors that we serve for helping to provide each of them with similar opportunities with your generous gifts.  I was moved by Howard Schottenstein’s quote about why he supports Homeport. Howard, Founder & President of Markpoint Development, has a long history of advocating for vulnerable children and families in Central Ohio.  Can you imagine what our lives would be like without the stability that a quality home in a safe neighborhood surrounded by those that care about us would be like?  More families in Central Ohio need this stability so they can access stable employment, healthcare services, and provide their kids with the opportunity for a quality education in a school of choice not dictated by transitions from one school to another in the quest to find affordable, quality housing in a safe neighborhood.

Thank you so much for being a partner in our work.  I hope you will tell others about why you give to Homeport and invite them to learn more about the people we serve, our programs, why it matters, and how they can help.  Contact Peter Tripp by email or phone at 614-545-4853 with any questions or to ask him to contact others about our work.

Meet the Crespo Family

They are one of many families that were able to call a new house My Home in 2012. Having spent most of their lives in Puerto Rico, they are excited by all of the opportunities that Columbus has to offer.

When Ana and her family joined Homeport’s Whittier Landing community last year, shortly after coming to Columbus, they finally felt at home. The many programs and services provided by Homeport have helped them to succeed where they live. The Crespo family feels better prepared to face everyday challenges. They have developed a sense of pride for the community and look forward to putting down deeper roots.

Honoring Our Past and Sustaining Our Future

In 1987, the Founders of Homeport (then Columbus Housing Partnership) had a vision that central city neighborhoods throughout Columbus would be revitalized.  More low to moderate income households in Central Ohio would live in safe, decent, affordable housing and realize the American dream of home ownership.  Local, state and national policymakers would develop practical housing policy and provide additional funding, while other housing organizations across the nation would look to CHP (Homeport) as a model and replicate our success.

For 25 years Robert Weiler, Sr. , a Homeport founder, has provided vision, leadership, and personal investment to the people and neighborhoods of Central Ohio.  His inspirational words spoken early in Homeport’s (CHP) history continue to serve as the measuring stick for our success, “In the next 20 years, Columbus Housing Partnership, through its diverse collaborations with the public and private sectors, will emerge as the city’s leader, not just in affordable housing, but in the revitalization of urban neighborhoods and the creation of vibrant communities.  As our population continues steady growth, CHP’s ability to deliver will be inextricably linked to Columbus’ health and stability.”  

Your personal investment as a Homeport donor has made it possible for senior citizens to maintain their independence in friendly, safe environments, for families to realize their dream of home ownership, for children to grow-up with a sense of hope, and for urban neighborhoods to rise from decay to become vibrant communities.  On behalf of those whose lives have been transformed by your generosity and those whose lives will be touched in the future – THANK YOU!

Meet Khadija Ahmed

She is like any parent and wants the best for her children.  But life has thrown a lot of challenges her way - - like war.  As a result, Khadija was forced to live in a Somali refugee camp in Kenya.

When she and her family moved to Ohio and joined Homeport’s Emerald Glen community 12 years ago, they finally felt at home.  The many programs and services provided by Homeport have helped them to succeed where they live.  Khadija and her children feel better prepared to face everyday challenges.  They have developed a sense of pride for the community and appreciate the impact of giving back.