Get Involved

‘Home Matters For Everyone’

Homeport End-Of-Year Campaign Coming Soon

As the Holiday Season approaches, it is a time to celebrate – and reflect on those less fortunate. In coming weeks, Homeport will soon be offering an opportunity to take action on the latter.

An award-winning, 27-year-old HUD-certified non-profit, Homeport critically benefits over 5,000 Central Ohio residents through affordable home ownership and rental opportunities, foreclosure prevention counseling and on-site educational and after-school programs for children.

So, with those missions in mind, Homeport in November and December will be sending out video testimonials from the parents, children, and seniors it serves urging participation in an end-of-year campaign of  “Home Matters for Everyone.”

“For many, the security of a safe neighborhood, the stability that an affordable permanent home provides for our family, is something taken for granted,” said Peter Tripp, Director of Donor and Investor Relations for Homeport. “This luxury allows us to provide for our children and the peace that we find knowing our parents and grandparents can grow old with dignity.”

But too many of our neighbors in Central Ohio will spend the holidays reflecting on the stress in their lives caused by living in a blighted neighborhood, moving from one run-down apartment to another or growing old with scarce financial resources, Tripp said.

That is why the organization will be sending out in November and December video testimonials urging support in various gift levels, from a $25 donation to join the Army of a Thousand to help kids, to a gift of $1,000 to help build affordable homes.

“Every gift matters,” said Tripp.

For individuals who want to learn more about Homeport, or wish to donate early, visit the organization’s web site at

 “You matter to your struggling neighbors – We all matter to a thriving community. This is an opportunity to make a difference,” Tripp said.

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.’”

Homeport ‘Champions’ Abound

256 Donors Match $100,000 Challenge From 10 Donors

Homeport in November 2013 launched a fund-raising initiative, banking on boxing champion Muhammad Ali’s quote that “Champions are made from something they have deep inside them -- a desire, a dream, a vision.”

By the end of August 2014, 256 members of the public answered the bell.

Giving gifts of $25 to $3000, the donors, together, raised in excess of $100,000, freeing an additional $100,000 offered to Homeport as a fund-raising challenge from 10 generous and anonymous donors.

“Because of our ‘Challenge’ Champions, $200,000 in new revenue is available to help Homeport give more people the security that a home provides,” said Peter Tripp, Homeport’s Director of Donor & Investor Relations.

The majority of the matching gift funds were from new donors who believe in Homeport’s underlying belief that everyone deserves an affordable home in a safe neighborhood where they can raise their children with pride and where we can grow old with dignity,” Tripp said.

The new funding from the program can be used across the board in Homeport’s mission in helping residents find stability and a pathway out of poverty. Programs run the gamut from financial education to access to food and preventive health care.

“Community members can still participate in the ‘Champions’ initiative or other fund-raising programs offered by Homeport,” Tripp said. “To learn more on how you too can be a champion, to keep the dream alive for our neighbors who need a hand-up not a hand-out, visit  Every gift of every size matters.” 

Kids Go Back to School with Confidence and New Backpacks

For just a little over three months, Homeport's offices and communities were overtaken with the buzz of the 2014 Back to School Readiness Drive. Backpacks and school supplies lined every available wall in our main office, while children and parents lined up at our community centers to complete registration forms to make sure that they got backpacks with age-appropriate school supplies.

Back in May, volunteers picked up over 1,000 backpacks from Junior League and Charity Newsies, and in June through August, generous donors and corporate partners held school supply drives to collect markers, folders, binders, scissors, and other school supplies to fill those backpacks. Meanwhile back at the office, volunteers from Chase and the Homeport Young Professionals sorted supplies as quickly as they were coming in, and stuffed over 200 backpacks each Wednesday night throughout July.

All of their efforts culminated in 12 Back to School Rallies held in Homeport's communities in August. Nearly 1,150 children entering Kindergarten through 12th grade received backpacks stuffed with school supplies, and had the opportunity to get their faces painted, decorate and personalize their folders and binders, make key chains for their backpacks, play dodge ball, capture the flag, water balloon toss, and even tour a firetruck. 

Thank you to the following companies and their employees, members, and customers who made our 2014 Back to School Readiness Drive a success:

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

The Hadler Companies

CREW Columbus

The Homeport Young Professionals





Target Graceland and Polaris stores

It's not too soon to begin planning for the 2015 Back to School Readiness Drive. If you would like to learn more about how you or your organization can volunteer or donate for next year's Back to School Readiness Drive, please contact Morgen Wade, Manager of Volunteer Engagement, at or 614-545-4817.

Volunteer at our biggest event of the year!

Get to know leaders in Columbus' nonprofit community, enjoy a meaningful program, and experience one of the most unique event locations while volunteering at Homeport's Annual Celebration.

On Thursday, October 16th, Homeport will once again host our Annual Celebration to honor community leaders who have been champions of affordable housing, thank the donors and funders who have made this year's achievements possible, and outline future plans to build vibrant communities in Central Ohio.

16 to 20 volunteers are needed the night of the event to greet guests and guide them through the event venue, The Vault, register and sign guests in, assist our photographer, make sure guests are comfortable, pass out program books, and give out goodie bags as guests are leaving at the end of the celebration.

Volunteers commit to helping from 4pm to 8pm on Thursday October16th at The Vault, 35 East Gay Street, Suite #100.

If you or your organization is interested in volunteering, please contact Morgen Wade, Manager of Volunteer Engagement, at or 614-545-4817.

Shining brightly in our communities through Leaderspark

Pamela Johnson-Smith has lived at Framingham Village for 17 years, in fact she is on of the original residents. On May 15 she introduced Asha Ahmed at Homeport’s LeaderSpark graduation. In her own words, you can hear the impact of the intergenerational interaction:

The door opened and the sun shined in; the door closed and one realized it was the smile of a beautiful young lady, not the sun that caused the glow.  Asha Ahmed is regal in appearance, humble in her mannerisms; she is sixteen years old and blossoming into her womanhood. Asha is an honor student at Zenith Academy; she loves to read and watch anime (cartoons). She is soft spoken, shy, and is still learning her power.  Her goals include obtaining an advanced degree in nursing and returning to her homeland of Somalia where she can serve her people.  Asha enrolled in the LeaderSpark program to enhance her public speaking skills and to connect with her community.  She glides with the agility of a gazelle, but admits she is much more mental than physical; unlike most teenagers she would rather read than shop.  Asha has worked on environmental projects with her school which enabled her to use prior experience to enhance the LeaderSpark 2014 Project. She considers her loving father her primary mentor; he encourages her to be her best and accepts her as she is.Asha is truly a Jr Leader who will be a force to be reckoned with as she continues to grow and mature.

Volunteer Groups needed for upcoming Produce Fairs

Looking for a rewarding team-building experience for your group or company?  Produce Fairs are perfect!

Between July and October, Homeport is seeking groups of 8 to 20 people to ensure that Central Ohio residents have access to free, fresh, and healthy produce.

Produce Fairs are a partnership between Homeport and the Mid-Ohio Foodbank, where our residents and neighbors are welcomed to our community centers where they can “shop” for fresh milk, juice, yogurt, fruits, and vegetables, all for free.

Volunteers are needed to set up tables and tents on the produce line, register shoppers, provide food to shoppers, offer cooking suggestions and recipes, help children and the elderly carry their groceries back to their apartments, and break down boxes and pallets. If leftover produce is available at the end of the fair, we could also use a few volunteers who don’t mind driving some of the produce to local food pantries on their way home.

Volunteer groups are needed from 1:30pm to 4:30pm on the following dates:

Thursday July 17 

Thursday August 28 

Tuesday September 2

Thursday October 2

Tuesday October 14

If your organization is interested in volunteering for one of these produce fair dates, please contact Morgen Wade, Manager of Volunteer Engagement, at or 614-545-4817.

King Lincoln District focus of 2014 REALTOR® Care Day

2014 REALTOR® Care Day

For the 2014 REALTOR® Care Day, Columbus REALTORS® main project included four different projects in the King Lincoln District all focused on enhancing the E. Long St. corridor (between Garfield and 17th St.). Work crews were able to improve an outdoor eating area, place 30 commercial planters provide general trash cleanup and create a new green space complete with hopscotch and oversized checkers. (Map of LocationProject Map

Over $37,000 invested in central Ohio 

(June 6, 2014) 530 local REALTORS®, family and friends cleaned, painted, pruned and planted this past Wednesday as part of the Columbus REALTORS®’ 10th annual REALTOR® Care Day, helping improve 30 homes and organizations all over central Ohio!

Started in 2005, REALTOR® Care Day is an annual day of service to the communities in which REALTORS® live, work and raise families. In the last ten years, REALTOR® Care Day has contributed over $291,000 in improvements and repairs and hundreds of hours of service to residents and communities around central Ohio. 

“REALTORS® frequently volunteer their time and talent throughout the year,” said Milt Lustnauer, 2014 president of the Columbus REALTORS®. “This one-day event in particular allows us to hone the Power of US by focusing our collective energy - as well as those of our family, friends and colleagues – to make a significant difference throughout central Ohio.”

Thanks to our 2014 Volunteers!
Jennifer Angelcyk 
Zach Appleby 
Hubert (Jack) Banks 
Brenndan Bauman 
Yoko Bihary 
Elizabeth Blair 
Denise Bohnert 
Laurie Boudreaux 
Marqué Bressler 
Donna Brozovich 
Leslie Cady McFadden 
Kelly Cantwell 
Karleya Chard 
Marcella Chepp 
Mallory Clark 
Amy Clark 
Stan Collins 
Melissa Colmenares 
Anna Criddle 
Marvin Crumbie 
Mitch Deminski 
Matt Deminski 
Mickey DiPiero
Heather DiSalvo
Jill Disbro
Heather Dunn 
Aimy Edwards 
Noah Enriquez
Leah Evans  
Ken Fairchild 
Jill Fergus 
Andrew Fleshman 
Jack Gabalski 
Jodee Gallagher 
Deb Garda 
David Gill 
Chuck Gleich 
Mic Gordon 
Julie Gribben 
Teddy Griffin 
Michelle Groff 
Justin Gwinn 
Lynn Hackworth 
Jacob Haines 
Krista Hedges 
Angela Holloway 
Darrell Hunter 
Joan Janning
Keith Jennings 
Amy Kammann
Katie Kline 
Pam Lamonica
Josh Lapp  
Sharon Lightle 
Sue Lusk-Gleich 
Milt Lustnauer 
Betsy Lynch 
Laura Mann 
Ashley Manshum 
Isaiah Marshall 
Anthony Masci 
Jamie Maze 
Jacoby Maze 
Bob McCarthy 
Emma McCarthy 
Gretchen McKay 
Elizabeth Melvin 
Amber Miller 
Andy Mills 
Will Moloney            
Susan Mullenix 
Lorn Mullenix
Jewell Mullikin
Leslie Nartker
Beth Neville
Kathleen Novak
Dominic Novak 
Ed Oliver 
Judah Palnik 
Kathy Panning 
Carl Parnell 
Joe Peffer 
Maggie Peffer 
Lauren Price
Adam Proehl  
Kathleen Radcliff 
Joann Rasmussen
Jennifer Rieser  
Timothy Rice 
John Royer 
Irene Sawyer 
Ryan Schultenover 
Ida Seitter 
Mary Sguerra 
Kathy Shiflet 
Jesse Shkolnik 
Corey Skinner 
Brittnie Smith 
Christina Stropes
Mark Sullivan 
Jill Taylor
Koretta Tennant 
Janet Thiede 
Ermas Thomas 
Buzz Thomas
Peter Tripp  
Jim Troth 
Randy Via
Morgen Wade   
Karin Waterschoot-Perez 
Haley Weaver 
Skip Weiler 
Linda Weiler 
Bobby Weiler 
Carly Weiler 
Michael Weiler 
Mike Whiteman 
Lou Willard 
Chris Wilson 
Graham Wojciechowski 
Jeffrey Woo 
Lizzie Woo 
Ronnie Woodrow 
Melanie Wright
Tonya Young 

For the main project this year, led by co-chairs Kelly Cantwell and Susan Mullenix, Columbus REALTORS® worked on the Long Street corridor in the King Lincoln District of Columbus where volunteers installed 30 planters, created a green space, enhanced an outdoor dining area, and did general clean up along the corridor.

“We worked incredibly hard to improve the outdoor area by creating a lush and vibrant green space this past Wednesday,” said Cantwell, co-chair of the Columbus REALTORS® 2014 REALTOR® Care Day Committee.

“It was great to see the members of the community really appreciated what we were doing – and will be able to enjoy this space with their families,” added Mullenix.

In addition to the main project, 21 area realty associations participated in REALTOR® Care Day attacking projects in Delaware, Fairfield, Franklin, Licking, Pickaway and Madison counties.

Over $37,000 was invested to accomplish the 30 projects which included: 

2014 In-Kind Donations
Americoat Asphalt & Concrete 
Citizen's Land Title 
Currito – Joshua Zimmerman   
Equitable Mortgage - Zach Appleby 
Equity Resources 
Dan Messer, Exceptional 1 Contracting 
Bill Fergus 
First Bexley Bank 
First Ohio Title 
Melissa Friermood 
Cheryl Godard 
Mic Gordon 
Gorilla Dumpsters 
Teddy Griffin 
HER, Realtors®
Patti and Jan Hughes 
Habitation Investigation 
Jimmy Johns - Joshua Zimmerman  
Jane Jones 
Milt Lustnauer 
Betsy Lynch 
Max & Erma's 
Mary Kay - Kathleen Radcliff
Leslie Cady McFadden 
Wil Moloney
Susan Mullenix 
Neighborhood Design Center 
Northwest Title             
Oakland Nursery  
Ohio Tables and Chairs
Quality Mulch 
John Royer
Irene Sawyer  
Mary Sguerra 
Kathy Shiflet 
Stewart Title - Tammy Darst 
Street Sotheby's 
Talon Title 
Janet Thiede 
Talmer Bank and Trust
Tool Library 
True Blue - Tony Ziebel 
Valmer Land Title 
Graham Wojciechowski 

• Columbus – Long Street corridor (King Lincoln District), Franklinton Gardens, Homeless Families Foundation and Heinzerling Foundation
• Bexley – cleaning up major corridors
• Canal Winchester Food Pantry
• Delaware – YMCA and People in Need
• Dublin – Dublin Food Pantry and resident
• Galloway - Madison County Humane Society
• Grove City – Breck and Fryer Parks
• Hilliard – Patches of Light
• Madison County Fairgrounds
• New Albany Historical Society
• Pickaway County – Ashville Community Park
• Pickerington – Echo Manor
• Residents in Clintonville, Dublin, Johnstown, Reynoldsburg, Sunbury, Westerville, Worthington

For more information about REALTOR® Care Day, visit

Additional funding for REALTOR® Care Day was provided by a grant from NeighborWorks America as part of over 300 events nationwide to celebrate NeighborWorks Week. 

During NeighborWorks Week, NeighborWorks America and its network of local organizations mobilize tens of thousands of volunteers, businesspeople, neighbors, friends, and local and national elected and civic leaders in a week of neighborhood change and awareness.

They rehab and repair homes, paint and landscape properties, conduct neighborhood tours, recognize successful partnerships, and host events that educate, train and inform. 

Spring Book Bank Success!

It's Official : Kids Love the Bright Ideas Book Bank!

After a very successful inaugural Bright Ideas Book Bank, we launched a spring edition for kids living in Homeport communities right before school let out for the summer. All children, ages 0-18, are invited to participate because engaging kids during the long breaks from school is essential to their success. We want all children to have the same opportunities to succeed, and the idea of the Bright Idea Book Bank is to encourage reading all summer long.

This spring 315 kids registered and received the book they selected, and we were also able to provide an additional 70 children with donated books! Children were excited to receive their books and we are confident it will help them start their summer off right! During the book fairs, we also celebrated the end of another school year. The kids painted suncatchers, decorated cards, and held a hula hoop contest!

The Bright Ideas Book Bank was an orchestrated effort reaching across Columbus, and it was only successful because of people who care. Thank you to everyone who contributed! You are making a big difference in the lives of these children! A special thank you to:

  • Junior Library Guild
  • EMH&T
  • Shremshock Architects
  • Sequent
  • Sweat Law Offices
  • Homeport staff, family and friends

Keep an eye out for information about the Bright Ideas Book Bank which will be held again next winter! If you would like to talk with someone about getting involved, please contact Morgen Wade, Manager of Volunteer Engagement, at

Support Columbus Artist – Anna Gsanger

We have enjoyed hosting Anna Gsanger at the Homeport Gallery! Her show, Home, features paintings of Columbus and the idea of home. She used recycled materials for her canvases, creating an unique look to her pieces. Join us at the Gallery for refreshments, a chance to meet her and enjoy supporting a local artist.

"I have now called Columbus home for nearly 15 years – the longest I've ever been anywhere – so I am painting Columbus from my home perspective."   ~ Anna Gsanger

Closing Reception:
Date: Thursday,  June 5th
Time: 5:00pm ~ 7:00pm
Location: Homeport Gallery 779 E Long St (next to the Lincoln Theatre)

The show will run through June 15th during regular gallery hours. For more information on the gallery and hours, click here. Connect with us on Facebook for continual updates!


A Night of Celebration and Gratitude!

And you earned it!

What a wonderful turnout we had last Wednesday at Homeport's Volunteer Appreciation Event. Over 40 volunteers joined us as we celebrated the close of yet another successful year of volunteer efforts. And what a year it was! In 2013, over 400 volunteers gave 8,200 hours of time, valued at nearly $210,000.

Nineteen volunteers qualified to receive the prestigious President's Volunteer Service Award, an honor bestowed on only those volunteers who have committed over 100 hours of service in a year-long period. And  the 2014 Service in Numbers Awards were presented  to two outstanding and committed groups: Starbucks and Capital University's Kids of Character Program. The Service in Numbers Awards recognized organizations who pulled together the efforts of a large number of volunteers and spent significant time preparing for and managing successful volunteer projects. Volunteers mingled and chatted about projects they worked, took in Anna Gsanger's exhibit at the Homeport Gallery while enjoying some seriously delicious treats from Swoop Food Truck and Crepes A La Carte. A great night was had by all!

Homeport cannot thank each volunteer enough! Without each person who contributes their time and talents, we would not be able to reach around 15,000 people each year. Children, families and seniors in Central Ohio have better lives because of you. Thank you!


Celebrating Homeport Volunteers!

Hello Homeport Volunteers! 

We'd like to invite you to celebrate the accomplishments of some very important people... YOU! In 2014, over 400 volunteers gave 8,200 hours of valuable time to Homeport to make sure that Central Ohio families were better fed and housed; children were better prepared for school; and that streets and communities were cleaner and safer. You may have helped to carry groceries for a family at a produce distribution last spring, worked and played hard with kids in our Summer Camp Programs, or filed loan documents that helped a family either purchase their first home or save their home of many years. Whatever part you played in improving the nearly 15,000 lives that Homeport impacted last year, we thank you and want to show you our sincere appreciation!

A light dinner and drinks will be served from 5:30 to 7:30pm, with a short awards ceremony beginning at 6:30 highlighting some very special volunteers.

Volunteer Appreciation Celebration:
Date: Wednesday,  April 23rd
Time: 5:30pm ~ 7:30pm
Awards Ceremony: 6:30pm ~ 6:45pm
Location: Homeport Gallery 779 E Long St (next to the Lincoln Theatre)

To RSVP click here

Your attendance at the Homeport Gallery also affords you an exclusive sneak preview of the new exhibit, HOME, by Columbus artist Anna Gsanger, which incorporates recycled materials and features paintings of both Columbus and things that speak to the idea of home.

For more information, contact Morgen Wade, Manager of Volunteer Engagement, at 614.545.4817 or

A Special Invitation from Blank Canvas

Held every third Friday, in rotating art galleries throughout the Columbus metropolitan area, Blank Canvas is a social gathering created for young professionals.

Gathering at the Homeport Gallery:
Date: Friday,  May 16th
Time: 6:00pm ~ 9:00pm
Location: Homeport Gallery 779 E Long St (next to the Lincoln Theatre)

In pursuit of establishing a healthy career and strong diverse network, Blank Canvas provides local ambitious men and women a lively platform where ideas, culture and meaningful relationships can be cultivated. Come enjoy an environment with like-minded people and experience an unforgettable evening with great music, different mediums of art and of course, drinks!

Follow @BlankCanvas614 for event updates! Email for business inquires.



Introducing Columbus Artist – Anna Gsanger

We are excited to introduce Anna Gsanger to you at the Homeport Gallery! Her show, Home, features paintings of Columbus and the idea of home. She used recycled materials for her canvases, creating an unique look to her pieces. Join us at the Gallery for refreshments and a chance to meet her.

"I have now called Columbus home for nearly 15 years – the longest I've ever been anywhere – so I am painting Columbus from my home perspective."   ~ Anna Gsanger

Opening Reception:
Date: Thursday,  April 24th
Time: 5:00pm ~ 7:00pm
Location: Homeport Gallery 779 E Long St (next to the Lincoln Theatre)

The show will run from April 10th through June 15th during regular gallery hours. For more information on the gallery and hours, click here. Connect with us on Facebook for continual updates!


Join us for Lisa Cliff's closing reception at the Gallery!

Unfortunately the time has come for us to wrap up Lisa Cliff's beautiful show, Buttons & Baubles: A Mixed Media Journal of the Heart & Soul. Many people have enjoyed her work and commented on her creativity in using the buttons and baubles. Creativity and talent have combined to form some very beautiful and colorful pieces! Have fun trying to spot the timepieces in each of her different works while you look! Join us at the Gallery and hear from this talented and inspiring local artist. 

"Using rich colors intertwined with subtle symbolism, I create vibrant soulful images from the heart where every painting speaks a different story."   ~ Lisa Cliff

Closing Reception:
Date: Thursday,  April 3rd
Time: 5:00pm ~ 8:00pm
Location: Homeport Gallery 779 E Long St (next to the Lincoln Theatre)

The show will run until April 6th during regular gallery hours. For more information on the gallery and hours, click here. Connect with us on Facebook for continual updates!