CSH hosted a Partners Luncheon to celebrate successes, recognize leaders and effective partnerships across the state, network with our peers, and learn about research results that demonstrate the impact of supportive housing nationally, in our state, and locally. This was an opportunity for the supportive housing industry – funders, investors, nonprofit service providers, policymakers, and housing developers – to come together, network, and reaffirm our commitment to this important work. Click here to see an overview of Ohio accomplishments, watch the Supportive Housing Tenants Video and see the award winners below.
In 1988, the Ohio Department of Mental Health (now the Ohio Mental Health and Addiction Services agency) produced a white paper titled Housing is Housing. Twenty five years ago, language that we all think is common place now was radically stated – that housing is a need and should not be contingent upon treatment and services.
One organization and two individuals were honored by CSH because they led our work. They have been the pathfinders; the Pioneers of supportive housing in Ohio.
Excel Development, Inc.
As was common in those early days of supportive housing creation, Excel embarked upon the model of purchasing and doing minor rehab to small scale properties in the stealth development approach – 4, 5 and 6 unit apartment buildings without fanfare.
Now, Excel Development owns and manages 87 apartment buildings for approximately 400 units and works with private landlords for an additional 700 apartments, issuing and monitoring 1,100 rental vouchers. The organization is in 29 neighborhoods in the greater Cincinnati area.
Jim McCarty, Executive Director and Sally Luken, Director CSH
John Hoover and Neighborhood Properties (NPI)
Neighborhood Properties, Inc. (NPI) was founded in 1988 and John Hoover, has been involved since its beginnings becoming Executive Director in 1995. NPI began with 60 units in its first year and now has a portfolio of 565 apartments in 62 locations in greater Toledo, with additional units in Tiffin and Fostoria. The organization operates scattered site units, a Safe Haven, reentry supportive housing and a unique project, Fostoria Junction.
Fostoria Junction is a 15 unit new construction project that serves consumers of 4 separate county recovery boards representing 8 different counties. That’s a complicated collaboration! And according to Precia Stuby of the Hancock County Board one of the collaborators– “It was a huge risk on John’s part; but.. John has a unique commitment to individuals in need of housing. He doesn’t back away when the situations are challenging and difficult; rather he seeks to find solutions. One of the things I admire about him most is that he seeks the input of the tenants. He listens to them; helps them; and then celebrates their success.
John Hoover, third from the right, and his staff of NPI are joined by Sally Luken, CSH Director. John and his staff were recognized with two awards at the 2013 luncheon.
Susan Weaver, Community Housing Network
Susan Weaver, has made a significant impact on supportive housing in Columbus/Franklin County, but also the entire state and even the country. Community Housing Network’s pioneering work was highlighted in a national study 23 years ago that was the impetus for the creation of CSH!
For 27 years Susan’s unmatched commitment to high quality affordable housing and serving the most vulnerable people got results. Under Susan’s leadership, CHN has developed a portfolio of over 1,200 apartments and provides rent subsidies to an additional 400 tenants in 28 zip codes of Franklin County.
Susan’s leadership lead to the first ever use of ODMH capital funds with LIHTCs – a complicated and difficult meshing of funds. And she is now directing a four year $55MM preservation plan at CHN.
Susan is also a leader in the state, having been on Ohio Capital Corp for Housing’s Board of Directors for many years, currently serving as Vice Chair. She is in her 3rd term for the FHLB of Cincinnati’s Advisory Committee. Damon Allen, of FHLB, stated he admires and respects Susan and considers her a trusted advisor.”
Susan Weaver, Executive Director Community Housing Network and
Sally Luken, Director CSH
Returning Home Ohio Providers
The Returning Home Ohio pilot project, was ground breaking in providing supportive housing for persons leaving state prison. The pilot was studied for its effectiveness by the Urban Institute, a private, national research firm based in Washington DC. For more information on the research’s compelling results click here.
The supportive housing providers in this project are a remarkable bunch! They stepped up to participate, when this endeavor was new, and untried. The supportive housing providers put up with an evolving pilot, with bumps along the way, and with a heavy lift on administrative work including the collection of data for numerous years. They forged ahead, even when things were challenging, and they continued to find appropriate housing for former offenders and get them linked to the services they needed to be successful. And successful, the tenants were – as the Urban Institute research demonstrates. The providers are: Volunteers of America, the YMCA of Central Ohio, EDEN and Frontline Services, NPI, MVHO and Amethyst.
Returning Home Ohio providers are acknowledged for their achievements
Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio
Operated the pilot in Toledo and the greater Cincinnati area.
The YMCA of Central Ohio operated the pilot in Columbus
EDEN and their partner Frontline Services provides supportive housing for RHO tenants in Cleveland/Cuyahoga County
Sally Luken, Director CSH joins MVHO staff who operated the pilot in
Ginny O’Keefe with Sally Luken, Director CSH.
Amethyst provided supportive housing in the pilot in Columbus.
Extended Housing is a nonprofit supportive housing provider in Lake County Ohio with 18 scattered site properties. Karen McLeod, the organization’s executive director, decided over nine years ago to learn how to develop a new construction, site based supportive housing because her community needed more units. She convinced her Board, created a development team and attended one of the first CSH supportive housing institutes.
As you can imagine – the path was not an easy or smooth one for her or Extended Housing.
Her first challenge was with a member of her team who was experienced but not performing. She fired him. Then…the neighborhood – her initial site was met with virulent opposition. A difficult meeting with neighbors stopped short of rotten tomatoes being hurled at her. But she preserved with heart and soul – sometimes with both on her sleeve – and she found a new site and grew new relationships.
And that is something we noticed about Karen all through the process – she took a bad situation and made it better. She was thoughtful, thorough and wanting to learn and understand.
Ted Jones, of our staff, worked closely with Karen and the Extended Housing. He says “It is a testament to Karen’s courage and perseverance that even though she was new to the world of affordable housing development, she undertook and met the enormous challenge of learning how to create quality supportive housing. My hat is off to her.”
Sandra Langenderfer of Extended Housing, accepting on behalf of Karen McLeod,
with Sally Luken, CSH Director
Permanent Supportive Housing Champion
Sometimes in our lives, we are fortunate to have people who make an impact on us, help shape us to be better people, who mentor us and encourage and challenge us to go beyond what we thought possible. In Ohio, we are fortunate to have two of these kinds of people who chose to champion supportive housing as a personal and professional cause.
Pat Cash Issacson, had been in banking for 32 years. But Pat’s kind of banking, is far more than financial acumen, market client engagement, or supply chain management. Hers is and has been investment in community building and in making our state a better place.
Pat was instrumental in securing the former National City Bank’s endorsement (the first bank to come on board) of the legislation to create funding for the Ohio Housing Trust Fund. Over $400MM invested in housing & homeless programs to date!
Pat helped CSH by having PNC be the only corporate underwriter of CSH’s training institutes which has resulted in over 30 communities and 200 people in Ohio learning the nuts and bolts of supportive housing development. Pat as an OHFA Board member said yes to OHFA becoming a leader in financing supportive housing developments. As the former Chair of Board of the local nonprofit, the Community Shelter Board, Pat committed herself to ending homelessness through supportive housing development and led the organization through a major leadership change while still executing its plan to end homelessness.
Doug Garver, Executive Director of OHFA says Pat always does her homework, asks the important questions and holds the OHFA staff accountable to do the right thing in all their work. OHFA’s new $32MM capital investment in homeless housing is a great example of that. She has the heart of an advocate and the mind of a good businesswoman.
Pat Cash, OHFA Board member and Sally Luken, Director CSH
Eve Lundberg Stratton
In 2002, Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, of the Ohio Supreme Court called stakeholders together at the old Supreme Court offices. She asked for help in figuring out how to help people with mental health disorders get the help they needed to stay out of the criminal justice system. A year later, CSH was asking her for help – to join our national Board, help us make the connections necessary to build greater capacity in Ohio for supportive housing development and co-chair our national reentry supportive housing initiative.
And she did all that and more! Over the years, Eve Lundberg Stratton, used the same tactic she had in the court – her velvet hammer – to get important people’s attention to the need for supportive housing here and across the country. She convened lunches, meetings and advised CSH on how to inform or approach potential stakeholders. Her boldness and positive attitude about achieving and winning for persons who needed supportive housing was and is refreshing and invigorating!
And her former Kitchen Kabinet, the ultimate case study in how to effectively reduce silos in state government, was the critical lynchpin to breaking open the opportunities for supportive housing expansion in Ohio. An amazing collaboration among CSH, OHFA and 6 state agencies was created. All of this contributed to a state policy framework on supportive housing; expanded investment by FHLB of Cincinnati, the Returning Home Ohio project, six Supportive Housing training Institutes, the Home For Good rental subsidy program at OHFA which now has the Attorney General’s investment and a pipeline of new projects across the state.
Nationally, Eve Stratton has led the way increasing judicial engagement in supportive housing expansion, providing critical guidance and support to CSH staff by opening doors and providing credibility for this work.
Jack Lundberg, Eve’s husband, Eve Lundberg Stratton, and son Luke Stratton