This week started with the quarterly meeting at the City of Columbus Department of Development. It was exciting to see how the city works with Homeport, especially since I take an interest in local government. I got a sense of how Homeport’s work fits into the Columbus community as a whole, and how Homeport and the city work together to achieve some of the same goals.
My main task for the week was to read through the letters that Gifts of Kindness applicants wrote explaining their hardships. The goal was to figure out some of the main causes that residents fall behind on rent and utilities, as Gifts of Kindness applicants are typically able to pay their bills on time, but have experienced a hardship that suddenly makes them unable to do so. These hardships were not as easy to sort through as expected—some were related to employment, while others were medical or family related. Reading through the stories of each applicant helped me understand the need for the Gifts of Kindness fund in the Columbus community, and the impact that it can make to help people get back on their feet.
Towards the end of the week, I had the opportunity to visit some of Homeport’s property developments with the real estate team. We visited Hilltop, Milo Grogan, and Hamilton Crossing. Each site provided a different perspective—construction has not yet begun at Milo Grogan, while Hamilton Crossing is in the mid-stages of construction. Hilltop is a neighborhood in which Homeport has finished building houses scattered throughout. Since I’ve been working more with the resident services side of Homeport, seeing the development side was fascinating. I’ve been thinking about trying to learn more about real estate since starting at Homeport, and the visits showed me how important it would be to learn more about it if I want to go into development.
Next week I will begin making calls to Gifts of Kindness recipients to learn more about their experiences with the program and how it has impacted them. I’m looking forward to talking to and learning from the residents, and hope to gain an even better understanding of how Gifts of Kindness and Homeport make an impact in our community.