The new 52-unit facility is a first-of-its-kind for Columbus and among the nation’s first
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                   

Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022                                                                     

Media Contact: Mike Nowlin

Cell: 989-450-0855                  

Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority announces $15.6 million financing plan that paves way to start construction on Harriet’s Hope affordable housing community serving survivors of human trafficking

 The new 52-unit facility is a first-of-its-kind for Columbus and among the nation’s first service-enriched housing communities exclusive to human trafficking survivors

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority (CMHA) and Beacon 360 Management Inc. announced today they have finalized a $15.6 million financing plan that allows development to begin on Harriet’s Hope, a 52-unit new construction project that is a first-of-its-kind for Columbus and among the nation’s first service-enriched housing communities exclusive to human trafficking survivors.

CMHA and Beacon successfully recruited eight funding sources that are providing support toward development of the Harriet’s Hope property, which is tentatively scheduled to complete construction in late-2023. The need for Harriet’s Hope is reflected by an Ohio Department of Health report that Ohio ranked fifth among all states in total reported human trafficking cases in 2020 (most recent data available), largely due to the major highways that link the Buckeye State to Canada, New York City, Michigan and other places.

“Unfortunately, Ohio is both an origin and source state for human trafficking, with cases representing both sex and labor trafficking and domestic and foreign-born victims of all ages,” said CMHA President and CEO Charles Hillman.

“That is why CMHA and our partners are committed to making the vision of providing a safe haven that Harriet’s Hope will offer become a realty, and we thank them all for their support and belief in the importance of moving this project forward,” Hillman said.

Organizations beyond CMHA that are helping to finance Harriet’s Hope include Affordable Housing Trust of Columbus and Franklin County, Ohio Housing Finance Agency (OHFA), City of Columbus, Park National Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank, the Ohio Legislature (via the state capital budget), Ohio Capital Impact Corporation, and the Ohio Capital Corporation for Housing (OCCH).

“Human trafficking survivors require a wide range of services, with housing being the main impediment for survivors to escape a life of being trafficked,” said OCCH President and CEO Catherine A. Cawthon. “With the development of Harriet’s Hope, we are creating a housing community that will help its residents overcome trauma, promote healing, inspire independence and instill confidence.”

Finance Fund sold the land to CMHA where Harriet’s Hope will be located. CMHA is not disclosing the location of the property in order to protect the privacy and safety of the future residents of Harriet’s Hope, which has been created specifically to serve trafficking survivors who have experienced one or more sex and/or labor trafficking events and their families.

Ohio has bolstered its response to combat human trafficking through infrastructure development and multisystem approaches; however, there are significant challenges in meeting the vulnerable population’s service needs.

Harriet’s Hope will introduce an array of programming to support each resident’s immediate and long-term goals. The project aims to create a system of care that helps individuals become and remain stably housed, who are supported in maintaining their housing without disruption and are able to identify and achieve their wellness and recovery aims.

Columbus-based nonprofit Beacon 360º Management will be responsible for codevelopment and the  coordination of Harriet’s Hope supportive services. Originally the brainchild of Beacon 360º Management CEO Celia Kendall, she conceived of the name as an homage to Harriet Tubman, the slave-turned-abolitionist who rescued dozens of slaves from bondage.

“It’s important to highlight the uniqueness of this type of development,” said Kendall. “We’ll be providing a holistic and trauma-informed approach to service delivery, including onsite behavioral, mental, and physical health services in partnership with local providers and peer support groups, to encourage rehabilitation and self-sufficiency.”

Ohio law enforcement agencies identified drugs, alcohol, or other dependencies as the leading social and economic factors contributing to a trafficked victim. In 2019, law enforcement identified 211 victims that suffered from alcohol or drug co-dependency. As a result of the link between substance dependency and human trafficking, Harriet’s Hope will operate as a drug and alcohol free, trauma-informed, victim-centered community designed to provide ongoing recovery support for residents that struggle with alcohol and substance disorders.

The Salvation Army of Central Ohio, an expert in the field of anti-human trafficking, will be coordinated entry-point and the lead supportive service partner for Harriet’s Hope.

Additional supportive service partner providers include nonprofits such as Alvis, Inc., Freedom a la Cart, Kaleidoscope Youth Center, Columbus Works, Fit to Navigate, and Integrated Services for Behavioral Health.

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About CMHA: CMHA helps people access affordable housing through collaborative partnerships, promotes neighborhood revitalization and assists residents in accessing needed social services. CMHA has more than doubled its portfolio of housing over the last five years. It owns over 4,500 units of affordable housing and through its Housing Choice Voucher and Project-Based Rental Assistance Programs provides rental assistance to over 160,000 Ohio and Washington, D.C., residents. Approximately 71% of the units in the CMHA portfolio are affordable to renters making 80% AMI or less.

About Beacon 360° Management: Beacon 360° Management is a 501(c)4 non-profit company that was organized exclusively around the idea of advocating social welfare; driven by individuals who are passionately ensuring affordable housing and supportive services are available. Beacon is a proven industry leader specializing in the management and development of affordable housing programs and services for individuals and families who need it most.

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