(Plain Press, December 2017) On October 17th, Bank of America announced the selection of Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP) as a 2017 Neighborhood Builder®. ESOP, a HUD-approved housing and financial counseling nonprofit agency dedicated to promoting sustainable homeownership, is being recognized for its work to foster financial stability among Ohio homeowners.
Through Neighborhood Builders the bank provides nonprofits with a unique combination of leadership development (for the executive director and a developing leader in the organization); $200,000 in flexible funding; a network of peer organizations across the U.S. and the opportunity to access capital in order to expand their impact in the communities they serve.
Since 2005, ESOP has assisted more than 35,000 homeowners in all 88 counties across the state of Ohio, including 10,000 in the Cleveland area alone.
In 2014, ESOP launched the Senior Financial Empowerment Initiative (SFEI) to help older adults regain and maintain control of their finances. The program has grown four-fold over the past four years and features a variety of client offerings, including senior financial education workshops, ongoing housing counseling and coaching, senior property tax loans, and free income tax preparation and filing. SFEI will remain a top priority as ESOP uses its Neighborhood Builders funding to develop an outcome-based evaluation system, implement additional programming to facilitate aging in place, and meet its overall staffing and training needs.
Founded in 1993, Empowering and Strengthening Ohio’s People (ESOP) is a HUD-approved housing and financial counseling agency headquartered in Cleveland, Ohio. ESOP was responsible for putting over $117 million back into the community through the Save the Dream Ohio program administered by Ohio Housing Finance Agency. Since 2014, ESOP has helped more than 10,000 low-income seniors age in place with greater financial stability and a reduced risk of financial exploitation through its Senior Financial Empowerment Initiative, an innovative, integrated suite of financial capability programs directed at vulnerable older adults. ESOP is a subsidiary of the Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging. Learn more about ESOP at www.esop-cleveland.org and connect on Twitter at @esopcommunity.